Arthritis is an condition that causes inflammation and pain in the joints. It can affect any joint in the body, including your shoulder joint. While there is no cure for shoulder arthritis, there are many ways to better understand and manage this condition.
Keep reading to learn more about arthritis, how it affects your shoulder joint and the strategies you can use to manage shoulder arthritis.
What Is Shoulder Arthritis?
Shoulder arthritis causes inflammation and pain in your shoulder. It can be caused by a number of factors, including wear and tear, injury, and infection in the joint. There are over 100 different types of arthritis with osteoarthritis being the most common. You’ll learn more about these types later on.
Pain and stiffness are two of the most common symptoms of shoulder arthritis. This can limit your ability to do simple tasks and move around. Other symptoms include:
- A limited range of motion in the shoulder joint
- Swelling and tenderness in the affected area
- Cracking or popping sounds when you move your shoulder
Who Is at Risk?
People who are at risk are those who have one or more risk factor that makes them more likely than the average person to develop condition. These risk factors include:
- Age: Arthritis is more common in older adults.
- Occupation: Repetitive movements at your job can increase your risk.
- Sports: Athletes whose sports put stress on the shoulder joint can be vulnerable.
- Shoulder injuries: Previous injuries to the shoulder joint can increase your risk.
- Other medical conditions: Conditions such as lupus can put you at risk for arthritis.
Diagnosing Shoulder Arthritis
If you are experiencing shoulder pain, visit a shoulder doctor near you or an orthopedist to get a diagnosis. There is no single test that can definitively diagnose shoulder arthritis. However, your doctor will likely perform a physical exam and ask you about your symptoms and medical history. They may also order imaging tests, such as X-rays and MRI scans, to get a better look at the shoulder joint.
The Different Types of Shoulder Arthritis
Managing and treating your shoulder arthritis can depend on its type. These different types of arthritis have their own causes, symptoms and treatment techniques. Here are some common types of shoulder arthritis:
As mentioned earlier, osteoarthritis is the most common type of shoulder arthritis. It is caused by the wear and tear of the cartilage that cushions the shoulder joint. This type is more common in older adults, but it can occur at any age.
This type of arthritis is caused by an autoimmune disease that can affect any joint in the body, including the shoulder joint. Rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation and damage to the lining of the joints.
Post-traumatic arthritis can develop after a shoulder injury, such as a fracture or dislocation. It is caused by damage to the cartilage and other structures in the shoulder joint.
Rotator Cuff Tear Arthropathy
This is a type of shoulder arthritis that can develop because of a rotator cuff tear. The rotator cuff is composed of four muscles and tendons in the shoulders that help stabilize the joint. A tear can cause damage to the cartilage and other structures in the shoulder joint, leading to arthritis.
Living With Shoulder Arthritis: Management Strategies
Shoulder arthritis can be a challenging condition to live with. It can make it difficult to perform everyday activities, such as dressing and reaching for objects. While there is no cure for shoulder arthritis, there are a number of things you can do to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, can help to reduce pain and inflammation in the shoulder joint. However, it is important to take these medications as directed by your shoulder doctor.
Physical and Occupational Therapy
Physical therapy and occupational therapy can help to improve the range of motion and strength in the shoulder joint. Techniques such as strengthening exercises and manual therapy can reduce stress on the shoulder, provide support, and relieve pain. Your therapists may also teach you how to use various equipment or modify your activities to avoid aggravating your shoulder pain.
Cortisone injections are a type of steroid that can be injected into the shoulder joint to reduce inflammation and pain. They are typically used for short-term relief, as they can have side effects if used too often.
Surgery may be recommended for people with severe shoulder arthritis that does not respond to other treatments. Your shoulder doctor can help you find the right surgery option depending on the severity of the condition and the patient’s needs.
Shoulder Doctor Near Me in Plantation, FL
Learning about shoulder arthritis is crucial in helping you manage your condition. Get to know the different types, symptoms and management strategies for shoulder arthritis. This way, you and your shoulder doctor can better understand how this condition affects you. They will develop a management strategy and treatment plan suited for the healthy and active life you want.
If you’re looking for a shoulder doctor, our orthopedic specialists at Baylis & Brown Orthopedics in Plantation, FL are here to provide quality healthcare for you. With over 30 years of experience, we specialize in treating orthopedic conditions including shoulder arthritis. We are happy to be your partner in caring for your health. Just call our office at (954) 476-8800 or request consultation using our online appointment form.