Understanding What Arthritis In The Shoulder Feels Like

The shoulder joint is an important part of your body. In fact, it is made up of two joints. The arm and the shoulder joint via a standard ball and socket style joint. But, the shoulder blade also joins to the collar bone.

The majority of issues with the shoulder start with the ball and socket joint. But, for your shoulder to work effectively, both joints need to be in good condition.

What Goes Wrong When You Have Shoulder Arthritis?

Arthritis is best described as an inflammation of the joint, it can happen almost anywhere in your body. Millions of people suffer from arthritis across the globe. There are different types of shoulder arthritis:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Posttraumatic Arthritis
  • Rotator Cuff Tear Arthropathy
  • Avascular Necrosis

While the causes vary, the issue is generally the same. The shoulder joint is damaged. This can be through trauma, a lack of blood flow, overuse, or some other reason. The damage means that the shoulder movement is limited and your shoulder will become inflamed.

This is your body’s way of protecting itself from further damage. Unfortunately, it means that every time you move your shoulder it will be painful and the inflammation is likely to lead to movement issues. It can even cause weakness.

As soon as you feel pain in your shoulder or a reduction of movement you should contact a specialist in shoulder arthritis.

What It Feels Like

Having shoulder arthritis is painful. Because the joint is damaged and inflamed every movement will antagonize the joint and send a bolt of pain through your body.

This is often the hardest part to live with as you will instinctively try to use your arm and cause yourself pain. In most cases of shoulder arthritis, it is more painful if you do anything that makes your arms go over your head.

Of course, the pain, inflammation, and joint damage also means that sufferers lose mobility in the joint. This can make everyday tasks difficult to undertake.

Interestingly, not everyone suffers from movement issues. It needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis as often the most damaged joints cause very little motion issues.

Dealing With Shoulder Arthritis

In the first instance, your doctor will assess the damage via x-rays. This will help them to develop an appropriate treatment plan. You will initially need to rest and there are likely to be modifications to your daily activity schedule.

Most sufferers find it beneficial to have physical therapy. A specialist can manipulate the joint and show you some exercises that will help you regain strength and mobility in the shoulder.

Of course, painkillers can help on bad days. But, these shouldn’t be taken all the time as they are addictive and will become less effective.

In severe cases, surgery may be an option. You’ll need to discuss this with your doctor although they will usually prefer to exhaust other options first.

It should be noted surgery doesn’t always mean a replacement shoulder. It is possible to spin the head of the joint and change the way it works to alleviate the arthritis.