Arthritis is one of the most common causes of pain, diagnosed to millions of people across the globe each year. It most commonly affects the joints and one of these, the shoulder, is particularly common. Shoulder arthritis can be called chronic inflammation of the shoulder and its effects can be debilitating if not managed.
How to Recognize It
The should is what’s called a ball-and-joint socket, where your arm meets the rest of your body. You have three parts here, the shoulder blade, the upper arm bone, and the collarbone. Arthritis can start affecting these three parts, you can start to experience some of the following symptoms:
- Pain when moving the arm or shoulder
- Less range of motion in the shoulder
- Feelings of stiffness
- Swelling around the joint
- Tenderness around the affected area
- The joint feels like it catches or grinds when you move it
There can be other causes of a sore shoulder than arthritis, of course. However, if any of these symptoms get progressively worse over time, it’s worth getting your shoulder looked at.
Why it Happens
When you move your arm, you stress the cartilage around the shoulder joint. This cartilage coats the bones of the joint, making contact between bones softer. It can deteriorate over time, due to overuse, a lack of nutrition, or other factors, and then eventually wear away to expose the bone.
When this cartilage wears away, the friction can lead to inflammation around the joint. This inflammation is what is most commonly called arthritis. There are several risk factors that can raise the chances of developing arthritis, too.
Where You Can Get Help
Shoulder arthritis is best approached with the help of medical professionals who are familiar with treating the condition. Shoulder experts can help, such as orthopedic surgeons. The plan of action against any shoulder arthritis begins with a consultation, so consider making an appointment as soon as you can.
How to Care For It
There are various ways to care for your shoulder, many of which may be part of your treatment for the condition. Here are just a few of them:
- Resting the affected joint, which may include finding ways of doing daily tasks that involve using the shoulder less
- Using anti-inflammatory medication, many of which such as ibuprofen can be bought over the counter
- Applying ice or cold packs to the shoulder when inflammation strikes
- Doing physical therapy exercises
- Doing range of motion exercises
The management methods recommended to individuals may differ depending on the nature and severity of their arthritis, so it’s always important to go to a professional for the appropriate help.
How Long Is Recovery?
There is no cure for arthritis. It is a chronic condition that, when diagnosed, is likely to affect you for the rest of your life. However, with the right treatments and management methods, the pain and inflammation associated with it can be minimized greatly.
With the right plan of action, people with arthritis of the shoulder can manage their pain and stay active.