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What is Shoulder Arthritis?
Shoulder arthritis is an all too common affliction that’s estimated to impact 1 in 3 individuals aged 60 and above globally. Shoulder arthritis is a condition that brings discomfort, pain, and rigidity to the joints which can have a negative effect on your overall quality of life. This happens as a result of the degeneration of cartilage, which results in the bones rubbing against each other.
If you’re suffering from shoulder arthritis, or you’ve noticed a persistent stiffness in your shoulder, it may be time to speak with a doctor. Schedule an appointment with Be Well Primary Care and one of our doctors can help you diagnose or manage your arthritis to restore a better quality of life.
How Does Shoulder Arthritis Develop?
The development of shoulder arthritis stems from the progressive loss of protective cartilage in the shoulder joint. This can be a result of a multitude of factors, including joint degradation due to aging, injury, excessive use, or hereditary joint abnormality. When cartilage continues to degrade, bones in the joint start rubbing against each other, causing pain, inflammation, and stiffness. If left untreated, shoulder arthritis can lead to a decrease in the strength and functionality of the affected arm.
Causes and Types of Shoulder Arthritis
The causes of shoulder arthritis can be attributed to natural wear and tear due to aging, injury or trauma to the joint, or a genetic predisposition. The various forms of shoulder arthritis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common and occurs due to the natural aging process, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that attacks the joints. On the other hand, post-traumatic arthritis arises after a shoulder injury. The treatment options for shoulder arthritis range from physical therapy, medication, and joint surgery in severe cases.
Osteoarthritis of the Shoulder
Osteoarthritis, the most prevalent form of shoulder arthritis, results from the gradual wear and tear on the joint over time. The cartilage in the joint erodes, leading to increased friction and inflammation between bones, and is typically seen in individuals over 50 years old.
Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Shoulder
Rheumatoid arthritis, a type of autoimmune disease, causes inflammation in the joints, including the shoulder. This can lead to damage to the cartilage in the joint, resulting in arthritis, with women being more susceptible than men, usually beginning in their 50s.
Post-Traumatic Shoulder Arthritis
Post-traumatic arthritis develops after an injury to the shoulder joint, such as a fracture or dislocation, causing damage to the cartilage in the joint, leading to friction and inflammation between bones.
Rotator Cuff Tear Arthropathy
Rotator cuff tear arthropathy is an instance of shoulder arthritis that arises from tears in the rotator cuff muscles and tendons. This leads to instability in the joint, resulting in the onset of arthritis over time and heavily limits your range of motion.
Shoulder Arthritis Symptoms
Shoulder arthritis is marked by an array of symptoms, such as aching or sharp pain, joint stiffness, and decreased mobility. The discomfort can be felt in the shoulder, arm, neck, or any combination thereof. Stiffness can impede movement in the joint, while decreased mobility can make performing daily tasks challenging.
Shoulder Arthritis Diagnosis
The diagnosis of shoulder arthritis involves a comprehensive physical examination and imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRI scans. The physician evaluates the joint for degeneration signs, such as the presence of bone spurs, loss of cartilage, or any other anomalies. In some cases, other causes of shoulder pain may need to be ruled out.
Shoulder Arthritis Treatment
The treatment for shoulder arthritis varies based on its severity and may range from nonsurgical treatments like physical therapy and pain management to surgical treatment options, including joint replacement. It is imperative to seek medical guidance to determine the best course of treatment.
Schedule An Appointment Today
Shoulder arthritis is a complex and debilitating condition that can have a profound effect on one’s quality of life. By being knowledgeable about the underlying causes, forms, symptoms, and treatment options, individuals can make informed decisions and work towards finding relief from this affliction.
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