Shoulder Arthritis Treatment in Dallas and Frisco
Arthritic Shoulder, Arthritis of the Shoulder
Arthritis is a common condition that affects approximately 24% of all adults in America. It can affect nearly any joint in the body, including the shoulder joint. Our shoulders are essential for many everyday activities and movements. Therefore, any shoulder pain or discomfort can greatly impact your daily life, from doing chores around the house to being able to do your job properly. It’s important to have your shoulder arthritis treated sooner rather than later so that the condition doesn’t progress.
At SPORT Orthopedics + Physical Therapy, we can evaluate your symptoms, develop a personalized treatment plan for you, and get you back in the game in no time. We understand how frustrating shoulder joint pain can be. That’s why we’re here to offer top-notch treatment from the best orthopedic surgeons in Dallas. To schedule an appointment with us, please contact our office at 469-200-2832 today.
Anatomy of the Shoulder Joint
The shoulder joint consists of the following three bones.
- Humerus (upper arm bone)
- Scapula (shoulder blade)
- Clavicle (collarbone)
The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint. Your upper arm bone fits into the glenoid, which is basically a rounded socket. The surrounding muscles and tendons keep your humerus firmly centered in the glenoid socket. These tendons and ligaments that hold your humerus in place are known as the rotator cuff tendons.
Another joint within the shoulder is called the acromioclavicular joint. This is where your clavicle meets your shoulder blade. Before your doctor can begin treatment, they must determine two things: where your shoulder arthritis occurs, as well as what type of arthritis you have.
What Is Shoulder Arthritis?
When the cartilage in your shoulder joint suffers damage or regular wear and tear, this is considered shoulder arthritis. Most cases of shoulder arthritis are found in the glenohumeral joint, but it can also affect the AC joint. Shoulder arthritis pain has the potential to keep you from doing what you love and what you need to do on a daily basis.
Types of Shoulder Arthritis
There are several types of shoulder joint arthritis that someone can suffer from. The shoulder arthritis symptoms are often similar between all the different types, but minor differences can tell your doctor a lot about your condition. Additionally, there are many other conditions that we do not list which can contribute to arthritis in the shoulder joints. Examples of these conditions include bone spurs, inflammatory arthritis, cartilage loss, and much more.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that can affect the cells of the joints in your body. When RA affects the shoulder, it basically attacks the healthy cells in the joint. This leads to the gradual breakdown of the cartilage and tissue in your shoulder socket. Eventually, when enough tissue is destroyed, it causes the bones in the shoulder to rub together and cause severe pain and swelling. While there is no cure, there are effective ways to manage your rheumatoid arthritis and relieve your joint pain.
Also known as degenerative joint disease, this condition causes the cartilage and other soft tissues in your shoulder joint to break down over time. As the tissues break down, this increases the amount of friction within the joint. This increased friction can lead to shoulder pain, a loss of your range of motion, and even crepitus, which is a clicking or grinding sensation in the joint.
If your shoulder suffers an injury or any kind of trauma, this could lead to the development of post-traumatic arthritis. Unlike rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, post-traumatic arthritis tends to develop much more quickly, rather than over many years. In most cases, this condition resolves quickly. However, some people may experience chronic problems, especially after a severe shoulder dislocation or a broken bone.
If the blood supply to your glenohumeral joint is impaired, this can lead to the gradual death of bone cells in the humeral head. When bone cells die from poor blood supply, this can eventually lead to both the destruction of the shoulder joint and arthritis of the shoulder. Some of the most common causes of avascular necrosis in the shoulder include heavy steroid use, high levels of alcohol consumption, shoulder fractures, and even sickle cell disease.
The four rotator cuff tendons are responsible for holding your humerus in place. If you suffer a rotator cuff tear, these tendons can no longer hold your bones in place properly. This condition is called rotator cuff tear arthropathy. It can cause your bones to grind against each other, which can eventually lead to arthritis.
What Are the Symptoms of Shoulder Arthritis?
When you develop arthritis of the shoulder, you’re likely to experience the following symptoms.
- Loss of range of motion
- Shoulder pain at night
- Cartilage loss
- Joint stiffness
- Pain anywhere in the shoulder joint space
- Crepitus, which is a grinding or clicking sensation as the shoulder bones rub together
How to Prevent Arthritis in the Shoulder
As with many conditions, you can take steps to prevent arthritis in your shoulder. Keep in mind that arthritis has no cure, but you can minimize the toll it takes on your body. Below, we list our recommendations for a healthy, pain-free shoulder joint.
- Before you exercise, warm your joints up for at least five to ten minutes. Try holding your arms straight out to your sides and moving them in small circles, then large circles. First, rotate them clockwise, then counterclockwise. This will help to warm up and loosen your joints for exercise, which decreases your risk of injury. We also recommend overhead shoulder stretches and crossover shoulder stretches.
- Regularly engage in shoulder strengthening exercises. You can either use light weights or your own body weight. Two popular, low-impact exercises for your shoulders are shoulder presses and lateral raises.
- If an activity causes pain in your shoulder, take a break. As soon as you feel pain in your shoulder or in other joints, this is a sign to stop what you are doing. Pushing through pain while exercising can do much more harm than good to your joints.
- Get plenty of rest and properly care for sore shoulders. Sometimes, you might not realize that you overdid it in the gym until you’re sore a few hours later. When you feel soreness in your shoulders, try applying an ice pack to the area to soothe the pain.
Last but not least, it’s always a good idea to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. The main point of exercise should be to keep your body as healthy as possible. This includes paying a visit to your doctor if you have symptoms of arthritis.
What Does Shoulder Arthritis Feel Like?
If you have never dealt with arthritis in any other joints, you may wonder how you’re supposed to distinguish between arthritis pain and pain resulting from other conditions. In general, arthritis produces recurring stiffness and pain in the joints. Other signs of arthritis in the shoulder include the following.
- Your shoulder pain gradually increased with time.
- You feel tenderness or sensitivity to pressure applied to your shoulder.
- Your shoulder pain gets worse when you move a certain way.
- The pain gets worse when you are inactive for long periods of time, such as when you first wake up from sleep.
- Your joint looks or feels swollen.
- You have a notable loss of your range of motion or an increase in stiffness.
- You feel crackling or popping sensations when you move your shoulder.
What Causes Shoulder Arthritis?
There are a wide array of potential causes for shoulder arthritis, including trauma, sudden injuries, undergoing shoulder surgery, and much more. To identify the root cause of your shoulder arthritis, your doctor will first identify the type of arthritis you suffer from. This will tell them more about the origins of your symptoms.
Older individuals are more likely to develop shoulder arthritis than younger people. However, young people can still develop arthritis after suffering from an injury, fracture, infection, or dislocation. Unfortunately, arthritis is also hereditary for many people. This means that you could receive a shoulder arthritis diagnosis no matter what.
How to Diagnose Arthritis of the Shoulder
In order to diagnose shoulder arthritis, we will begin by gathering your medical history. Then, we will perform a physical exam to assess your shoulder movement and your pain level. To gain a better understanding of the severity of your condition, we will likely order imaging tests, such as X-rays or CT scans.
How Is Shoulder Arthritis Treated?
Most cases of shoulder arthritis are mild, and can be treated using non-surgical methods. However, some people suffer from severe arthritis, which sometimes requires surgical treatment. Our orthopaedic surgeons will evaluate your condition on an individual basis and develop a treatment plan that meets your specific needs.
Many orthopedic specialists opt for nonsurgical treatments first in order to avoid the long recovery periods that come with surgical treatments. Our initial treatment plan for you may include the following.
- Exercises and physical therapy to improve your range of motion.
- Lifestyle changes, meaning you will avoid activities that cause pain or stiffness in your shoulders.
- Pain management in the form of ice packs, moist heat, and over-the-counter pain medications.
- Shoulder injections, either in the form of cortisone shots or hyaluronic acid injections. Hyaluronic acid is a common treatment for knee arthritis.
If the above methods fail to treat arthritis in your shoulders, we may consider a surgical approach. However, this is usually reserved as a last resort for severe cases of shoulder arthritis. If your condition requires surgery, you may undergo one of the following surgical procedures.
- Shoulder replacement surgery (Partial shoulder joint replacement surgery, total shoulder replacement, or reverse total shoulder replacement)
- Arthroscopic shoulder debridement
- Other forms of shoulder arthroscopy
If you suffer from osteoarthritis of the shoulder, rotator cuff tear arthropathy, frozen shoulder, or another shoulder condition, our orthopedic specialists are here to help you find effective pain relief.
Contact SPORT Orthopedics + Physical Therapy for Arthritis Treatment
At SPORT Orthopedics + Physical Therapy, our Dallas orthopedic doctors will evaluate the source of your pain, develop a personalized treatment plan for you, and help you achieve lasting pain relief. Your shoulder osteoarthritis doesn’t have to slow you down. You can take back control of your life, achieve relief from your pain, and get back to your active lifestyle in no time. To schedule an appointment with us, please call our office at 469-200-2832 today.