Shoulder arthritis is a type of osteoarthritis that usually affects people above 50 years of age. The problem develops when the protective cartilage that cushions the joints in the shoulders wears out over time. The symptoms of the problem include shoulder pain, stiffness and limited range of motion. The physicians who participate in the referral line at Texas Health Spine and Orthopedic Center treat osteoarthritis in the hips, knees, spine, ankles and shoulders. Through this blog post, we debunk five common myths associated with shoulder arthritis, its causes, symptoms and treatments. Let’s begin.
1. Shoulder pain implies Osteoarthritis
Contrary to common notion, shoulder pain isn’t always the result of arthritis. Many other conditions, such as fibromyalgia, tendinitis, tendon sheath inflammation or tenosynovitis, and bursitis, can also lead to shoulder pain. The pain can also manifest due to a tear in the rotator cuff – a muscle that aids shoulder movements.
2. Shoulder Arthritis is strictly a degenerative condition
Shoulder pain may not be a result of old age. If fact, the issue is found in people from almost all age groups. In the case of children, shoulder pain and its symptoms can be a result of rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, those who are born with bone deformities are more prone to developing shoulder arthritis.
3. Exercise worsens the condition
The truth is a complete contrast. Light exercises can actually improve shoulder arthritis symptoms and alleviate pain. Moreover, regular exercising lowers the risk of a relapse of the condition. A few exercises that can provide relief from shoulder pain are:
- Arm-across-chest stretch
- Neck release
- Chest expansion
- Seated twist
- 90, 90 shoulder stretch
4. The problem develops only if one has an active lifestyle
It’s true that the people involved in physically demanding jobs are at a higher risk of developing shoulder and other types of arthritis, but even those with a regular lifestyle are not immune to the condition. In fact, those with a sedentary lifestyle are also at a high risk of developing shoulder arthritis, unless they take the right preventive measures. If, for instance, your job requires you to sit all day, make it a point to stretch your muscles and joints after every 30 minutes or whenever you feel fatigue or numbness.
5. Glucosamine doesn’t help with Shoulder Arthritis
Several studies show that glucosamine reduces the pain caused by osteoarthritis. Glucosamine provides the building blocks for growth and repair of cartilage. The compound lubricates joints, thereby preventing or slowing down the process of cartilage breakdown. Patients allergic to shellfish, however, should avoid the supplement. In addition, Glucosamine may have certain side effects, such as heartburn and diarrhea. Therefore, always consult a doctor before taking the supplement.
Whether the cause of shoulder pain is an injury, age or an underlying condition such as osteoarthritis, it is never too late to seek help. Shoulder pain treatments and diagnosis may include X-rays, blood tests, rest, OTC (over-the-counter) medicines, physical therapies, dietary supplements, and if required, surgery. Texas Health Spine & Orthopedic Centers’ participating physician members offer both surgical and nonsurgical treatments for treating shoulder and other joint pain. To schedule an appointment, call us at 1-888-608-4762 or fill out our online booking form.
Disclaimer: Physicians who are members of the referral program practice independently and are not employees or agents of Texas Health Spine and Orthopedic Center.