Shoulder Arthritis

The most common type of shoulder arthritis is Osteoarthritis it is also known as wear-and-tear arthritis or degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage of the shoulder joint wears away over a period of time. When the protective surface of the cartilage is worn away by shoulder arthritis, bare bone gets exposed in the shoulder.

Another common type of shoulder arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when there is an inflammation of the lining of the shoulder joint. This inflammation, however, destroys the cartilage and bone progressively…


Typically shoulder arthritis symptoms have the tendency to progress as the condition becomes worse. What is unusual about shoulder arthritis is that symptoms do not always become worse steadily with time. Often patients have good months and bad months, or the symptom changes along with changes of weather. This is very important for patients to know because the symptoms of arthritis on one particular day should not represent the actual progression of the condition.

The most common symptoms of shoulder arthritis are:

  • Pain with activities
  • Limited range of motion
  • Stiffness of the shoulder
  • Swelling of the joint
  • Tenderness around the joint
  • A feeling of grinding or catching within the joint

The patient’s evaluation of shoulder arthritis starts with a physical examination and x-rays. These can serve as a baseline to evaluate later examinations and determine the progression of the condition.


Shoulder arthritis mostly affects patients over 50 years of age. It is more prevalent in patients who have a history of previous shoulder injury. This condition also has a tendency to run in families.


Not all treatments are right for every patient, and you should discuss with your doctor to find which treatments are suitable for your shoulder arthritis

Non surgical

Activity Modification

Certain activities may be required to be limited.
New exercise methods may be helpful.
Exercises of the shoulder are excellent for patients who have a weak shoulder.

Physical therapy:

The muscles around the shoulder joint should be stretched and strengthened which may help to decrease the burden on the shoulder. Preventing atrophy of the muscles is an important part of maintaining functional use of the shoulder.

Anti-Inflammatory Medications:

Anti-inflammatory pain medications (NSAIDs) are prescription and nonprescription drugs that help treat pain and inflammation. Doctor’s advice should be taken before taking anti- inflammatory medication for shoulder arthritis.

Cortisone Injections:

Cortisone injections help most of the time to decrease inflammation and minimize pain within a joint. This does not cure shoulder arthritis, but reduces the symptoms and helps to control pain.

Joint Supplements (Glucosamine): Glucosamine appears to be safe and may be effective for treatment of shoulder arthritis, but research into these supplements has been limited. Many patients find moderate relief with glucosamine for symptoms of arthritis on the shoulder .


Shoulder Replacement Surgery:

In this procedure, the arthritic cartilage is removed and a metal and plastic ball-and-socket implant is placed in the shoulder. This is an excellent option to relieve pain associated with severe arthritis of the shoulder.

Reverse Shoulder Replacement:

A reverse shoulder replacement is so termed because the ball and socket are reversed; this reverse technique allows the shoulder to rotate better where there is a non- functioning rotator cuff.

Shoulder Arthroscopy:

For some specific symptoms of shoulder arthritis, this may be helpful .

Do not worry about Shoulder Arthritis- Consult Dr Abheek