Shoulder arthritis is a condition that can cause pain in the shoulder that typically worsens with activity. This can include something as simple as reaching the arm over the head. The pain can be in the back of the shoulder (as with arthritis of the G-H joint) or the top of the shoulder (as with A-C arthritis). Shoulder arthritis can also cause loss of motion or a grinding feeling when you move.
How can this be treated? Shoulder arthritis is treated similarly to other arthritis conditions. Options may include:
- Activity modifications
- Physical therapy exercises
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen
- Heat or ice treatments
- Steroid injections
Before treatment may begin, it’s important that you visit a specialist to diagnose your problem. This may include a hand surgeon (many of which treat the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder) or another type of orthopaedic surgeon. Your specialist will assess your pain and range of motion as well as potentially take x-rays. Your treatment plan will be unique to you and your symptoms.
More about shoulder arthritis
Shoulder arthritis occurs more commonly in older individuals, especially arthritis of the G-H joint. It can also be hereditary. Younger individuals can suffer from shoulder arthritis, although it’s usually a result of trauma, fractures, dislocations or infections.