Every year millions of cases of osteoarthritis are filed making it one of the most common conditions on a global scale. The condition can be distinctly correlated with age, gender, anatomical as well as physiological factors, injury (muscular or joint), obesity, metabolic factors and various other changes occurring inside the body. 

It is a degenerative disorder in which there is a significant loss in bone density which causes weakness, brittle bones, stiffness, and pain. Osteoarthritis can be diagnosed at a number of positions, but especially affects the major joints. Osteoarthritis occurring in the shoulder joint is specifically termed as shoulder osteoarthritis. In general, osteoarthritis can be categorized into:
  • Primary Osteoarthritis: This is mostly linked to advancing age, during which the cartilage experiences gradual loss in protein content. Contrary to that, the fluid accumulation in the cartilage located in the joints increases thereby causing inflammation and pain.
  • Secondary osteoarthritis: This may result from an underlying chronic disease or a condition like diabetes, obesity, Rheumatoid Arthritis, hormonal imbalance, gout, congenital joints defects, and recurrent surgical procedures.

What is Shoulder Osteoarthritis and what is its impact?

Shoulder osteoarthritis most commonly affects women above 45 to 50 years of age. However, it can also occur in young adults due to changes inside the body or due to sudden trauma experienced. The shoulder joint can be categorized for better understanding:
  • Glenohumeral Joint: This comprises the junction between the humerus and the scapula (shoulder blade).
  • Acromioclavicular Joint: This is formed by the conjunction of the clavicle (or the collarbone) and the acromion (sharp end of the shoulder blade)
Shoulder osteoarthritis is also referred to as the Glenohumeral Joint Arthritis specifically due to its occurrence. In this, the bones comprising of the joint experience gradual degeneration and thus loss of natural sphericity. This unevenness renders the bone weak and results in remodeling of the subchondral bone. Such a condition leads to exaggerated friction and causes stiffening of the bone, henceforth which any further movement becomes physically painful. 

Shoulder osteoarthritis or degeneration of the shoulder joint may have an adverse impact on the daily lives. As a result, the affected individual might face restricted movement, strenuous movement, or complete immobility. In severe cases of complete immobility, shoulder surgery remains the best option in order to help the candidate retain back a normal life. 

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Physical examination of the candidate plays key role in diagnosing shoulder arthritis, depending on which, further treatments are suggested to the individual. Primarily, the occurrence of pain, intensity, time (if pain is experienced at a specific time of day or night), is evaluated. Henceforth, the medical professional shall physically examine other regions for underlying pain or stiffness, numbness, tenderness or muscle or bone weakness. In most cases, clinical tests for confirming possibilities of Rheumatoid Arthritis as well as gout may also be carried out. 

Symptoms of shoulder arthritis are common and easily detected. One must, however, remember that certain symptoms may also result from physical trauma or accidental injury, and should not be neglected in either case. The common symptoms are:
  • Difficulty in moving the arm
  • Difficulty in lifting the arm or lifting any object
  • Sharp pain in the joint
  • Inflammation and tenderness experienced in the joint
  • Pain or stiffness experienced after getting up in the morning or any specific time during the day.

Treatment for Shoulder Osteoarthritis

Medications like anti-inflammatory drugs are primarily prescribed which ideally helps the affected individuals in coping up with the condition. Apart from that, the candidates may also be prescribed with necessary injections, dietary supplements comprising of chondroitin, as well as glucosamine. Additional Treatment Options And Tips For Pain Relief For Those With Osteoarthritis.

However, other treatments available for shoulder osteoarthritis are:
  • Physiotherapy. Repeated sets should be allowed, as required.
  • Regular exercises for increasing the movability of the joint
  • Heat treatment
  • Application of ice or cold treatment
  • Alternate hot and cold treatment or heat shock therapy
  • Limited use of the shoulder while doing daily activities

In case the conventional treatments fail to yield any satisfactory results, shoulder surgery might be the best option left. The surgical procedure specifically termed as arthroscopic debridement is performed. The procedure involves the removal of any bony outgrowth or bone spurs that might be the cause of pain. Besides, damaged or uneven tissues, cartilages shall also be removed in order to reduce friction and restore healthy lifestyle. 

Author’s Bio:

Madison Fletcher is a Sr Content Writer, having more than 10 years of experience and globally recognized expertise in the domains of health and digital technology. She is a prolific author and shares her writing ability on popular digital publishing platforms like websites, social media, and other forums. She loves not to explore tech or health topics but also loves to research new thoughts and ideas about lifestyle, business, travel and many more. 

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