Arthritis of the Shoulder
There are two joints in the shoulder; the acromioclavicular joint (where the shoulder blade meets the collarbone) and the glenohumeral joint (between the shoulder blade and the upper arm bone). Arthritis of the shoulder occurs when there is inflammation in one or both of these joints, and there are five major types including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, post traumatic arthritis, rotator cuff tear arthropathy, and avascular necrosis.
Symptoms of arthritis in the Shoulder
- Pain and aching in the joint or pain predominantly at the top or front of the shoulder
- Stiffening in shoulder after activity
- Decreased range of motion in the shoulder
- Grinding, clicking, or snapping sounds in the shoulder during movement
- Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep due to pain
Causes of arthritis in the Shoulder
- Osteoarthritis: “Wear and tear” destroys the smooth outer covering of the bones causing the bones to rub against each other and the protective space between the bones to decrease.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: The body’s immune system damages cartilage and ligaments, and softens bones. Additionally, the synoviom (which lines/lubricates the joints to make movement easier) swells to cause pain and stiffness in the joint.
- Posttraumatic arthritis: Inflammation occurs after a shoulder injury such as a fracture or dislocation
- Rotator Cuff Arthropathy: When a large rotator cuff tendon tear goes untreated for a long period, the humerus moves upward in the glenoid socket and rubs against the acromion damaging the surfaces of the bones.
- Avascular Necrosis: The blood supply to the humerus is disrupted (due to high dose steroid use, heavy alcohol consumption, sickle cell disease, traumatic injury) and the bone cells gradually die without nutrients
Risk factors for arthritis in the Shoulder
- Gender (Female)
- History of injury to shoulder (fracture or dislocation)or rotator cuff
- High dose steroid use
- Heavy alcohol use
- Sickle cell disease
Things to do at home for arthritis in the shoulder
- Avoid provoking pain by changing activities or altering the way the arm is moved during activities
- Icing the shoulder 15 minutes 2-3times a day
Treatment of arthritis in the Shoulder
In order to relieve pain from arthritis in the shoulder, we address the problem holistically and naturally, without medication.
We use the following approaches to relieve arthritis symptoms in the shoulder:
- ASTR® Tools: Our doctors use a variety of ASTR® tools to release scar tissue and myofascial restriction, which can decrease mobility and flexibility.
- Special exercise program to decrease pain, strengthen the muscles, stabilize and help the patient to return to normal function and activities.
- Special instructions on how to speed up the recovery time.
- Cold Laser Therapy: Tissue inflammation is common with arthritis in the shoulder. Cold laser is used in order to decrease inflammation that causes pressure on the affected area.