Do you ever feel pain in your shoulder that is worse in the mornings or while reaching overhead? Maybe you feel a painful grinding in your shoulder while throwing a baseball or shoulder stiffness when reaching to get plates out of a cabinet? If so, it is possible you are one of the many people with shoulder arthritis.
What is shoulder arthritis?
Shoulder arthritis is the gradual wear and tear of the cartilage in the joints in your shoulder. Cartilage is a thin layer of tissue that covers the surface of bones and softens the contact between two bones. The degradation of this layer may result in pain and stiffness. Arthritis in the shoulder can cause overall diminished quality of life, but the doctors at ORTHOKnox can provide the best treatments available to reduce your pain and give you the best chance of maintaining an active lifestyle.
What are the stages of shoulder arthritis?
The cartilage in your shoulder typically goes through these stages during the development of shoulder arthritis:
- Develops cracks in the surface
- Deteriorates and flakes
- Wears away and bone is exposed
What are the symptoms of shoulder arthritis?
As your shoulder arthritis advances through these stages, you may increasingly feel the following symptoms:
You can experience pain in almost any area of your shoulder, including the front, back, or side. It can radiate into your arm and even down to your elbow or wrist. While you can feel pain even when being still, it is common to feel pain when using your arm, such as lifting heavy objects, reaching above your head, or during exercise.
Stiffness with arthritis is common, especially in the morning due to lack of moving your shoulder during your sleep.
- Grinding or clicking
The cartilage in your shoulder does not degrade evenly with arthritis, and this uneven surface can cause a feeling of grinding or sliding in the shoulder. It can sometimes even feel like it is locking up.
- Limited range of motion
You may find that you cannot perform motions as easily with your arm, such as brushing your hair or changing a lightbulb, due to stiffness and pain.
The degree that you experience these symptoms varies from person to person and may depend on the stage of the arthritis. Some people with shoulder arthritis actually have few or no symptoms.
ORTHOKnox offers both conservative treatments, including activity modification, rest, and physical therapy, and surgical treatments to restore functional movement of the shoulder. See more details on shoulder arthritis treatments in our blog. And contact us if you have any questions!
With its board-certified surgeons and Urgent Orthopaedic Care that is available without an appointment, ORTHOKnox has got you covered. For more information about how ORTHOKnox can treat your shoulder arthritis, call (865) 251-3030, or fill out our easy-to-use online appointment request form. We look forward to hearing from you!