What Causes Shoulder Osteoarthritis
There are various reasons that could cause someone to develop shoulder osteoarthritis. These can include:
- Age: After the age of 60 we are more likely to develop natural ageing of our joints
- Gender: Osteoarthritis, in general, is more common in females
- History of injury: Any previous shoulder dislocations or fractures near the joint
- Occupation: Those who have had more physically demanding jobs such as those working in construction
- Sport: Those who have participated in overhead or repetitive sports, such as tennis may also be more likely to develop wear and tear
We dont always know why certain people develop osteoarthritis. Our understanding of it and research in this area is continually developing.
Another factor that may have an impact on your symptoms is the weather. Often changes in weather for example damp, wet weather may increase your joint pain.
Discover More About The Causes Diagnosis And Treatment Of Shoulder Osteoarthritis
Your shoulder, like all joints in your body, can be affected by osteoarthritis. This degenerative joint disease results in pain, inflammation, lack of mobility and soft tissue damage. It can be caused by a direct shoulder injury or wear and tear over time making it particularly common in the over-50s.
Osteoarthritis can be treated surgically or non-surgically, with treatment options including physiotherapy, steroid or other anti inflammatory injections, minimally invasive surgery or joint replacement.
When To See A Doctor
Unless youve had a serious injury or get a sudden, continuous pain, you can usually treat your shoulder pain without having to see your doctor.
If, after two weeks of treating yourself, you feel the pain isnt any better you should see your doctor or a physiotherapist.
You should also see your doctor as soon as possible if you:
- develop severe pain in both shoulders
- also have pain in your thighs
- feel feverish or unwell.
These can be signs of the condition called polymyalgia rheumatica, which needs prompt treatment.
There are several ways you can help your shoulder pain:
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Shoulder Arthritis
Symptoms of shoulder arthritis vary from person to person. Signs and symptoms include:
- Pain in your shoulder joint: This is the most common symptom. At first, you may feel shoulder pain only during activity. Later in the disease process, you may feel pain at any time of the day, with or without arm movement. Your pain may worsen when you lift heavy objects or after exercise. The pain may spread down your arm and even to your elbow or wrist if your arthritis is severe.
- Stiffness and loss of range of motion: You may feel stiffness in your shoulder and lose range of motion. These symptoms may make everyday tasks such as dressing, bathing, driving or doing housework difficult.
- Grinding, clicking, popping or cracking in your shoulder joint: Loss of cartilage, which leaves an unsmooth surface, causes these noises. The noises occur with or without pain.
- Loss of sleep: Its difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. Any shoulder movement may cause pain. If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under the elbow of your affected side. This helps keep your shoulder in a more supported position. It also takes the strain off of all supporting joint structures. For some people, sleeping in a recliner can provide pain relief at night.
What Is Shoulder Bursitis
Bursitis occurs when the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that protects the outside of a joint, becomes inflamed. While it can be caused by acute trauma to the shoulder, it is more likely to result from chronic overuse of the joint. Moreover, because the structures of the shoulder are closely packed together, inflammation that begins in one of the five bursae in joint will eventually impact the others. Therefore, shoulder bursitis is often not only the result of an injury but also likely to create additional complications.
Symptoms of Shoulder Bursitis
Shoulder bursitis may cause any of the following symptoms:
- Shoulder pain located at the top and outside of the joint
- Shoulder pain that is triggered by movement or repetitive motion
- Shoulder pain that gradually becomes worse
- Shoulder tenderness and sensitivity to pressure
- Shoulder redness and warmth
- Muscle weakness in the shoulder
The subacromial bursa is the largest bursa in the body and is highly susceptible to bursitis. It is located below the acromion, the large bony projection on the scapula . This is why the majority of pain associated with shoulder bursitis occurs at the top and outside of the joint and radiates down the arm. It should also be noted that, although bursitis is the result of inflamed soft tissue, visible swelling is rare. Shoulder bursae do not have to be much thicker than normal to cause pain and so it is unlikely that you will have any visible signs aside from some minor redness.
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Medications For Osteoarthritis In The Shoulder
Doctors may recommend over-the-counter medications to treat your shoulder osteoarthritis. These include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . Examples of NSAIDs include ibuprofen and naproxen sodium.
A doctor may also prescribe oral steroids , such as prednisone or methylprednisolone, to treat inflammation. But this is sometimes controversial, as research on oral and injection-based steroids has been mixed. If you have concerns about steroid use in your treatment plan, be sure to discuss that with a doctor.
Bursitis Causes And Risk Factors
Bursitis is common in adults, especially after age 40.
Its usually caused by repeated pressure on an area or by using a joint too much. High-risk activities include gardening, raking, carpentry, shoveling, painting, scrubbing, tennis, golf, skiing, and throwing. You can also get bursitis by sitting or standing the wrong way for a long time at work or home, or by not stretching enough before you exercise. Sudden injury can sometimes cause bursitis.
As you age, your tendons arent able to handle stress as well. Theyre less elastic and easier to tear.
If theres a problem with the structure of a bone or joint , that can put more stress on a bursa, causing bursitis. Reactions to medications and stress or inflammation from other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriatic arthritis, or thyroid disorders, may also raise your risk.
An infection, especially with Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, can sometimes cause bursitis.
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What Is Shoulder Arthritis
Shoulder arthritis is damage to the cartilage inside the shoulder joint. The shoulder has two joints. Shoulder arthritis commonly refers to the bigger ball-and-socket joint named the glenohumeral joint after the bones it connects . The cartilage covers both the ball and the socket .
When the cartilage in the shoulder begins to break down on the surface and eventually in the deeper layers, its called shoulder arthritis. The second joint in the shoulder, the acromioclavicular or AC joint, can also develop arthritis known as AC joint arthritis.
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.
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What Is Ra Anyway
While RA is a complex disorder, understanding at least the basics is vital. First of all, it is an autoimmune disease. Having any autoimmune disease means that your body is essentially attacking normal cells as if they were a disease or intruder. Secondly, it nearly always targets the joints. Since it attacks the joints, this means that you are likely to experience pain in the elbow, knees or yes, shoulders. Finally, while RA is a long-term disease, the symptoms often come and go. Therefore, pain that isnt consistent COULD certainly still be due to RA.
Inflammatory Arthritis Vs Osteoarthritis
Arthritis actually describes over 100 different conditions that affect joints and the surrounding tissue. They fall into two main categories: inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis .
Inflammatory arthritis is a systemic disease in which the mechanisms that normally protect your body attack your own joints and tissues instead. The most well-known example is rheumatoid arthritis , which tends to be symmetrical, meaning you’ll have problems in the same joints on both sides of your body, like both wrists or both knees.
The second type of arthritis and the most common form is osteoarthritis. A degenerative disorder, it’s caused by trauma or age-related wear and tear on your joints over time. OA is most likely to affect weight-bearing joints such as the knees, hip, lower spine or big toe, but it can also cause pain and stiffness in your thumb or finger joints.
Here are some early arthritis symptoms that should prompt you to see a medical provider.
1. Pain in a joint. Pain or aching in a joint that gradually becomes worse over time is a classic symptom of arthritis, says Lisa Cannada, M.D., an orthopedic trauma surgeon at Novant Health in Charlotte, North Carolina. The pain may be triggered by activity, or it may set in after activity or at the end of a long day.
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What Are The Causes Of Osteoarthritis In The Shoulder
Shoulder arthritis can be caused by an injury particularly an impact on the outside of the shoulder or a fall on an outstretched arm. The force can cause the cartilage to break or tear, leading to exposed bone and degeneration of the joint surfaces.
Twisting or wrenching can also damage the tendons and muscles of the shoulder , leading to weakness and instability, which can eventually lead to cartilage and bone degeneration.
Shoulder arthritis can simply be caused by wear and tear over time repetitive or forceful movements of your shoulder such as in tennis, weight lifting, golf or manual jobs which involve overhead work.
Treatment Options For Shoulder Arthritis
There is no cure for arthritis, so beware of miracle cures. Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medicine. He/she may recommend occupational therapy or physiotherapy, which includes exercises and heat treatment. In severe cases, surgery may be suggested. The type of surgery will depend on your age and severity of the condition. In the elderly with severe arthritis, joint replacement can give good results. Common surgery for treatment of shoulder arthritis arthroplasty may be total shoulder arthroplasty or hemiarthroplasty.
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What Is Osteoarthritis Of The Shoulder
The shoulder is made up of two joints, the acromioclavicular joint and the glenohumeral joint. The AC joint is the point where the collarbone, or clavicle, meets the acromion, which is the tip of the shoulder blade. The glenohumeral joint is the point where the top of the arm bone, or humerus, meets the shoulder blade, or scapula. Osteoarthritis is more commonly found in the AC joint.
What Are The Symptoms Of Shoulder Osteoarthritis
As with most types of osteoarthritis, pain is a key symptom. A person with shoulder arthritis is likely to have pain while moving the shoulder and after moving the shoulder. The person can even have pain while sleeping.
Another symptom may be a limited range of motion. This limitation can be seen when you are trying to move your arm. It can also be evident if someone is moving your arm to assess range of motion. Moving the shoulder might also produce a clicking or creaking noise.
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Other Potential Causes Of Shoulder Pain
Many conditions and factors can cause or contribute to shoulder pain. As well as arthritis, these include:
- Tendon tear: These tears may partially or completely remove the tendon from the bone. In the case of a complete tear, the tendon falls off the bone.
- Instability: Shoulder instability arises when injury or overuse of the joint causes the forceful removal of the head of the upper arm bone from its socket.
- Impingement: Shoulder impingement is when the top of the shoulder blade presses on the underlying soft tissues as the arm moves away from the body.
- Fracture: Shoulder fractures can involve the collarbone, upper arm bone, or shoulder blade. They often cause severe pain, swelling, and bruising around the shoulder.
Rheumatoid Arthritis In The Shoulder
While RA most commonly affects the smaller joints in the fingers, hands, and feet, Dr. Rahmani says that over 50 percent of patients with RA do ultimately develop shoulder involvement.
OA and RA share similar symptoms, such as pain and limited pain of motion. But an inflammatory arthritis such as RA is more likely to be suspected if the shoulder is red or swollen, other joints are affected, and the patient has fatigue or a fever, he explains.
Shoulder pain can also occur in other, less common forms of inflammatory arthritis, such as psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and gout. There are a few other types of arthritis that your doctor will need to consider as well, including:
- Post-traumatic arthritis:This can develop years after an injury to the shoulder. Post-traumatic arthritis can present as osteoarthritis or as a form of inflammatory arthritis such as gout.
- Rotator cuff tear arthropathy: If you experienced a large tear to your rotator cuff in the past, you may have developed this form of degenerative arthritis. A tear can cause two bones in the shoulder the top of the humerus and the underside of the acromion to rub against each other, resulting in damage to the bones.
- Avascular necrosis: In avascular necrosis, death of bone tissue occurs due to lack of blood supply. Possible causes include a broken bone, dislocated joint, high-dose steroid use, heavy alcohol consumption, sickle cell disease, and traumatic injury to the shoulder.
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Talk With Your Doctor
If you have any ongoing symptoms of shoulder pain, it’s important to share them with your doctor so you can get the right diagnosis. Share with him or her as many details as you can about your symptoms, including when and how long they occur, what the pain feels like , and what you were doing when the pain started.
There are treatment options for both shoulder arthritis and bursitis, so pain relief may be as close as a visit with your doctor.
Signs Of Ra In Your Shoulder
As mentioned, there are plenty of things that could cause shoulder pain, so RA isnt always the culprit. However, if you have already been diagnosed with RA pain in other areas of your body, it is certainly a distinct possibility. Some of the most common symptoms of RA, according to WebMD, include:
Swelling An RA joint is often fluid-filled. This can make the area surrounding it appear puffy and large. The fluid that fills the joint can also cause further damage to the bone and structure of the joint itself, leading to further pain down the road.
Pain What causes the pain with RA? It is actually caused by the inflammation within the joint. It is tender to the touch. Plus, the swelling puts pressure on your nerves, causing pain.
Redness and Warmth Does your shoulder feel warm, feverish or have a red tone to it? When a joint is being attacked by RA, there is often warmth and redness.
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What Kinds Of Arthritis Affect The Shoulder
The most frequently occurring types of arthritis which affects the shoulder are , , rotator cuff tear arthropathy, and post-traumatic arthritis.
Osteoarthritis: Similar to the hip and knee, this is also called a wear and tear type of arthritis, and probably occurs as some combination of use, genetics, micro trauma, and increased forces across the joint. The cartilage loses its normal chemical makeup, becomes frayed and worn, and eventually disappears without this protective covering, the underlying bones grind against one another, causing pain.
Inflammatory arthritis: In conditions such as , multiple factors often having to do with the immune system, lead to inflammation of the joint and joint lining, ultimately wearing away the cartilage surfaces. Fortunately, the medical treatment of many types of inflammatory arthritis has made tremendous advances, and the need for surgical treatment has greatly diminished.
Rotator cuff tear arthropathy: This is the end stage of very large tears of the . A confluence of four muscles which stabilize and are the primary movers of the shoulder joint, which have been left untreated. While large tears of the rotator cuff tendon, are uncommon, an estimated 4% of patients with untreated rotator cuff tears develop cuff tear arthropathy. Treatment of shoulder arthritis caused by cuff tear arthropathy can be particularly difficult, since it results from damage to both soft tissue support of the joint as well as the joint surface.
Getting A Diagnosis For Osteoarthritis In The Shoulder
Diagnosing osteoarthritis in your shoulder can be tricky, often due to your shoulder joints complexity. As you read in your shoulder joint anatomy description, there are lots of tendons, muscles, bursae, and more that are a part of your shoulder joint. Doctors have to narrow down the source of your pain, and that can be challenging.
Some of the diagnostic methods include:
- Asking you questions about your medical history, as well as your familys.
- Examining your shoulder to see your range of motion.
- Discussing what triggers your pain and what at-home treatments relieve it.
- If a doctor suspects arthritis, theyll commonly request an x-ray of your shoulder to look for signs of wear and tear on your joint.
- Reviewing other imaging studies, such as an MRI or CT, which will usually show a narrow joint space or formation of extra bone areas called osteophytes from your bones rubbing together.
A doctor may also try to rule out other possible causes. For example, if your
A healthcare professional will usually recommend conservative treatments at first to address your shoulder osteoarthritis.
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