Arthritis can develop from disease (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis) as well as trauma or injuries to the shoulder. Osteoarthritis is the most common of these and causes the cartilage to wear thin to the point that bone rubs against bone. Rheumatoid arthritis involves inflammation and eventual eating away of the joint’s lining and cartilage. Arthritis can run in families, and generally affects those over 50 or those with a pre-existing shoulder injury.
- Limited range of movement
- Swelling and stiffness around shoulder
- Pain during tasks that use the shoulder
- Pain at night that may affect sleep
- Tenderness near joint
- Sensation of grinding or joint getting momentarily stuck in one position
The doctor may recommend modifying your activities, resting and icing the joint to reduce pain and swelling.
Anti-inflammatory medications may be suggested to limit swelling and pain. Also depending on the type of arthritis, certain medications can be prescribed to limit the disease’s effects. Supplements, such as Glucosamine, may also be helpful in providing pain relief.
While injections cannot cure the underlying arthritis, Corticosteroid injections to the affected portion of the shoulder can provide short-term pain relief and reduced inflammation in the joint, when medication is ineffective or not an option.
Surgical options, depending on the location and severity of the arthritis, include replacing the joint and arthroplasty. Joint replacement can be done on a total (total shoulder arthroplasty) or partial basis (hemiarthroplasty). Also arthroplasty can be used to remove a small portion of bone. Scar tissue then forms between the joint creating a cushion for movement.
Certified Physical Therapists work closely with doctors to create an individualized program to maximize healing and restore function, strength and mobility.