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Arthritis of the Shoulder

More than 50 million people in the U.S. reported that they have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis. Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints.

With the shoulder arthritis, inflammation causes pain and stiffness, which is aggravated by activity and progressively worsens. Here are some of the pain points for shoulder arthritis:

  • If the ball and socket of the shoulder is affected, the pain is centered in the back of the shoulder and may intensify with changes in the weather. Patients complain of an ache deep in the joint.
  • The pain of arthritis in the top of the shoulder can sometimes radiate or travel to the side of the neck.
  • Someone with rheumatoid arthritis may have pain throughout the shoulder if both of the joint pain points mentioned above are affected.

Limited range of motion is another common symptom. It may become more difficult to lift your arm to comb your hair or reach up to a higher shelf. You may hear a grinding, clicking, or snapping sound as you move your shoulder.

As the arthritis progresses, any movement of the shoulder causes pain. Pain at night is common and sleeping through it may become difficult.

When seeing our orthopedic specialist about shoulder arthritis, the doctor will look for:

  • Weakness (atrophy) in the muscles
  • Tenderness
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Signs of injury (or previous injuries) to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding the joint
  • Symptoms in other joints (an indication of rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Pain

X-rays will show various forms of arthritis. X-rays of an arthritic shoulder will show a narrowing of the joint space, changes in the bone, and the formation of bone spurs.

If you think you are suffering from arthritis of the shoulder, call the office of Ortho El Paso for a comprehensive consultation. Although there is no cure for arthritis of the shoulder, there are many treatment options available. Using these, most people with arthritis are able to manage pain and stay active. Call today and you will be seen immediately for a proper diagnosis and treatment program. Call 915-249-4000.

Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, www.orthoinfo.org/