General Article

Info on Arthritis of the Shoulders

Your shoulder joint being the most mobile joint takes a lot of wear and tear. The risk of unstable movement is high when it comes to the shoulder joints. This is why shoulder arthritis is one of the most inconvenient and painful conditions a body suffers from. There are greater chances of shoulder arthritis to occur with advancing age. Generally, millions of Americans suffer from this condition. In fact, it is commonly seen among people over the age of 50. However, this doesn’t mean that young people are immune to it. They can too very well develop arthritis after trauma or sustaining other injuries to the shoulder such as fractures, infections, or dislocations. Athritis can be hereditary as well, meaning it can occur even in the absence of conditions that are responsible for it. Normally, arthritis of the A-C joint is associated with younger people as it tends to occur at a younger age compared to the arthritis of the G-H joint.

Signs and Symptoms

If you suspect developing arthritis in your shoulder area, you should seek help from renowned orthopedic clinics such as ShoulderMD, especially if you’ve observed symptoms that most commonly indicate the presence of such a condition. Normally, constant or recurring pain in the shoulder area is a sign of arthritis. This pain will tend to worsen with activities such as sports, or any task that requires arms to reach over the head. If it’s arthritis of the G-H joint, it will most likely hurt in the back of the shoulder, whereas arthritis A-C will mostly hurt in the top area of the shoulder near the collarbone. Orthopedic doctors are best able to determine where exactly the condition lies through running specific tests and examinations.

The most common complaint that you hear from patients is the loss of motion in the shoulder area. This symptom is more severe in patients with G-H arthritis. The pain can lend a grinding kind of sensational whenever the bones of the shoulder rub against each other.

Arthritis doesn’t only cause damage to your muscles and tendons, but it also severely damages the ligaments of your joints. It destroys the protective coating between the bones responsible for smooth range-motion movement. It greatly limits the range of motion in the shoulder by causing stiffness and friction. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons identifies various forms of shoulder arthritis including:

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis takes the form of an auto-immune disease in which the system starts attacking the joints of the body. The condition is characterized by pain in both the shoulders once it develops. The symptoms include tenderness and warmth in the joints, a stiff feeling, especially, after waking up, bumps underneath the skin that feel like knots, fatigue, and weight loss.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is basically the most basic form of arthritis associated with wear and tear. It affects all joints of the body, including the shoulders. People over the age of 50 are most likely to develop this condition. The symptoms include a combination of joint pain, tenderness, warmth, and stiffness.

Post-Traumatic Arthritis

Post-traumatic arthritis usually results from an injury. Shoulder injuries are common due to the shoulder joint instability, which can be triggered by shoulder fractures and shoulder dislocations. Sporting injuries and other accidents can lead to this type of arthritis as well. The symptoms include fluid buildup in the shoulder joint causing pain and swelling.

Although, arthritis is largely known for pain not everyone who develops arthritis develops pain and loss of motion. Fortunately, some people with severe joint destruction may only have a few symptoms. It is best to have your condition diagnosed on a timely basis and seek treatment to prevent the condition from worsening.