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Understanding Shoulder Arthritis: Symptoms, Treatments, and Self-Care


Shoulder arthritis is a condition that affects millions worldwide, causing pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility in the shoulder joint. It occurs when the cartilage that cushions the bones of the shoulder degenerates, leading to bone-on-bone contact and pain. This article aims to provide comprehensive information about shoulder arthritis, including its symptoms, causes, treatment options, and self-care tips.

What is Shoulder Arthritis?

Types of Shoulder Arthritis

  • Osteoarthritis: The most common form, usually affecting people over 50 years of age.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: An autoimmune condition that can affect both shoulders simultaneously.
  • Posttraumatic Arthritis: Arthritis developing after an injury, such as a fracture or dislocation of the shoulder.

Symptoms to Watch For

  • Persistent shoulder pain, especially with movement
  • Stiffness in the shoulder joint
  • Swelling or tenderness around the shoulder
  • A grinding sensation or clicking sound during movement
  • Decreased range of motion

Causes and Risk Factors

  • Age-related wear and tear
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Past shoulder injuries
  • Overuse or repetitive stress
  • Obesity and lifestyle factors

Diagnosing Shoulder Arthritis

A diagnosis typically involves a physical examination, medical history review, and imaging tests like X-rays or MRI scans to assess the extent of joint damage.

Treatment Options

Non-Surgical Treatments

  • Pain Management: Over-the-counter pain relievers or prescribed medications.
  • Physical Therapy: Exercises to improve flexibility, strength, and range of motion.
  • Hot and Cold Therapy: Applying heat or cold packs to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Corticosteroid Injections: To reduce inflammation and pain in the joint.

Surgical Treatments

In advanced cases, surgery may be recommended:

  • Arthroscopy: Minimally invasive surgery to clean out the joint.
  • Shoulder Joint Replacement: Replacing the damaged parts of the shoulder with artificial components.

Living with Shoulder Arthritis: Self-Care Strategies

  • Regular exercise to maintain joint mobility and muscle strength.
  • Weight management to reduce stress on the joints.
  • Applying heat or cold to manage pain and inflammation.
  • Practicing good posture to reduce strain on the shoulder.
  • Seeking support from physical therapists or support groups.

When to See a Doctor

Consult a healthcare professional if you experience persistent shoulder pain, especially if it limits your daily activities or interferes with your sleep.


Shoulder arthritis can significantly impact your quality of life, but with proper diagnosis, treatment, and self-care, many individuals can manage their symptoms effectively. 

Your path to a pain-free life begins here. Connect with us to schedule your consultation, and let's take this crucial first step together. Please call our office at 9739173800 .



Ajay Kumar, MD

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