Shoulder arthritis is an umbrella term for multiple types or arthritis that may affect the acromioclavicular or glenohumeral joints of the shoulder.
The most common type of shoulder arthritis is osteoarthritis. In common with other types of arthritis, this condition is the result of damaged or worn out cartilage connecting the bones of the joint. The main symptom is pain caused by the grinding of the bones against each other due to the lack of healthy cartilage between them.
Other types of shoulder arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, post traumatic arthritis and rotator cuff tear arthropathy.
Irrespective of the specific type of arthritis, the symptoms are pain and reduced range of motion of the shoulder. The pain will worsen over time and may also be worse at night. Sleeping may become difficult because of the pain.
There is no specific cure for shoulder arthritis (or any other type of arthritis). However, your doctor can take various approaches to help you manage the pain and regain your shoulder range of motion. He may also be able to help you reduce the speed of progression of the disease.
Options to control the pain of this condition include:
Moist heat therapy, which has been shown to be effective against arthritic pain;
Use of over the counter medications like aspirin. If the pain is severe, prescription painkiller medication is another option.
Specific measures may include shoulder rehabilitative exercises and changing the way you perform everyday tasks in order to avoid the pain.
Shoulder supports and other orthopedic braces can provide pain relief and promote healing by restricting the movement of the bones or other joint structures relative to each other.