Monday, October 2, 2023

What Is Arthritis In The Shoulder

Mindset Is As Important As Medication

What is Shoulder Arthritis?

Carol Eustice is a writer covering arthritis and chronic illness, who herself has been diagnosed with both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

David Ozeri, MD, is a board-certified rheumatologist from Tel Aviv, Israel specializing in arthritis, autoimmune diseases, and biologic therapies.

  • Overview
  • Treatment
  • Coping

Living with chronic pain and other debilitating symptoms of arthritis is tough. Even if youre working with an amazing doctor and have a tailor-made and effective treatment plan, it sometimes can be easy to fall off track and develop bad habits or a negative attitude. These are all problems you can overcome though. Here are ten ways to do that.

Shoulder Arthritis Treatment In North Dakota

The Bone & Joint Center is a leader in the diagnosis and treatment of shoulder and elbow arthritis in the Upper Midwest region. Our orthopedic team has the training and experience to use effective nonsurgical and surgical treatments to alleviate your symptoms. Have our bone and joint specialists examine your condition and recommend a highly individualized plan that you are comfortable with.

To schedule a consultation, call the Bone & Joint Center at 946-7400 or 900-8650 or send us an appointment request now.

Shoulder Structures And Functions

The shoulder joint is composed of three bones: the clavicle , the scapula , and the humerus . Two joints facilitate shoulder movement. The acromioclavicular joint is located between the acromion and the clavicle. The glenohumeral joint, to which the term “shoulder joint” commonly refers, is a ball-and-socket joint that allows the arm to rotate in a circular fashion or to hinge out and up away from the body. The “ball” is the top, rounded portion of the upper arm bone or humerus the “socket,” or glenoid, is a dish-shaped part of the outer edge of the scapula into which the ball fits. Arm movement is further facilitated by the ability of the scapula itself to slide along the rib cage. The capsule is a soft tissue envelope that encircles the glenohumeral joint. It is lined by a thin, smooth synovial membrane.

The bones of the shoulder are held in place by muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Tendons are tough cords of tissue that attach the shoulder muscles to bone and assist the muscles in moving the shoulder. Ligaments attach shoulder bones to each other, providing stability. For example, the front of the joint capsule is anchored by three glenohumeral ligaments.

The rotator cuff is a structure composed of tendons that, with associated muscles, holds the ball at the top of the humerus in the glenoid socket and provides mobility and strength to the shoulder joint.

Following are some of the ways doctors diagnose shoulder problems:

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What Is Arthritis Of The Shoulder

The term arthritis literally means inflammation of a joint but is generally used to describe any condition in which there is damage to the cartilage. Damage of the cartilage in the shoulder joint causes shoulder arthritis. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury. The warning signs that inflammation presents are redness, swelling, heat, and pain.

The cartilage is padding that absorbs stress. The proportion of cartilage damage and synovial inflammation varies with the type and stage of arthritis. Usually, the initial pain is due to inflammation. In the later stages, when the cartilage is worn away, most of the pain comes from the mechanical friction of raw bones rubbing on each other.

When To See Your Doctor

Best Shoulder Arthritis Treatment Starts

If youve been experiencing joint pain for a few weeks or longer, visit your doctor. You should see a doctor right away if you become unable to move your joint, notice the joint is very swollen and the skin is overly red, experience severe symptoms that interfere with your ability to complete daily activities. You should also see your doctor if you have a fever or flu-like symptoms along with joint pain. A fever may be a sign of an infection. See your doctor for a proper diagnosis, as each condition is treated differently. Bursitis is usually a temporary form of joint pain, while OA is a longer-lasting form.

For persistent joint pain that is interfering with your daily activities, see a Tristate rheumatologist to make the correct diagnosis and begin the proper treatment.

Contact Us For More Information to Request an Appointment

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Five Types Of Shoulder Arthritis & Available Treatment

Shoulder arthritis can be a painful condition that hinders your mobility and overall functionality of your shoulder. Our team of orthopedic specialists offers treatment to help return you to full mobility and activity.

Learn more about the types of arthritis that affect the shoulder and available treatment from Rebound shoulder surgeon, Dr. Anthony Wei.

What is Shoulder Arthritis?

Shoulder arthritis is the inflammation of the joints in the shoulder. There are five common types of arthritis that can affect the shoulder, causing pain and decreased mobility. These include:


Osteoarthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis that affects the shoulder, says Dr. Wei. This type of arthritis often comes with age and causes protective cartilage to wear away over time, which is why we typically refer to it as wear-and-tear arthritis. When the cartilage wears away, there is no longer a cushion to keep the joints from rubbing against each other.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the lining of the joints in the shoulder rather than the cartilage between joints.

The swelling of this crucial lubricating lining results in pain in both joints of the shoulder, making it difficult for everyday common movements, says Dr. Wei.

Posttraumatic Arthritis

Posttraumatic arthritis is a form of osteoarthritis that develops after an injury.

Rotator Cuff Arthropathy

Avascular Necrosis

Rotator Cuff Muscle Injuries

Injuries to the rotator cuff muscles, such as a large tear, can also increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff muscles normally help keep the shoulder joint in place, so an injury to the rotator cuff muscles can cause the bones of the shoulder joint to become misaligned and damage each other as they rub against each other.

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How Does A Doctor Diagnose Shoulder Arthritis

Upon a visit to an Orthopedic Clinic, the doctor will perform a routine physical examination after symptoms and medical history have been discussed with the patient.

The presence of muscle weakness, tenderness, injuries in the surrounding parts, previous injuries, crepitus , and pain when pressure is applied to the bone are the factors that a medical practitioner will always try to look for. The extent of the assisted passive and active range of motion and the involvement of other joints are also being assessed.

X-rays will be performed to the patient to provide a clear picture of the bone. The X-ray result can help determine the type of shoulder arthritis and it will also show narrowed joint space, the formation of osteophytes and changes in the structure of the bone. When the X-ray result is not clear, CT-Scan is the next procedure to perform for a more clear diagnosis.

What Are Shoulder Arthritis & Elbow Arthritis

Shoulder Arthritis Symptoms and Treatment (Q& A)

Shoulder arthritis is inflammation of one or both of the joints in your shoulder that facilitate movement. Arthritis of the shoulder can affect the AC joint or the glenohumeral joint or both.

Arthritis of the elbow is a condition in which the elbows cartilage is injured or worn. This is a common condition in the elderly population, as one of the leading causes of arthritis is the deterioration of the cartilage over time. Alternatively, the elbow joint can be damaged from a previous injury such as a fracture or dislocation.

Arthritis of the elbow is not as common as arthritis in other joints. This is because the elbow is a resilient joint with strong stabilizing ligaments, allowing it to endure a lot of force before being injured.

An estimated 40 million Americans have some form of arthritis or other rheumatic condition. According to a collaborative report by the National Institutes of Health , the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the Arthritis Foundation and the American College of Rheumatology, the prevalence of osteoarthritis is rising as baby boomers grow older, with osteoarthritis being second only to chronic heart disease in causing worksite disability.

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Symptoms Of Shoulder Oa


  • If the glenohumeral shoulder joint is affected, the pain will be felt at the back of the shoulder and may feel like a deep ache.
  • If the AC joint is affected, pain will be focused on the top of the shoulder. This pain may radiate up the side of the neck.
  • Limited motion and stiffness: You may lose range of motion and feel stiffness that makes it difficult to do everyday tasks, such as lifting your arm to wash your hair or getting something down from a shelf.
  • Crepitus: Hearing and feeling grinding and clicking noises as you move your shoulder.

How Is Osteoarthritis In The Shoulder Diagnosed And When

The shoulders three bones and many tendons and muscles make the shoulder the most mobile joint in the body. But this combination of structures also makes the shoulder vulnerable to problems.

Five major types of arthritis commonly affect the shoulder: osteoarthritis, post-traumatic arthritis , rheumatoid arthritis , avascular necrosis and rotator cuff tear arthropathy. Other common shoulder conditions include bursitis, tendonitis, frozen shoulder and rotator cuff injury.

All of these conditions can produce shoulder pain, but vary in their underlying causes. Because the conditions show similar symptoms, its difficult for a person to know what problem is causing their shoulder pain without a physicians help.

A physical exam and X-ray can help diagnose the problem.

  • During the physical exam, a doctor examines the shoulder joint for range of motion, involvement of other joints and tenderness. The exam also includes questions about personal and family medical history.
  • X-rays are used to look for a narrowing joint space and damage related to the bones in the shoulder joint, as well as for the formation of bone spurs, which indicate arthritis.
  • Other diagnostic tests may be used to rule out causes of joint pain. Blood tests and analysis of joint fluid can rule out rheumatoid arthritis or infection.
  • An MRI may also be needed to gauge the condition of the rotator cuff .

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Treatment Options And Prevention For Shoulder Arthritis

Shoulder arthritis is a chronic condition that usually cannot be completely cured. Therefore, treatments focus on controlling symptoms and slowing the progression of the disease. Specific treatment options include pain medication, heat or cold, rest, certain stretches and exercises, steroid injections and surgery.

What Can Be Done For Ra In The Shoulder

Shoulder Arthritis

First and foremost, if you suspect you have shoulder pain that may stem from RA, contact your doctor immediately. Prompt treatment can prevent the most severe problems. After all, a joint suffering from RA may be more likely to develop other problems than healthy joints.

Once your doctor has diagnosed RA in your shoulder, he or she will usually recommend a combination of drug treatment and non-drug treatment. Non-drug management of RA to the shoulder may involve resting the joint, application of heat and cool and maintaining a healthy diet. Physical therapy may also be a useful tool. Physical therapy could include massage, controlled exercise or other forms of rehabilitation. PT can often relieve some symptoms of RA and also lead to a quicker healing time for any concurrent injuries too. Finally, as stated in an article published by NCBI, surgery may be an option as well to help control the pain and prevent further injury to the shoulder.

As always, taking care of your RA, whether it affects your shoulder or any other part of the body, is a team effort between you and your doctors. Any new, unexpected pain should be brought to the attention of your rheumatologist or your general practitioner as soon as possible. In doing so, you can get back to normal as quickly and easily as possible. After all, no one likes shoulder pain!

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Treatment Options For Shoulder Arthritis

Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medicine and may recommend occupational therapy or physiotherapy, which includes exercises and heat treatment. In severe cases, surgery may be suggested. The type of surgery depends on the age and severity of the condition. In the elderly with severe arthritis, joint replacement is a good option. A common surgery for the treatment of shoulder arthritis is arthroplasty , which may be total shoulder arthroplasty or hemiarthroplasty.

This section is for general questions only – do not use this section to make appointment requests.

Why Shoulder Arthritis Exercises And Home Treatment Methods Are Ideal

Many individuals who suffer from joint pain and discomfort as a result of shoulder arthritis find that exercises and other home treatment methods are the best ways to deal with this medical condition. Other individuals may find that NSAIDs, injections, or ultimately, surgery, are the only ways they wish to engage in the fight against osteoarthritis.

For the people who choose to perform the exercise for shoulder joint pain and other home treatment methods to deal with their upper extremity arthritis, they may do so for the following reasons:

  • Shoulder muscle exercise and home treatment methods provide a noninvasive way to obtain pain relief
  • Exercising at home, as well as other home treatment methods, is convenient
  • Shoulder exercises have beneficial results
  • Battling shoulder arthritis through exercise and additional home treatment methods is affordable
  • Shoulder arthritis exercises can be completed at any time, day or night
  • Exercises targeting the shoulder area help with mobility and pain relief in other parts of the body as well

Whether you choose to use shoulder exercises and additional home treatment methods as your sole way deal with shoulder arthritis or use it in conjunction with injections and NSAIDs, its an excellent idea to learn how to do these shoulder arthritis exercises properly.


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Make An Appointment With An Orthopedic Specialists

Shoulder arthritis can worsen without treatment. To find shoulder arthritis relief, call our orthopedic team at 801-587-7109 to schedule an appointment.

To refer a patient to our team for shoulder arthritis treatment, please fill out our referral form or call 866-850-8863 to speak with a physician referral specialist.

Signs Of Shoulder Bursitis

Shoulder arthritis: What you need to know

Bursitis occurs when a fluid-filled sac called a bursa swells. You have bursitis throughout your body near your joints that provide padding between your bones, skin,muscles adn tendons. You may experience this inflammation of the bursa if you engage in an activity that requires repetitive motion like a sport, hobby, or manual work. If the bursa become inflamed, it is called shoulder bursitis.

Potential symptoms include

  • Pain Triggered By Movement Similar to osteoarthritis.
  • Pain On Top and Outside Of Shoulder This is where the bursa is located. If you lay on your side and put pressure on this spot it will trigger pain.
  • Pain Caused By Activity This is unlike osteoarthritis, in which the pain is worse with inactivity. In fact, the repetitive motion of people like painters, tennis players, swimmers, and baseball pitchers may experience bursitis.

Diabetes, crystal deposition , and infections may also cause the condition. Its generally a temporary condition that goes away after a few weeks of treatment. It may come back from time to time. It can become chronic if its not treated or if its caused by another condition.

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The Normal Unaffected Shoulder

The shoulder is made up of a number or interconnected bones. The upper end of the humerus is a ball, called the humeral head, which rests against the socket, a part of the scapula called the glenoid. Unlike the hip, also a ball-socket joint but one with a deep socket made for stability, the shoulder is made not for stability but motion â and has the most motion of any joint in the body. The ball of the shoulder joint moves against the socket, but because it rests against the socket, rather than being well contained in it, it is reliant on the soft tissues for both its stability and motion. It is stabilized by both ligaments and tendons . The tendons of the shoulder rotate the ball in the socket, and are called the rotator cuff. The four rotator cuff tendons thus supply movement to the shoulder and stability, and can themselves be subject to injury, wear and tear, and degeneration .

Main Causes Of Shoulder Arthritis

The shoulders are comprised of the two most mobile joints in the human body. The acromioclavicular joint is where the tip of the shoulder blade connects to the clavicle, while the glenohumeral , is the larger, ball-and-socket joint where the humerus joins the scapula. Both serve important functions in arm movement from waving hello to lifting and carrying. However, when one of these joints is impacted by arthritis, these natural movements and motions can become increasingly painful and more difficult to perform.

While arthritis may be more common in weight-bearing joints such as the hips and knees, shoulder arthritis still afflicts many and can be life-altering in its complications. So, what exactly causes arthritis in either of the shoulder joints? Here are the five main ways the condition develops:

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What Are The Early Signs Of Arthritis In The Shoulder

The shoulder is a complex joint and has the greatest range of motion out of all the joints. Shoulder arthritis commonly refers to the bigger ball-and-socket joint out of the two joints. Here, the ball refers to the humeral head and the socket refers to the glenoid cavity of the shoulder blade .

The second joint in the shoulder, the acromioclavicular or AC joint, can also develop arthritis known as AC joint arthritis.

Early signs and symptoms of arthritis in the shoulder include

  • Pain in the shoulder joint
  • The pain is worse while lifting heavy objects.
  • The pain can radiate to the arm and down to the elbow and wrist.
  • Sounds of grinding, clicking or crackling with the movement of the shoulder joint
  • As arthritis in the shoulder progresses, you may experience stiffness due to loss of range of motion in the joint. Simple activities, such as combing the hair or opening the buttons of a shirt, become difficult.

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