Shoulder Arthritis

Shoulder Arthritis Pain

Arthritis refers to a condition that causes chronic inflammation in the joints. There are multiple kinds of arthritis, but the most common is osteoarthritis, which is related to the natural aging process. Since the shoulder joint is put under so much stress from daily activities, arthritis in this area is very common, specifically among adults. 

Although this condition is not reversible, the medical professionals at BEST Health System are dedicated to finding a course of treatment most effective for minimizing any pain and discomfort. 

What Causes Shoulder Arthritis Pain?

The shoulder joint connects the arm to the torso and allows for movement through the upper body. Due to the high level of mobility in this joint, it is more likely to develop arthritis over time. With age, the body begins to dry out, making the cartilage more brittle and worn out. As the joint fluid dries, bone-on-bone contact increases, causing inflammation in the joints, leading to symptoms of osteoarthritis. While shoulder arthritis is very common, certain activities may increase an individual’s risk of developing this condition. Some examples include:

  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Inactivity
  • Injury

Nonsurgical Treatments

Since arthritis is not a curable condition, the treatment for it revolves around minimizing the pain and reducing further damage to the affected area. There are a variety of conservative treatments available for patients to decide on. Some of these options include:

  • Periods of rest
  • Over-the-counter medications to reduce pain or stiffness
  • Physical therapy
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Lifestyle changes

If none of these options work for an individual, there are surgical options available by recommendation of a medical professional. 

Signs and Symptoms of Shoulder Arthritis Pain

The inflammation caused by shoulder arthritis can be extremely uncomfortable and can limit motion for many individuals. The most commonly reported symptoms of shoulder arthritis include:

  • Localized aches and pains
  • Stiffness and immobility
  • A popping sensation is known as crepitus

Symptoms relating to shoulder arthritis may vary depending on the type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis may cause a more severe pain in one shoulder, whereas rheumatoid arthritis might cause strong pains in more than one joint.

Diagnosing Shoulder Arthritis

During the diagnostic process, a doctor will first perform an evaluation beginning with a medical history and family health to determine whether there is a history of arthritis in the family. After this, the healthcare professional will typically do a hands-on examination to test range of motion. 

Next, the medical professional may order tests to confirm the presence of arthritis. Diagnostic tests such as X-rays and MRIs can show narrowing of the shoulder joint space, which is often an indicator of arthritis.

When is Surgery Necessary?

If conservative treatment options are ineffective, there are surgical procedures that can help. For a less invasive surgical option, a surgeon can make a small incision and access the arthritic shoulder and remove a small amount of tissue that is restricting movement. 

In more severe cases, surgeons can perform a full or partial shoulder joint replacement if the shoulder joint has become more seriously damaged. In this procedure, the damaged portion of the shoulder will be completely removed and replaced with an artificial joint. 

BEST Health System medical professionals are highly skilled and will help a patient find which procedure is right for them. 

Reach Out to BEST Health System Today

If you’re living with shoulder arthritis, call BEST Health System today. We can connect you to a location near you and from there, our highly skilled medical team will help you develop a personalized treatment plan to get you back to the people and activities you love as soon as possible.

If you have experienced any of these symptoms or recieved a diagnosis and need treatment, BEST can help. Take the first step towards relief today.

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