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Shoulder arthritis is a painful condition that affects millions of people each year. Although not as common as hip or knee arthritis, shoulder arthritis can be extremely debilitating and painful. Arthritis refers to “joint inflammation”. You can develop joint inflammation from gradual wear and tear of the cartilage that coats the bony end points with a smooth surface. A smooth surface is required because it naturally allows you to move your arm around in almost any direction.
Once there is breakdown of the cartilage it can expose the bony areas of the joint causing you to feel pain, stiffness, and inflammatory response. Your body is then attempting to repair itself but is not able to outproduce the cartilage loss. It may start to produce more bone and cause bone spurs that can further limit your range of motion and cause more pain. If you have a history or auto-immune disorders such as Rheumatoid arthritis, it can also cause you to feel pain and stiffness in your shoulder.
While there is no cure for shoulder arthritis, it can be managed with medications, physical therapy, exercise, and in some cases surgery. Taking steps to prevent shoulder pain and inflammation can help reduce the risk of shoulder arthritis developing or becoming worse over time.
Shoulder arthritis is a condition that occurs when the shoulder joint becomes swollen, stiff, and painful due to inflammation or degeneration of cartilage. It can be caused by wear and tear over time, traumatic injury or autoimmune conditions.
Shoulder arthritis can take several forms, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of shoulder arthritis as it develops from natural wear and tear on the shoulder joint over time. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition where cells in the body attack healthy tissues in the shoulder joint resulting in inflammation and damage. Post-traumatic shoulder arthritis is caused by an injury or trauma to the shoulder joint.
Shoulder arthritis can be caused by several factors, such as aging, genetics, trauma or injury to the shoulder joint, and medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Other than age-related wear and tear on the shoulder joint, shoulder arthritis is often a result of an underlying medical condition or injury. It is important to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing shoulder pain in order to find out the cause and begin treatment.
Shoulder arthritis can cause a variety of symptoms such as pain, stiffness, swelling, and reduced range of motion in the shoulder joint. Other symptoms can include clicking or grinding in the shoulder when moving it, weakness in the shoulder muscles, difficulty sleeping due to shoulder pain, and decreased ability to perform everyday activities due to shoulder pain and stiffness.
Diagnosing shoulder arthritis typically involves a physical exam and X-ray imaging to look for signs of damage or inflammation in the shoulder joint. Other tests such as blood tests may also be performed to rule out other conditions that could be causing similar symptoms.
Shoulder arthritis can be treated with a combination of medications, physical therapy and exercise, shoulder joint injections, and in some cases surgery. Medications such as pain relievers and anti-inflammatories may be prescribed to help manage symptoms. Physical therapy and exercise can help improve the range of motion, reduce swelling, and strengthen shoulder muscles to improve shoulder function. Injections into the shoulder joint such as corticosteroid or lubricant injections can also be used to reduce inflammation and pain in the shoulder joint. Surgery may be recommended if other treatments are not successful at reducing shoulder pain and improving shoulder function.
There is no sure way to prevent shoulder arthritis from developing as it can occur due to natural wear and tear or trauma, however, there are some steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of shoulder arthritis. These include maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding activities that put excessive stress on the shoulder joint, and stretching regularly to maintain shoulder flexibility.
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The best treatment for shoulder pain involves proper assessment by a licensed physical therapist. They will be able to assess your range of motion, strength, and coordination to determine if you have any other issues that may be affecting your mobility. Once your therapist has determined the cause of your shoulder pain, they will recommend exercises and stretches to improve your shoulder’s motion. Often, a patient will need a series of visits to treat their symptoms.
After the initial assessment, a physical therapist will create a treatment plan tailored to your needs. The therapist will ask questions about your pain and severity. If the pain is due to a structural problem, the therapist will prescribe exercises to strengthen the muscles and restore your shoulder to normal functionality. After completing the program, the physical therapist will teach you how to perform everyday activities, including sporting activities.
As a part of treatment, a physical therapist will first evaluate your posture and strength and rule out any other potential causes of shoulder pain. They make then work on increasing flexibility can lead to a decrease in the amount of stress placed on the shoulder joint. For example, improper posture may cause increased pain when lifting household items or heavy objects. Performing these exercises on a regular basis can reduce the amount of opioids you take, thereby reducing the need for prescription drugs.
Activity modification is another treatment option for shoulder arthritis. The goal of activity modification is to minimize the physical stress placed on the shoulder joint. The physical therapist can also educate patients on proper ergonomics. This type of treatment will focus on increasing strength, minimizing pain, and restoring function. By following the program, a physical therapist can help you return to the activities you love. And it won’t hurt to ask your physical therapist for tips on how to modify your daily activities to improve your mobility and strength. Book your appointment today!