ThedaCare Surgeon Shares Treatment Options to Alleviate Pain
The shoulders are among your body’s most mobile joints, but they also take a lot of wear and tear, which can lead to arthritis. Shoulder arthritis is a painful ailment that not only damages muscles and tendons but also your joints and ligaments.
Patients usually discover they have shoulder arthritis when their joints are sore and their range of motion decreases. They can also have pain while moving their shoulder or after moving their shoulder. Some people may have shoulder pain while sleeping or hear a clicking or creaking noise while moving the shoulder.
Osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative joint disease, also causes shoulder pain as the cartilage covering the tops of bones wears down leading to swelling, pain and decreased range of motion.
Once patients have a diagnosis, there are several treatment options available, based on the severity of the degeneration. If the condition is not too severe, physicians may recommend range-of-motion exercises, physical therapy and rest from activities that may strain the joint. This combined with ibuprofen or aspirin and icing to calm inflammation and reduce pain can help a lot of patients feel better.
If those treatments do not reduce pain, other options include:
Steroids: Injecting the shoulder with cortisone, which helps relieve pain and inflammation in the shoulder.
Arthroscopic surgery: Some forms of arthritis can be treated with an arthroscopic procedure. I make small incisions and “clean out” your joint while being guided by a tiny camera. This surgery can relieve pain for many patients with joint arthritis.
Joint replacement: This surgery is for the most severe cases of arthritis and involves replacing the damaged parts of the shoulder joint with an artificial prosthetic join.
Shoulder arthritis is a painful condition, but treatable. Working with your medical provider you can find a treatment option that works best for you.