While the cartilage in the shoulder is extremely durable, it is bound to slowly break down over time. Once this occurs, then you will have to deal with a medical condition known as shoulder arthritis.

What Is Shoulder Arthritis?

Shoulder arthritis occurs when the cartilage in the shoulder joint becomes damaged. Healthy cartilage has a hard surface, but it will start to soften and crack in the early stages of arthritis. The cartilage will then start to flake over time until there is almost nothing left. Once this occurs, the bones in the shoulder will start to rub together every time the arm is moved. This presents a huge problem that can make it extremely difficult to live a normal life. Normal wear and tear is the primary cause of shoulder arthritis, but it can also occur after a serious injury to the shoulder joint. It is impossible to predict how fast your arthritis will progress, so it is best to get it treated as early as possible.

Signs and Symptoms of Shoulder Arthritis

The most obvious sign of arthritis is pain in the shoulder joint. The pain will become more pronounced after placing the arm under a lot of stress. The pain may even travel all the way down the arm to the wrist. Stiffness is another key sign of shoulder arthritis. Shoulder stiffness will prevent your from freely lifting or moving the arm. You may also hear clicking or grinding when using the shoulder joint.

The Treatment Process

The treatment process for shoulder arthritis will begin with you regularly performing physical therapy exercises to strengthen the shoulder joint. The goal of the exercises is to prevent you from losing range of motion in your shoulder. Another important aspect of the treatment process is to control your pain. Icing your shoulder and taking acetaminophen every day are the best ways to safely control your shoulder arthritis pain.

You do not have to let shoulder arthritis ruin your life. You will be amazed at how much your life can improve with the right treatment, so schedule your consultation appointment today.

Plymouth Bay Orthopedic Associates has locations in Plymouth, Duxbury, MA and Sandwich, MA.