A Brief Note On Shoulder OA

Thumb Arthritis
Thumb Arthritis

Shoulder osteoarthritis is one of the different types of arthritis in which your cartilage and other joint tissues break down gradually. This type of arthritis is not as common as that of the knee or hip. However, as per the estimates, about 1 in 3 people above the age of sixty suffer from varying degrees of shoulder arthritis.

Causes Of Shoulder Osteoarthritis 

Shoulder arthritis can be primary or secondary, out of which the primary one does not have any specific cause. Primary shoulder arthritis can be related to age, gender, and family history, and is mostly seen in people over the age of fifty. Besides, it commonly affects women.

Secondary shoulder arthritis can have a known cause, like shoulder dislocations, previous injury to the shoulder, rotator cuff tears, or infection. Participating in sports or having a job such as heavy construction can also increase the risk of should arthritis.

Indicators Of Shoulder Osteoarthritis

Pain is the most commonly observed indicator of any type of arthritis. Activity can increase the pain and it can get worse over time. With the progression of the disease, pain can be felt even when you are at rest and can make it difficult for you to sleep. The affected shoulder joint will decide the area where you feel the pain. When the AC joint of a person is affected, they will experience pain on the topmost part of their shoulder. This pain can also shift to either side of the neck. Furthermore, if the glenohumeral joint of an individual is affected, they will experience pain at the back of their shoulder.

Other symptoms of shoulder osteoarthritis are:

Stiffness: The range of motion of the shoulder joint will be limited and you will feel stiffness in the joints, making it extremely difficult to lift your arm.

Crepitus: You will feel or hear clicking and grinding noises when you try to move your shoulder.


OA is a chronic condition and there is no cure for it. However, there are ways to ease the pain and preserve the mobility of the joint. Self-care options include cold or hot therapy, physical therapy, massage, strength training, braces, and exercises to improve the flexibility of the joint.

Medications to ease the symptoms of shoulder OA are available in the form of syrups, lotions, pills, creams, or injections to the joint. These include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, pain relievers, and corticosteroids. When all the other treatment options have failed, joint surgery can be performed as a last resort.