Symptoms of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joints, diagnosis, methods of treatment

osteoarthritis of the shoulders

Osteoarthritis of the shoulders isjoint disease, which is characterized by degradation, consumption and destruction of cartilage as well as adjacent bone tissue. The disease is also called contagious capsulitis, humeroscapular polyarthrosis, frozen shoulder syndrome.

The disease belongs to the chronic, progressive category. At first, the disease develops, as a rule, unnoticed by the patient. At this time, it can only be diagnosed by taking an x-ray. Then the first small symptoms appear: for example, pain when trying to bring a spoon into the mouth. Symptoms increase, and then the mobility of the affected arm is severely or completely limited. A person's quality of life decreases, sleep deteriorates, as it is almost impossible to choose a position in which pain is eliminated.

There are two main manifestations of the disease. The first is pain (observed initially during movement, later - at rest). The second manifestation is muscle restriction (contracture). For example, the patient can not raise his arms or take them back.

Cartilage problems occur in many people. According to statistics, osteoarthritis is diagnosed in 7% of the population. Osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint is less dangerous than, for example, osteoarthritis of the thigh joint, but the consequences are still frightening. We are talking about complete hand immobility, and this is a catastrophic concern in daily life and inadequacy for most types of work.

The danger of the disease lies in the fact that the damage it managed to cause cannot be repaired. It is important to identify osteoarthritis in the early stages of development, and therefore, if the slightest concern appears, start carefully monitoring your shoulder.

For the first time the pain displayed can be tried to be eliminated with medication. Pain can be caused, for example, by difficult movements, weight lifting or sports. If the pain does not go away after 3-4 days, go to the doctor. You can first test for joint mobility: make a movement that mimics the placement of a platform (place your hands behind your back). If the pain is felt at the same time, then a trip to the doctor should never be postponed. Osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint is an "insidious" disease and only your vigilance will help stop it in time.

Causes of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joints

  • Natural cartilage dressing. The risk group consists of people over 50, but it is worth paying special attention to the condition of the joints after 40. At this age, it is desirable to reduce the load on them.
  • Injuries. The process of degradation of cartilage and bone tissue can cause mechanical damage. It can be not only a serious injury, but also some microtraumas, which, for example, occur in athletes.
  • Playing a sport that puts a lot of stress on the shoulder joint. We are talking about tennis, rowing, swimming, handball, volleyball.
  • Circulatory disorders in the shoulder area. It can be caused by disease, genetic factors or trauma.
  • Weight transfer related work. Osteoarthritis develops due to constant tension of the shoulder joint muscles.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, although rare, still leads to the development of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint.
  • autoimmune disorders.
  • Disorders of the endocrine system.
  • Some metabolic diseases, gout, etc.
  • genetic predisposition. If in the family there are cases of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint, a person should limit the load on the joint, undergo examinations with a specialist.

Stages of development of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint

  • The first phase. The connection may crack occasionally. The pain appears in the morning and in the evening. Pain can occur during bad weather. Discomfort during movements exists, but after the "development" of the hand, everything returns to normal.
  • Second phase. Hand motor skills deteriorate significantly. At this stage, a person begins to "adapt" his movements to existing concerns: for example, when wearing a jacket, one should avoid throwing a strong arm behind the back when wearing a jacket. The symptoms of the first stage intensify.
  • The third phase. The key is fully immobilized. The amplitude of hand movements is limited to a few degrees. The pain is felt constantly. Due to the immobility of the wrist, the shoulder girdle muscles begin to atrophy.
  • The fourth stage. The hand is fully immobilized. The joint hardens and the bones grow together, as there is no cartilage between them. The pain is strong. It is not always removed with sedatives.

Already in the second stage, the symptoms of the disease are clearly visible, and therefore the disease rarely reaches the third and fourth stage. This happens if the patient completely ignores the problem or tries to get rid of it with the help of self-medication. Osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint is a complex disease that only a doctor can eliminate.

Symptoms of osteoarthritis of the shoulders

  • Pain at rest or during movement.
  • Discomfort during changing weather conditions.
  • Pain after prolonged exercise lasting a day or more.
  • crackling.
  • Stiffness of movement due to pain.
  • Swelling of the wrist area.
  • Feeling of elevated temperature in this area (sign of an inflammatory process).
  • Sleep problems due to the inability to lie on the side of the pain for a long time.

Symptoms can vary greatly from patient to patient. Much depends on the cause of the disease and its course. We talked about the main signs that should prompt the idea of visiting the doctor in the beginning: these are pain and stiffness. If you find these symptoms, you should definitely visit a specialist. The intervention of a doctor with such severe symptoms is required, even if it is not osteoarthritis, but something else.

Diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joints

Diagnosis begins with the collection of anamnesis. The patient tells the specialist the symptoms and when the signs of the disease first appeared. The patient should remember whether this concern was preceded by injuries, bruises, dislocations.

The doctor then performs a visual examination of the affected area. At this stage, swelling and other obvious manifestations of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint can be determined. To assess the mobility of the wrist, the doctor asks the patient to undergo primitive tests. For example, bring your hands to the lock behind your back. With a high degree of probability, the disease will "appear" already at this stage.

Specialists use hardware diagnostic methods.

  • Radiography. Confirms or rejects the diagnosis. Allows you to set the location of the lesion, the inflammatory process. Provides information on the distance between bones: if they are too close together, then cartilage has begun to be consumed.
  • MRI. Provides information on the condition of tendons and cartilage.
  • CT scan. Provides an x-ray of the area being examined, which allows you to evaluate the overall appearance.

Modern diagnostic methods not only make it possible to identify osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint, but also provide information about the stage of the disease and its course. This enables physicians to design therapies accurately.

Treatment of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joints

The main task is to stop the development of the disease, improve joint mobility, relieve pain and improve the quality of life for the patient. Consider the methods doctors use to treat osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint.

  • Barna. Pain relievers are used to relieve pain. Medications that improve blood circulation are also used (if needed).
  • Soft steering mode.
  • Diet.
  • Massage. Metameric massage (dots) is particularly effective.
  • metameric method. Designed by Vladimir Andreevich Bersenev. It implies an effect on the affected neurometamers and, ultimately, on the affected nodes. The main procedure is metameric injections that are injected into the affected area. They stop the process of degradation and destruction, improve joint mobility.

As in the case of osteoarthritis of the knee or hip joint, treatment only works when the therapy is tailored to the individual characteristics of the patient, the symptoms and the stage of the disease. There is no model that is effective in all cases.


Osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint is a complex disease, but with a timely visit to the doctor, the prognosis is positive. If you find yourself with the above symptoms, do not postpone the visit to a specialist for later. Every day of delay complicates the treatment procedure and worsens the prognosis. Contact a specialist medical center where your doctor will develop an individual treatment regimen that will help overcome this disease.