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Arthritis Of The Shoulder- What Are The Symptoms and Causes?

Dr. Sanjib Kumar Behera 83% (10 ratings)
MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, DNB - Orthopedics & Orthopedic Surgery
Orthopedist, Hyderabad  •  30 years experience
Arthritis Of The Shoulder- What Are The Symptoms and Causes?

Arthritis is a common ailment that affects a majority of adults across the globe. It can affect any joint in the body and cause inflammation, pain, and swelling. When arthritis affects the shoulders, it causes stiffness, pain, and lack of movement.

Signs and symptoms of arthritis of the shoulder:
The only symptom caused by shoulder arthritis is a pain, which, in turn, causes a limited range of motion. It is worth discussing these symptoms in detail:

The Symptoms-

  1. Pain: Any kind of activity concerning the shoulder aggravates the pain and it usually worsens with the passage of time. When arthritis affects the glenohumeral shoulder joint, the pain is mostly felt at the back of the shoulder and tends to get more severe with weather changes. Many patients also complain of pain present deep in the joint. On the other hand, the pain of arthritis in the acromioclavicular joint is centred on the topmost part of the shoulder. In some people, rheumatoid arthritis affects the entire shoulder when both acromioclavicular and glenohumeral shoulder joints are affected.
  2. Lack of motion: The pain caused by arthritis of the shoulder leads to a limited range of motion and it may be difficult to take part in a common day to day activities as well. People affected with arthritis of the shoulder are not able to lift their arm or comb their hair or pick up something from the ground. There could also be a snapping sound when one tries to move his or her shoulder.

But not all individuals affected by shoulder arthritis have pain and loss of range of motion. Some people having severe joint problems have very few symptoms.

Causes of Arthritis of the Shoulder!
Age is one of the most compelling causes of shoulder arthritis as it generally affects people aged over 50 years. However, it may also occur in younger individuals after experiencing a trauma or injury such as an accident or fracture or dislocation or severe infection. Arthritis of the A-C joints affects younger people while that of the G-H joint affects older people though there can be exceptions as well. Also, arthritis is genetic as well which means in a family affected with arthritis, every individual possesses a risk of being affected by it. Other causes of arthritis include:

  1. Gout: Gout is arthritis that occurs when there is an accumulation of excess uric acid.
  2. Juvenile arthritis: This kind of arthritis leads to pain, swelling and stiffness in the shoulders.
  3. Rheumatoid arthritis: This is a chronic inflammatory disease of the joints which takes place when the immune system instead of shielding the body from foreign bodies, attacks the thin membrane lining of the joints.

Although there is no treatment that can absolutely cure arthritis of the shoulder, numerous pain management options are available. It is important to talk to an expert and decide which course of action can offer maximum relief.

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