• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Shoulder Arthritis : Symptoms & Treatment

An increasing number of people are being diagnosed with arthritis today. As a medical condition, it involves inflammation of more than one or a single joint. It can occur in any part of the body. One of the body parts which it commonly affects is your shoulder pain rotator cuff arthritis symptoms.

Arthritis can affect the shoulder in many ways. There are many shoulder arthritis types like rotator cuff arthritis, osteoarthritis of the shoulder, and rheumatoid arthritis of the shoulder, among others.

Arthritis can cause you enormous pain and dramatically reduce the range of motion of the affected joint. Find out how you can identify it and reach out for suitable treatment.

Types and Causes of Shoulder Arthritis

Arthritis affects both the joints in your shoulder. There are five types of arthritis that impact the shoulder joint. They are:

  1. Osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint

  2. Rotator cuff arthritis

  3. Rheumatoid arthritis of the shoulder joint

  4. Post-traumatic shoulder arthritis

  5. Shoulder arthritis caused due to avascular necrosis

1.  Osteoarthritis of the Shoulder Joint

Shoulder Joint

This condition occurs due to the wear and tear of the joint cartilage. Osteoarthritis can also affect other joints apart from the shoulder joint. Without the presence of cartilage, the bones of the joints begin to rub against each other, causing extreme pain. People above 50 years of age are at risk of developing this kind of shoulder arthritis.

2.  Rotator Cuff Arthritis

shoulder pain

It is a kind of shoulder arthritis that occurs after a massive rotator cuff tear. It is a severe condition where the shoulder joint loses not only its cartilage but also the rotator cuff tear tendons, which helps in the correct positioning of the shoulder joint and its movement.

One of the major rotator cuff arthritis symptoms is the progressively increasing pain in the shoulder along with its impaired movement. You can also experience muscle weakness, and difficulty in lifting things.

. Rotator cuff arthritis icd 10 diagnosis code is M12.9. (https://www.icd10data.com/ICD10CM/Codes/M00-M99/M05-M14/M12-/M12.9)

3.  Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Shoulder Joint

rheumatoid arthritis

Arthritis of the shoulder joint, Credit: Pixabay


It is an autoimmune condition that means your body’s immune system attacks its healthy cells. When it attacks the healthy cells present in the shoulder joint’s lining, it results in rheumatoid arthritis of the shoulder. It generally affects both the shoulder joints. A shooting pain throughout the shoulder is a common symptom of this condition.

4.  Post-traumatic Shoulder Arthritis

post traumatic shoulder arthritis

Post traumatic arthritis, Credit: Pixabay


Post-traumatic shoulder arthritis develops as a result of a fractured, injured, or dislocated shoulder. The shoulder joint wears out quickly as a result of any injury or accident. Joint pain, swelling, and difficulty in doing activities like walking, running, or climbing are the symptoms that are associated with this arthritis.

5.  Shoulder Arthritis Caused Due to Avascular Necrosis

shoulder arthritis due to avascular necrosis

shoulder arthritis illustration, Credit: Pixabay


A decreased blood supply to the ball of the shoulder joint due to any injury or disease results in shoulder arthritis caused due to avascular necrosis. Without an adequate supply of oxygen, bones in the shoulder begin to collapse and turn uneven. It results in this kind of arthritis. Other causes of this type of arthritis include excessive alcohol consumption, steroids, and other traumatic shoulder injuries.

Is There a Treatment for Shoulder Arthritis?

arthritis treatment

Arthritis treatment, Credit: Pixabay


There is no specific cure for arthritis. Treatment options for shoulder arthritis include:

  1. Exercises to enhance the range of motion.

  2. Shoulder arthritis injections.

  3. Surgery of the shoulder

1.  Exercises to Enhance the Range of Motion

You must do specific exercises every day to prevent your shoulder joint’s range of motion from deteriorating any further. The rotator cuff arthritis symptoms  are prescribed by your doctor and can prove to be beneficial in enhancing mobility if you experience pain and joint stiffness. It is highly recommended for you not to undertake any strengthening exercises in such a condition.

2.  Shoulder Arthritis Injections

There are two types of injections that provide relief from shoulder arthritis. The first of them, cortisone shots, provides instant relief from the pain. The other is hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid helps in pain management for about two years, after which it needs to be administered again.

3.  Surgery of the Shoulder

For severe cases, rotator cuff arthritis surgery is the only treatment option. But the age factor is critical before going in for this surgery. A shoulder replacement procedure to replace the ball and socket parts of the joint with ones is the most preferred treatment because of its long-lasting effect.

Arthritis affects approximately a million people every year. Many choose to ignore its symptoms until it progresses further in the joint. Identifying and diagnosing it earlier is the key to get relief from its debilitating pain.

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