Symptoms of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint, methods of treatment and help at home

Osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint is accompanied by swelling, severe pain in the shoulder, limited range of motion. The causes and symptoms of the disease, existing methods of treatment and ways to help at home will be discussed later in the article.

pain in the shoulder joint with arthrosis

What is shoulder arthritis

The shoulder joint is quite complex in structure and the most mobile of all, providing the human body with the most complete range of motion. The joint capsule of the shoulder is able to stretch very much, so that a person can raise his arm vertically and make rotational movements with it. This activity weakens the ligaments, and as a result of the sharp bending of the tendons, there is often a slight ischemia in them.

It is the lack of nutrition of the articular tissue that carries the main threat of its destruction and gives impetus to the development of pathology.

The disease, which is primarily expressed in the degeneration of the tissues of the shoulder joint, is called arthrosis of the shoulder joint or shoulder arthrosis. The biomechanics of the shoulder is built on the flawless work of all components: normal nerve conduction, good blood supply, impeccable anatomical structure. Violation of any of these conditions invariably leads to the fact that the internal tissues begin to deform, causing discomfort, restriction of movement, pain.

Arthrosis (or osteoarthritis) is, first of all, a disease of a degenerative rather than an inflammatory nature. It is associated with ischemic processes in the surrounding tissues caused by various reasons.

As a result, the nutrition of the joint is disturbed, which is why the thin and elastic layer of hyaline cartilage covering the head of the bone becomes thinner. Having become less elastic and thinner, hyaline cartilage makes it difficult to move normally, causing the joint space to narrow.

This phenomenon causes the body to take action, and bony outgrowths called osteophytes form around the edges of the joint. It is osteophytes that injure muscles and ligaments with their sharp edges, causing chronic sluggish inflammation.

The main danger of osteoarthritis lies in the fact that a slight restriction of the mobility of the hand invariably leads to a decrease in the range of motion.

Without moving, the shoulder begins to suffer from the accumulation of salts in the tissues surrounding the joint, and from the deterioration of the nutrition of the articular tissues. Over time, this is fraught with the formation of joint contractures - limiting the possibility of movement, or a complete loss of shoulder mobility and disability of the patient.

Causes of osteoarthritis of the shoulder

The only cause of shoulder arthrosis is deep ischemia, that is, a sharp or gradual deterioration in the blood supply to certain areas of the tissues, and depletion of the joint nutrition. But this reason is caused by factors that may be present in the anamnesis singly or simultaneously:

  • Shoulder injury. These can be both obvious injuries resulting from a car accident or a fall, as well as hidden tears of muscles and ligaments received in the process of sports training or hard work. Any joint injury always has the ability to remind of itself, since the affected areas are not restored to their full size, and conduction in them is invariably disturbed. For several years or decades, the body can successfully cope with this until the onset of aging occurs.
  • Age-related changes in the body.
  • Infectious attacks causing arthritis.
  • Metabolic and hormonal disorders, also often associated with age.
  • Hereditary or genetic predisposition.

Stages and symptoms of arthrosis of the shoulder joint

The disease in its development goes through several stages. Since osteoarthritis is a chronic disease that progresses rather slowly, the first stage, during which it is possible to most effectively deal with joint deformity, is ignored by most patients.

  1. Symptoms of the first stage. For the first time, the patient may find some discomfort when moving the hand already with thinning of the hyaline cartilage. A sharp swing or jerk is not accompanied by pain, this is due to the fact that there are no nerve endings in the cartilage, and its destruction does not lead to pain. But sometimes in the evening or towards the end of the workout, pain in the shoulder begins to bother. Often they do not pay attention to this, attributing it to muscle pain or neuralgia. And the disease began, and almost asymptomatically, and if immediate measures are not taken, then it goes into the second stage.
  2. shoulder arthritis pain
  3. Symptoms of the second stage. If the patient feels pain when moving his hand, accompanied by a clearly audible click, then this means that osteophytes have formed in the joint. From this moment on, the shoulder is constantly injured by the sharp edges of the bone outgrowths, which causes inflammation of the surrounding tissues. This is expressed by morning stiffness, which disappears only after the development of the joint, or by pain with habitual physical exertion or evening fatigue.

    A person's well-being worsens, as a chronic focus of inflammation in the body affects the general condition. At night, in wet weather, in the off-season, the joint may hurt more intensely.

    The patient sharply limits the volume and amplitude of arm movements, cannot raise it more than ninety degrees, both in the frontal and lateral planes. This leads to muscle atrophy and a significant deterioration in the nutrition of the articular tissue.

  4. Symptoms of the third stage. Usually, if the patient comes to the doctor at the third stage of the disease, then he is practically unable to move his hand. The hand does not rise, is not retracted to the side, the joint swells and enlarges. Muscles atrophy, and the pain syndrome is so severe that when you try to raise your hand, trembling appears in your fingers. In most cases, the presence of contractures in the shoulder joint, the "frozen shoulder" syndrome, is noted.

Ways to treat shoulder arthrosis

In fact, it is impossible to cure arthrosis, and even more so, it is impossible to do it at home. This disease is so dependent on many internal and external factors that it is almost never the root cause.

But the good news for patients in the first and second stages of the disease is that the development of osteoarthritis can be stopped. That is why doctors insist on early diagnosis of the disease and the beginning of treatment for shoulder arthrosis, when the articular tissue is only partially destroyed, there are no osteophytes, and you can try to restore normal nutrition to the joint.

Conservative therapy

The treatment of arthrosis always has two goals: the elimination of pain and, if possible, the restoration of the supply of the joint with the substances necessary for normal operation.

vegetable salad for shoulder arthritis
  • Why are the following measures taken:
    • The intake of nutrients in the tissues depends on what the patient eats. The diet for osteoarthritis should exclude salt and alcohol. Meat products and vegetables containing purine bases, which increase the content of uric acid in the body, are also undesirable. Steamed dairy and vegetable dishes are recommended.
    • The connection of medical preparations containing glucosamine and chondroitin, as well as collagen, which nourish the joint tissues. And the daily use of regular gelatin in the form of jelly helps to enrich the menu with animal collagen.
    • Local application of various warming, anti-inflammatory and chondroitin-containing ointments and balms activates the blood circulation of the tissues surrounding the joint.
    • If the pain syndrome is mild, then the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is not recommended. If hand movements are accompanied by intense pain, then NSAIDs can anesthetize and reduce inflammation. These medications can help relieve pain.
    • If the shoulder swells, and an inflammatory process begins in it, then a compress from the ointment, set at night, or rubbing with gels has an excellent effect.
    • Therapeutic exercises are an indispensable component of the successful treatment of shoulder arthrosis. But it is not recommended to overload the joint, since improperly distributed efforts can lead to the rapid destruction of hyaline cartilage.

    Therapeutic exercises for shoulder arthrosis and the rules for its implementation

    Special exercises will help develop the joint, give it mobility. Gymnastics can be done independently at home. The main rules for doing exercises should be:

    1. regularity, that is, you need to perform exercises every day for at least 15 minutes;
    2. performing exercises smoothly and without much effort. This is necessary so as not to damage the articular structures even more;
    3. obtaining moral pleasure during physical activity, which will contribute to the normalization of the emotional state of the patient.

    Exercise therapy exercises are recommended, in which hand movements do not cause pain. They are performed slowly, forcing the ligaments and muscles to warm up and stretch gradually.

    exercises for osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint
    • We offer the most simple and useful exercises for arthrosis of the shoulder joint:
    • Sitting on a chair, place your hands on your knees. Perform circular movements with your shoulders: 5 times forward, then 5 times back.
    • Raise your straightened arms up, pull your shoulders and shoulder blades behind them as high as possible. Hold for a few seconds, then lower. Repeat 5-7 times.
    • Straight arms with palms down spread apart. Bend your wrists at the wrists, fingers should look up. Perform circular movements with your shoulders: 5 times forward, then 5 times back.
    • Raise your bent arms above your head, while the fingers of one should be on the elbows of the opposite hand. Gently move your arms back until you feel a stretch in the shoulder joint. Perform the exercise 5-7 times.
    • Place the palms of both hands together behind the head with the backs of the hands pointing down. Move your arms so that the palms fall along the back down to the area between the shoulder blades. Repeat the exercise 5-7 times.
    • Place the left hand on the elbow of the right, move the right hand as far as possible over the left shoulder until you feel a stretch in the shoulder joint. Do the exercise 5-7 times. Change hands, and repeat the exercise for the other hand.

    In the treatment of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint, the following are recognized as effective: manual therapy, physiotherapy and spa treatment. The use of traditional medicine methods is also considered justified.

    Folk remedies and help at home

    The main folk remedy for the treatment of arthrosis of the shoulder joint is herbal medicine, which allows the use of dry herbs and herbal decoctions for compresses, the preparation of ointments and rubbing at home to normalize metabolism and restore joint nutrition in order to reduce pain.

    1. Ointment. Take 10 grams of dry hop leaves, sweet clover, St. John's wort. Chop the herbs thoroughly and grind together, add vaseline and mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Apply the finished ointment to the shoulder area. This will help reduce pain and inflammation in the joint.
    2. Rubbing. Pour five parts of vodka or alcohol with one part of the crushed marsh rosemary flowers. Then you need to insist the drug in a warm dark place for 24 hours. The tincture is used externally to rub the affected joints.
    3. compress for osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint
    4. Decoction. Corn stigmas (2 tablespoons) pour two glasses of water, boil for 10 minutes, strain and drink one tablespoon four times a day.
    5. Compress. For a compress, you need to brew 30 grams of dry oatmeal in two glasses of water. Apply the prepared mass to the sore shoulder for 30 minutes.

    Alternative treatment for osteoarthritis of the shoulder

    • Manual techniques - massage, manual therapy sessions, osteopathy - allow you to remove muscle blocks, tension and spasms, releasing the blood vessels and nerves leading to the joint.
    • Physiotherapy, in particular, shock wave therapy, balneotherapy, mud therapy and other methods are not recommended during an exacerbation, that is, when an active inflammatory process is taking place in the joint.
    • Remission is an excellent reason for a course of spa treatment, after which there is a lasting improvement.

    Surgical treatment of shoulder osteoarthritis

    shoulder prosthetics for arthrosis

    With a pronounced pain syndrome that prevents the patient from leading a normal life, the doctor may recommend surgery.

    Most often, prosthetics are performed, that is, the destroyed joint is replaced with an endoprosthesis. If possible, then partial arthroplasty is done, changing only some part of the shoulder joint.

    Surgery is resorted to in rare cases, since any surgical intervention, especially associated with the installation of an intra-articular prosthesis, can lead to complications and a long recovery period.

    Osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint is an insidious and dangerous disease in which a person’s motor activity is disturbed and a fairly strong pain syndrome is noted.

    It is important to treat this disease in a timely manner at the first minor symptoms, preventing further destruction of the joint.

    The patient must remember that the successful treatment of osteoarthritis depends more on his efforts, activity, and not on drugs.