Osteoarthritis is the most common type of shoulder arthritis. Also called wear-and-tear arthritis or degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is characterized by progressive wearing away of the cartilage of the joint. As the protective cartilage is worn away by shoulder arthritis, bare bone is exposed within the joint.
The other type of shoulder arthritis that is not uncommon is rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic condition that causes an inflammation of the lining of a joint. This inflammation can, over time, invade and destroy the cartilage and bone
Cause & Symptoms
Shoulder pain is often as a result of arthritis. There are many types of arthritis. The most common type of arthritis in the shoulder is osteoarthritis, also known as “wear and tear” arthritis.
Osteoarthritis develops slowly and the pain it causes worsens over time.
Osteoarthritis, may be related to sports or work injuries and chronic wear and tear.
Often people will avoid shoulder movements in an attempt to lessen arthritis pain. This sometimes leads to a tightening or stiffening of the soft tissue parts of the joint, resulting in a painful restriction of motion.
In the case of an acute injury causing intense pain, seek medical care as soon as possible. If the pain is less severe, it may be safe to rest a few days to see if time will resolve the problem.
Your Great Lakes Orthopedics & Joint Orthopedic surgeon will conduct a thorough evaluation in order to determine the cause of your shoulder pain and provide you with treatment options.
The first step in the evaluation is a thorough medical history. Your doctor may ask how and when the pain started, whether it has occurred before and how it was treated, and other questions to help determine both your general health and the possible causes of your shoulder problem. Because most shoulder conditions are aggravated by specific activities, and relieved by specific activities, a medical history can be a valuable tool in finding the source of your pain.
A comprehensive examination will be required to find the causes of your shoulder pain. Your doctor will look for physical abnormalities, swelling, deformity or muscle weakness, and check for tender areas. He or she will observe your shoulder range of motion and strength.
Your GLO physician may order specific tests to help identify the cause of your pain and any other problems.
X-rays. These pictures will show any injuries to the bones that make up your shoulder joint.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound. Thes imaging studies create better pictures of soft tissues. It may help your doctor identify injuries to the ligaments and tendons surrounding your shoulder joint.
Computed tomography (CT) scan. This tool combines x-rays with computer technology to produce a very detailed view of the bones in the shoulder area.
Electrical studies. He or she may order a tests, such as the EMG (electromyogram), to evaluate nerve function.
Arthrogram. During this x-ray study, dye is injected into the shoulder to better show the joint and its surrounding muscles and tendons.
Great Lakes Physical Therapy
|The Physical Therapy team at Great Lakes Orthopedics offer a wide range of programs and specialized services to help our patients restore and maintain their physical strength, performance skills, and levels of function. Our well-trained, professional staff utilize the most progressive treatment options and techniques to ensure the best possible recoveries.|