Health > Your Guide to Shoulder Osteoarthritis
5th Aug 2022
Shoulder Osteoarthritis

Your Guide to Shoulder Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, commonly referred to as a degenerative joint disease, develops when the articular cartilage, which covers the tops of the bones, degenerates or wears out. In this condition, whenever the ends of the two or more bones rub against one another, it results in swelling, discomfort, and occasionally the growth of osteophytes or bone spurs.


What is Shoulder Osteoarthritis?

The acromioclavicular (AC) shoulder joint and the glenohumeral joint are the two joints that make up the shoulder. The AC joint is where the acromion, or tip of the shoulder blade, joins the collarbone or clavicle. The top or head of the humerus, and the concave glenoid fossa of the scapula, connect, forming a true synovial ball-and-socket style glenohumeral joint. The AC joint is where osteoarthritis is most frequently observed.


Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

The most typical symptom of this osteoarthritis is pain. Physical activities and alterations in the weather make the shoulder pain worse.


Different signs that may appear:

  • The rear of your body part will hurt if your glenoid shoulder joint muscles are compromised.
  • If the acromioclavicular (AC) joint is damaged, the front of your body part is where the discomfort is most severe.
  • Another significant sign of osteoarthritis is a restricted range of motion. Reaching a shelf, raising your arm to comb your hair, and performing other actions that call for body part movement could become challenging. Crepitus may also be felt and audible when your body part is moved.
  • As shoulder osteoarthritis worsens, the discomfort may become more severe and accompany any body part motion. Additionally, your pain could keep you awake at night.


Treatment of Shoulder Osteoarthritis

Surgery is not one of the initial therapies for osteoarthritis, particularly in shoulder osteoarthritis. The remedies consist of:


    • The joint being rested. This might imply that the arthritic person has to alter how they use their arm while carrying out daily tasks. E.g. Instead of wearing apparel that covers their head, the person should opt to wear something with a front zipper.
    • Using over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), such as aspirin or ibuprofen. These medications, commonly known as NSAIDs, will lessen pain and inflammation. To ensure that you can take these medications safely, first consult your doctor.
    • Carrying out the physical therapy that the doctor has prescribed.
    • Exercising your range of motion. These exercises are done to enhance flexibility.
    • Heating with moisture.
    • Treating the joint with ice. To reduce pain and inflammation, use ice for 20 minutes, 2 to 3 times daily.
    • Using additional drugs prescribed by the doctor. For instance, one of them may be corticosteroid injections.
    • Consuming glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate as dietary supplements. Many folks believe that these vitamins help. There is mixed evidence regarding their actual efficacy. Because the supplements might interfere with other medications, consider using them only after consulting with your doctor.
    • Surgical options are available if nonsurgical therapy is ineffective. Similar to any operation, there are certain possible dangers and side effects, such as infections or issues with the anaesthetic. Surgical procedures consist of the replacement of the joint. Glenohumeral joint arthritis is often treated by replacing the whole part with an artificial joint.


Shoulder Osteoarthritis exercises to perform at home 

Before doing any shoulder workouts at home, it is a good idea to consult a physical therapist or the doctor to ensure you are using proper shape and not placing undue strain on your joints. However, here are some examples of activities that might be beneficial for those with shoulder osteoarthritis:


    • The pendulum moves. Sitting with your feet neck apart and using your unaffected side to balance yourself, perform this exercise while hanging onto a solid surface. Stretch with this part elevation. Hold a cane or an activity band in your arms with your palms facing up while resting on your back. Raise the cane or bands toward your head slowly and deliberately until you feel a little strain in your body part. Hold this stance for five to ten seconds, and then gently drop your arms. Repeat ten times, and then take a break before performing two more sets.
    • You have to stretch with external rotation of the shoulder. Similar to other shoulder stretching exercises, this exercise can be done on your back while holding an elastic band or cane. Spin your hand downward until you flex your body part while keeping your elbows straight at your sides. Keep your hands gripping the underside of the rod, with your palms up.


A Healthy Diet for shoulder osteoarthritis

Your left and right shoulder pain may get significantly affected by your diet and nutrition. Flaxseed powder, ginger, green tea, garlic, and fresh pineapple may help relieve the pain brought on by muscle pain, such as a partial tear of one of your rotator cuff muscles. Onions, asparagus, brown rice, and avocados may be included in a diet suitable for treating shoulder bone discomfort brought on by osteoarthritis. White potatoes, peppers, and eggplant all contain solanine, which you might want to avoid if you have arthritis. For some people with arthritis, solanine can be painful or uncomfortable.


Healthy Food for shoulder osteoarthritis 

Fresh pineapple is one of the healthy foods for healing the underlying cause of right and left shoulder pain since it has a set of proteolytic enzymes known as bromelain. According to nutritionist and scientist George Mateljan, writer of “The World’s largest Healthy Foods,” bromelain encourages inflammatory equilibrium and decreases oedema. Fresh pineapple has traditionally been used to treat several musculoskeletal health issues and may hasten your recovery from surgeries and accidents. More research on the usefulness of this diet in treating this discomfort is required to confirm its positive benefits on health.


Three types of food to avoid and why

A person with osteoarthritis has an inflammatory condition in their body. While some meals have ingredients that actively contribute to chronic inflammation, others possess anti-inflammatory characteristics that may lessen symptoms. It is advised to stay away from or limit specific dietary options.


Avoid foods that fall under the following categories:

1. Sugar

Processed sugars can cause the body to produce cytokines, which are messengers for inflammation. The sugars added to beverages, such as soda, sweet tea, flavoured coffees, and some juice drinks, are most likely to aggravate inflammatory disorders.


2. Saturated fat

Pizza and red meat are examples of foods high in fat that might irritate the fat tissue. This can exacerbate arthritic inflammation in addition to raising the risk of acquiring obesity, heart disease, as well as other illnesses.


3. Sugary substances

Advanced glycation end (AGE) oxidants are produced from refined carbohydrates, such as those found in white bread, white rice, or potato chips. These may increase bodily inflammation.

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Since OA often takes time to develop, the diagnosis also happens gradually. Treatment, however, can be preventative, and daily exercise keeps the joints fit and flexible. After an active day, the joints need time to recover, which is possible with sufficient rest.



What is shoulder osteoarthritis?

Any bone in the body, including the shoulder, can develop osteoarthritis. The acromioclavicular (AC) joint and the glenoid joint are two joints in the shoulder region that can be affected by osteoarthritis, resulting in shoulder osteoarthritis.


Why do shoulders get osteoarthritis?

The most frequent cause of shoulder osteoarthritis is ageing and cartilage wear and tear over time. Inflammation, which may be brought on by undiagnosed medical issues or be caused by underlying medical conditions, is another component that may impact the development of osteoarthritis.


How prevalent is shoulder osteoarthritis in seniors?

Although shoulder OA is less frequent than OA of the hip or knee, it is believed that 1 in 3 seniors over 60 has some degree of shoulder OA.