Different Types Of Shoulder Arthritis
Osteoarthritis In OA, the cartilage in the shoulder joint gradually wears down, and the protective space between the bones decreases. Bone on bone rubbing and friction in the joint leads to pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion. Everyday tasks like combing your hair or carrying a bag become more challenging and painful, says Lauren Shroyer, MS, director of product development at the American Council on Exercise. Loss of range of motion in the shoulder can also lead to muscle spasms throughout the shoulder and the neck, which can cause headaches, she adds.
Osteoarthritis usually affects people over 50 years of age and is more common in the AC joint than in the glenohumeral shoulder joint.
Rheumatoid arthritis With RA, the immune system mistakenly attacks a protective lining in your joint called the synovium, and destroys cartilage. Though RA tends to affect smaller joints first , symptoms can spread to both shoulders as the disease progresses.
Post-traumatic arthritis A shoulder injury like a fracture or dislocation can damage the cartilage or cause additional wear, which can result in arthritis.
Rotator cuff tear arthropathy The rotator cuff is comprised of tendons and muscles that wrap around the ball portion of your upper arm bone, keeping it centered in the shoulder socket. If one or more of these tendons is heavily torn, it may cause the head of the upper arm to rub against other bones, damaging the surfaces and leading to arthritis.
Tips For Lifting Weights
Strength training plays a key role in increasing muscle mass and bone density. If you have arthritis in your shoulder, you may believe that you cant lift weights anymore. But that isnt entirely true.
The key is to focus on exercises that dont require raising weights above your shoulders or cause any additional pain. Pay attention to any pain. Its the signal that your joints are becoming more inflamed or irritated.
Traditional bicep curls, bench presses, rowing, and pectoral chest flies are all appropriate. The American College of Rheumatology recommends 8 to 10 reps of each strength-training exercise, up to three times per week.
How To Get Rid Of Neck And Shoulder Pain
Neck and shoulder pain is one of the most common types of pain experienced by people. According to statistics, around 80% of people experience neck and shoulder pain at some point in their lifetime. And given the rise in the use of smartphones, the number is ever-increasing.
Neck and shoulder pain is most often caused due to lifestyle factors, including bad posture, sedentary lifestyle, and poor diet and stress. However, it can also result from osteoarthritis, neck or spinal injury, or repetitive motion of your neck.
Fortunately, there are several ways to get rid of neck and shoulder pain. This post looks at how you can ease the bothersome neck and shoulder pain and enjoy a pain-free life.
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How Can I Treat My Shoulder Arthritis
It can be difficult to navigate your daily life when you have constant shoulder pain. Even a simple task like getting a cup down from a shelf can become a problem. As your arthritis advances, the pain can last from the moment you wake up to the time you go to bed.
At The Spine and Sports Centerat The Galleria in Houston, Sugar Land, and the Willowbrook/Cy-Fair area of Texas, Dr. Benoy Benny suggests lifestyle changes to mitigate your shoulder arthritis pain and provides noninvasive treatments to improve your mobility.
How Neck Arthritis Is Diagnosed
Your doctor will start by taking a history and doing a physical exam. Theyll check the range of motion in your neck and test your strength, sensation, and reflexes to find out if there is pressure on your nerves or spinal cord. Theyll ask when your symptoms started, when the pain happens, and what makes the pain better and worse.
Your doctor may order an X-ray to assess alignment and look for arthritic changes, says Dr. Shah. If there is a concern of compression of spinal nerves or the spinal cord, you may need an MRI to look at the neutral structure and discs, says Dr. Shah.
A CT scan may be ordered to look at the bone more closely, especially to see if any bony outgrowths are causing compression. However, X-rays and MRIs are the tests that are usually ordered, says Dr. Shah. A CT scan with a myelogram may be used if an MRI cant be done.
An electromyography, or EMG, may be ordered to assess for nerve compression, says Dr. Shah. An EMG tests the electrical conduction of the nerves in the arms. This test would be helpful if you have multiple nerves being compressed or compression of nerves at the neck and in the arm, he says.
Your doctor may order blood tests to see if you have any antibodies or systemic inflammation that would reveal inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, or ankylosing spondylitis.
How Is Shoulder Arthritis Treated
As is the case in any other joint, the initial treatment of shoulder arthritis is usually nonsurgical. This may include: activity modification, physical therapy and other measures. If these prove insufficient, arthroscopic surgery or shoulder replacement may be appropriate.
Activity modification: avoiding the activities which put the most stress on the arms, reducing the weight lifted by the involved arm, and attempting to modify athletic activities to those which may put less stress on the involved arm.
Moist heat may make the arm feel more comfortable.
Icing the shoulder three or four times daily may help role reduce inflammation, particularly after sports or stress on the shoulder
Physical therapy: may play a role in maintaining or improving range of motion and strength, but may in some circumstances aggravate the pain from arthritis – so its role should be reevaluated if it is a source of aggravation of pain.
such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin can be effective over-the-counter medication. These medications can irritate the stomach, and most people should take them with meals. Prescription anti-inflammatory medications are also available, and may be more convenient in dosages require, have fewer side effects, and be better tolerated. In any event, your doctor should be made aware of any medications you may be taking, and the role of potential interactions.
Exercises For Osteoarthritis In The Shoulder You Can Do At Home
Its a good idea to talk with a physical therapist or doctor before performing at-home shoulder exercises to ensure youre practicing good form and not putting extra stress on your joints. But examples of some exercises that can help you when you have shoulder osteoarthritis include:
- Pendulum swings. This exercise involves standing with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding onto a sturdy surface for balance on your unaffected side. Lean forward slightly, enough to let your arm dangle, while keeping your back straight. Shift your weight side to side, which will have your arm move in circles. Repeat 30 times in each direction.
- Shoulder elevation stretch. While lying on your back, hold a cane or exercise band in your hands, palms facing upward. In a slow, controlled movement, lift the cane or band toward your head until you feel a gentle stretch in your shoulder. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds, then slowly lower your arms. Repeat 10 times, rest, and perform two additional sets.
- Shoulder outward rotation stretch. Like the shoulder elevation stretch, this exercise is also performed lying on your back with a cane or elastic band. Keeping your elbows bent at your sides with your hands grasping the under portion of the cane , slowly rotate your hand downward to feel a stretch in your shoulder.
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What Is The Best Treatment For Arthritis In The Shoulder
No two patients with shoulder arthritis are exactly alike. Therefore, the best shoulder arthritis treatment isnt the same for everyone. However, at-home treatments, injections, and surgery rank as some of the most effective pain relief techniques that can help you get back to living life normally.
Make A Ginger Poultice
Applying crushed ginger to a painful join works along the same lines as capsaicinelements in the plant can deplete the bodys stores of substance P, a brain chemical that carries pain messages to your central nervous system. One study of 56 people found that ginger eased symptoms in 55 percent of people with osteoarthritis and 74 percent of those with RA. To treat yourself, peel and finely mince a 3-inch piece of fresh ginger. Mix it with just enough olive oil to form a paste, then apply it to the painful joint. Depending on where the pain is, you may need to wrap the paste in place with a gauze or a length of ace bandage. Leave in place for 10-15 minutes to allow the ginger to penetrate.
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What Does Shoulder Arthritis Feel Like
If you have shoulder arthritis, youll feel mild-to-severe pain and stiffness in your shoulder. Over time, youll notice a loss in your range of motion in your shoulder joint, especially if the glenohumeral joint is involved.
You may feel pain when you reach overhead, lift heavy objects or play sports or join in activities that involve a range of arm movements. In late-stage disease, you may not be able to complete simple everyday tasks without pain. These tasks include such things as bathing, grooming and even writing or using your computer.
Find A Community That Understands
Theres no reason to go through a psoriatic arthritis diagnosis or long-term journey alone. With the free PsA Healthline community, you can join a group and participate in live discussions, get matched with community members for a chance to make new friends, and stay up to date on the latest Psa news and research.
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Medical Treatment For Osteoarthritis Of The Shoulder
Many people with mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the shoulder find that they can manage pain and stiffness using pain relief medication and physical therapy. These treatments do not reverse the progression of arthritis or address its causeunlike treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory condition that doctors manage using specific medication.
Still, relieving osteoarthritis pain and restoring strength and range of motion in the shoulder can support your ability to participate in the activities that make life enjoyable.
Exercises To Help Shoulders With Arthritis
The goal of exercises for arthritis is to improve your strength and range of motion. Arthritis can make many motions uncomfortable or painful if done quickly. These exercises focus on slow, deliberate motions and stretches to improve your shoulders and relieve pain and tension.
Door Lean Stretches
This is one of the easiest stretches to help reduce tension in your shoulders.
Step 1: In front of a doorway, place both hands on the doorframe just above your head.
Step 2: Lean forward, using your shoulders to maintain your balance.
Step 3: When you feel a gentle stretch in your shoulders, stop and hold your position for a count of twenty.
You can repeat this three times to get the full benefits.
Another simple exercise that can be done anywhere, door presses can help you build shoulder strength without pain.
Step 1: In front of an open doorway, bend one elbow at a 90-degree angle. Your elbow should be at about waist height and your hand should be between the door frames, with your thumb facing the ceiling.
Step 2: Press the back of your wrist against the doorframe and hold for a count of ten.
Step 3: Do the same thing with the palm of the same hand, on the other side of the doorframe.
You can repeat this ten times for both arms, three times a day.
The goal of pendulum swings is to help relax your shoulder muscles and relieve pain. Do the following motions gently, so they feel relaxing instead of out of control.
Crossover Arm Stretches
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What Are The Symptoms Of Shoulder Arthritis
As with other joints, the most common symptom of shoulder arthritis is pain during activity. In time, pain can occur at rest, and may even interrupt sleep. As the cartilage disappears, the joint becomes stiff, reducing range of motion, and limiting activity, often causing interference with even the most common tasks of everyday life, such as dressing, reaching for objects, and even personal hygiene. As joint motion is lost, tasks such as driving, athletic activity, housework, and even writing and computer work can be affected. The pain is frequently centered on the back of the shoulder, but commonly is felt all the way down the arm to the elbow.
Perhaps the most disabling symptom for most people is the loss of sleep, as it frequently becomes difficult to find a comfortable position either on the affected or unaffected side.
Motion is often severely affected, and may be accompanied by cracking, grinding, or catching as the ball/socket bones rub against one another.
Physical Therapy For Osteoarthritis In The Shoulder
Doctors may prescribe physical therapy along with conservative measures, such as taking NSAIDs, to improve your range of motion and lower the pain in your shoulder. A physical therapist will likely provide:
- assisted stretching
- an exercise plan designed around your bodys needs
- education on how you can prevent further pain or injury to your shoulder
But if your pain is significant, you may not be able to participate in physical therapy until your symptoms improve.
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How Shoulder Osteoarthritis Develops
The glenohumeral joint is at the point where the top of the arms humerus bone fits into the glenoid, a circular depression in the shoulders scapula bone. This ball-and-socket configuration allows the arm to have an impressive range of motion.
Both the femeral head and the glenoid are covered in a layer of cartilage that enables smooth movement of the bones and also provides shock absorption.
But osteoarthritis can cause the cartilage layer on the glenoid, known as the labrum, to become thinner or damaged. It may even disappear. The cartilage covering the humeral head may also degenerate.
This friction from the bone-on-bone contact can cause the growth of bone spurs or osteophytes. They may grow on the edge of the glenoid or around the humeral head in a pattern known as a goats beard.
Osteoarthritis of the shoulder can cause the joint to catch or pause in movement. It may also cause popping or crunching sounds known as crepitus.
As the condition progresses, patients can also lose range of motion. Even mild joint degeneration can cause significant pain.
How Is Shoulder Osteoarthritis Diagnosed
To diagnose shoulder osteoarthritis, the doctor will take a medical history and do a physical exam to assess pain, tenderness, and loss of motion and to look for other signs in surrounding tissues. At this point, the doctor may be able to tell if the muscle near the joint has signs of atrophy, or weakness, from lack of use.
Tests that might be ordered to diagnose osteoarthritis of the shoulder include:
- Blood tests, mainly to look for rheumatoid arthritis, but also to exclude other diseases
- Removal of synovial fluid, the lubricating fluid in the lining of the joint, for analysis
What Are The Symptoms
The main symptoms of osteoarthritis in the shoulder are pain and stiffness around the shoulder joint and upper arm.
- Pain may be worse when you move the joint or towards the end of the day.
- You may find your joints become stiff if you have been sitting for a while or in the morning after sleep. This often improves quickly when you get up and start moving.
- Having stiffness in the shoulder may lead to less movement which can affect your normal daily activities. You may notice some grating or crackling sounds when you move. This is known as crepitus.
These symptoms can vary depending on what activities/ tasks youve been doing and how long youve been doing them. Symptoms can also vary for no obvious reason and you may find you have phases of pain that last a few weeks or months and other periods of time where they is very little or no pain.
Why Is Osteoarthritis Worse At Night
Shoulder osteoarthritis is known to often be worse at night, with many people reporting they cant fall or stay asleep because of the pain. This is possibly due to the shift in your positioning before you fall asleep, as lying down can put more stress on your shoulder joint, especially if you sleep on your side.
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Is Osteoarthritis In The Shoulder Considered A Disability
The Social Security Administration does consider shoulder osteoarthritis a disability in qualifying individuals. Youd have to experience significant functional challenges that keep you from performing your work to qualify.
Ask a doctor if they think youd be a likely candidate for disability due to the state of your shoulder arthritis.
Natural Treatment For Shoulder Pain Relief
As far as minor shoulder pain is concerned, you can effectively manage or even treat the problem at home, too. There are several remedies, simple exercises, and certain lifestyle changes that can help you shake off that shoulder ache and keep you safe from falling victim to it again.
However, it is advisable to consult a doctor if the symptoms seem to be worsening.
Here are some home remedies for shoulder pain.
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