Shoulder Arthritis

Shoulder Arthritis is a condition characterised by the degeneration or damage to the cartilage that cushions the shoulder joint, leading to discomfort and reduced mobility. It is common in older adults but can also occur in younger people due to injury or overuse.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Shoulder Arthritis can vary greatly depending on the individual, but commonly include:

  • Pain in the shoulder joint that often worsens with activity
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Swelling and tenderness around the shoulder joint
  • A grating or grinding sensation when moving the shoulder

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of Shoulder Arthritis typically involves a comprehensive physical examination and a review of patient’s medical history. Diagnostic methods may include:

  • Physical examination: This may involve the doctor observing your shoulder movement, checking for areas of tenderness, and evaluating your pain and range of motion.
  • Imaging tests: X-rays can reveal narrowing of the joint space, changes in the bone, and the presence of bone spurs – all signs of arthritis. Other imaging tests like MRI and CT scans can provide more detailed images of the shoulder joint.

Prevention

Prevention strategies for Shoulder Arthritis may include:

  • Regular activity: Keeping the shoulder joints active helps maintain joint flexibility.
  • Strength training: Strengthening the muscles that support your shoulder can help relieve shoulder pain and prevent further injury.
  • Weight control: Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce stress on the shoulder joints.

Treatment

Treatment for Shoulder Arthritis aims to relieve pain, improve function, and slow joint damage. Options include:

  • Non-Surgical Treatments: These can involve medication for pain relief, physiotherapy to improve strength and flexibility, and lifestyle modifications such as activity changes and weight loss.
  • Surgical Treatments: If non-surgical treatment options do not provide relief, surgery may be considered. Options can range from arthroscopic debridement (cleaning the joint), joint resurfacing, to shoulder joint replacement.
  • Rehabilitation: After surgery, a rehabilitation program involving physiotherapy is crucial to restore strength and mobility to the shoulder.

Each treatment plan should be tailored to the individual’s needs and lifestyle, and should be discussed thoroughly with a healthcare provider.