Osteoarthritis of the shoulder

Degeneration of connective tissue and cartilage eventually leads to the development of a chronic disease characterized by wavy flow and called arthrosis. Osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint turned out to be a pathological change in the tissues of the shoulder joint sac. The specificity of this disease is considered to be extremely slow development. Therefore, the patient does not notice the development of the pathological process. The shoulder joint is one of the most mobile and has a wide range of motion. But that makes it one of the most traumatic, along with the forearm joint. Even minor mechanical damage can lead to the development of the disease.

shoulder arthrosis

Reasons for the development of osteoarthritis

The causes of the development of the disease are the natural wear of the connective tissue, inflammation of various etiologies and salt deposits. In addition, there are a number of factors that can also lead to the development of a pathological process, during which the cartilage becomes thinner and loses smoothness.

Classification of arthrosis

There is a conditional classification of the disease - it is primary and secondary arthrosis.

Primary osteoarthritis develops over time during natural changes in the joint without any apparent cause. Secondary - a consequence of limb injuries. Osteoarthritis of the second type is more often diagnosed in middle-aged and young people. In the elderly, a mixed type of disease is most commonly identified. The development of the primary disease can lead to:

  • genetic diseases that lead to premature destruction of connective tissue and the development of disease at a young age. Osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint most commonly occurs in women with dysfunctional genetics.
  • Congenital defects of the joints, which lead to their increased trauma.

The main causes of the development of the second group of diseases include the following reasons.

  • Mechanical damage and hand herbs. These include dislocations, fractures, and severe bruising. Sprains can also cause disease.
  • Osteoarthritis can be called an occupational disease of builders and all those whose main burden of work is on their hands.
  • The cause of osteoarthritis is considered to be advanced rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Mechanical damage always affects nerve fibers and the blood supply system, which reduces proper tissue nutrition, leading to post-traumatic osteoarthritis.
  • Endocrine system injuries, metabolic processes. Unstable work of the endocrine system leads to a decrease in the supply of organs and tissues with essential nutrients, which in turn negatively affects the mobility of the joint and contributes to its deformation.
  • In menopause, due to the decrease in the amount of female hormones, the gradual destruction of cartilage tissue begins. Autoimmune diseases such as gout or psoriasis are also considered a catalyst for the development of osteoarthritis.
  • Diseases of the heart and vascular system of the body greatly affect the active destruction of the shoulder joint bag. For example, varicose veins slow down blood flow through blood vessels, which significantly affects tissue nutrition and results in joint degeneration.

Traumatologists always warn that undiminished dislocation in time or lack of appropriate treatment in the future will inevitably lead to the development of osteoarthritis. This is due to the fact that the bones grow together and the joint loses its mobility.

The course of the disease

Osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint begins with a gradual change in cartilage tissue. Injuries or other reasons lead to a decrease in blood flow to the connective tissue, which leads to thinning of cartilage, its external changes, reduction of the synovial membrane and the appearance of salt deposits. This leads to a reduction in range of motion and discomfort in this area.

Symptoms of the disease

The clinical picture of osteoarthritis manifests itself gradually, which is why many do not notice the initial stage of the disease and miss the opportunity to quickly alleviate the lesion.

Arthritis symptoms include:

  1. Pain in shoulder, collarbone and shoulder blades. Pain can manifest both at rest and during active loads.
  2. First it is quiet, and then there is an audible crackling in the wrist.
  3. Decreased limb motor activity.
  4. Painful reaction of the joint to changes in weather conditions.
  5. A small swelling may appear in the area of the affected joint.
  6. Complete loss of mobility due to ossification of the joint, this symptom is observed in the most severe phase of the disease.

Degrees of arthrosis of the shoulder joint

The stages of disease development have a clear classification. 4 stages of arthrosis progression have been identified.

Osteoarthritis 1 degree

The onset of pathology is characterized by mild pain in the shoulder area in the morning and evening. In the morning there is a decrease in motor activity, which disappears after a while. There is a slight stiffness of movement. After a long break with an active load, cracking pain may occur. When working with the hand in the shoulder joint, a barely audible crunch can be noticed without attacks of painful sensations. Constant pain occurs only during physical exertion, which disappears at rest. It is not always possible to diagnose the onset of the disease with the help of X-ray examination, because the picture shows only the appearance of small deposits of salt and a slight narrowing of the synovial membrane.

Osteoarthritis 2 degrees

At this stage of the disease, there is a significant reduction in motor activity. The creaking in the joint during movement becomes significantly audible, the symptoms of pain are acute, permanent. The joint remains mobile, but the mechanics of movement change significantly. During exercise, the pain becomes stronger and longer lasting. During the development of arthrosis of the 2nd degree, the patient does not leave a feeling of constant fatigue. Painful pains appear in the shoulder, associated with a significant change in the thickness of the interosseous membrane. X-ray image shows that the synovial cavity is several times thinner than the norm. In addition, there is a significant deformation of the joint, which leads to the inability to perform heavy physical work. Salt deposits occupy an increasing area.

Osteoarthritis 3 degrees

This phase of the disease is characterized by a significant loss of motor activity, up to a small amplitude of oscillatory movements. The pain becomes constant, its character changes from painful to sharp. This is due to spasms of the periarticular muscles. The bones of the joints become inflamed and sensitive to changes in weather conditions. A sign of this degree of arthrosis is cracking, audible to others, at the slightest movement of the hand. During the X-ray examination, the interosseous membrane disappears almost completely, and significant deposits of salt are found along the edges. The deformation of the tissue is so great that it creates significant difficulties in movement until it is completely lost. Grade 3 osteoarthritis is the cause of disability due to loss of limb capacity.

4 stages of arthrosis development

In this phase of the disease, there is a complete loss of movement, the joint is completely deformed. Accompanied by constant unbearable pain, which is not suppressed by medication. The X-ray shows the fusion of the bones of the joint - ankylosis or the appearance of a false joint - neoarthrosis. Illness in this form always leads to disability. The only treatment is to replace the joint with an artificial operation.

Diagnosis and differential diagnosis of osteoarthritis

Preliminary diagnosis is made on the basis of joint mobility tests and descriptions of symptoms from the patient's words. An X-ray examination is prescribed for damage or refutation. In the initial stage, small deposits of salt are noticed, the deformation of the joint is not fixed. In the complex stages of the disease, the X-ray fully reflects the degree of destruction of the connective tissue and the area of the affected joint.

For an accurate diagnosis in the initial phase, the doctor may prescribe additional examinations, for example, CT scan or magnetic resonance imaging with or without contrast.

Be sure to prescribe a biochemical blood test to determine the amount of uric acid salt.

Treatment of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint

The golden rule that the disease is easier to prevent than to cure is valid in this case as well. But if the disease has begun to develop, the main thing is to start complex treatment on time. The nature of the disease is such that it cannot be cured, but the risk of its development can be significantly reduced.

Treatment in the early stages

In the first phase of disease development, chondroprotectors are prescribed, which accelerate the process of cartilage tissue regeneration, and vitamin-mineral complexes increase the amount of essential trace elements in periarticular tissues.

To reduce the symptoms, the patient is prescribed a diet, it is strictly forbidden to eat salty, sour foods, various types of canned food and smoked meat. It is recommended to eat as many vegetables and fruits as possible.

The doctor must prescribe ointments and gels that not only relieve pain, but also help restore the connective tissue of the joint.

Great importance in the process of treating arthrosis of the 1st degree is attached to physiotherapeutic exercises. It is recommended to apply medical patches to the affected joint.

Treatment of stage 2 osteoarthritis

At this stage, it is necessary to reduce the pain syndrome and completely or partially get rid of the foci of inflammation. In this case, non-steroidal drugs are prescribed to relieve pain and inflammation.

As in the first case, chondroprotectors are mandatory for use. Hyaluronic acid, which is part of these drugs, accelerates the process of tissue regeneration. A strict diet is mandatory, excluding all foods that cause the development of the disease.

In addition to drug therapy, regular physical culture is necessary. Physiotherapy is an invaluable aid in the treatment of osteoarthritis. The simplest but effective methods of treatment are prescribed, such as ultrasound treatment of the affected joint, electrophoresis, point laser impact on the bones of the shoulder joint.

In addition, mud baths, massage visits and traditional medicine are recommended to activate the recovery process. These measures can significantly slow the development of the disease.

Treatment of stage 3 disease

Treatment of this phase is a set of measures to relieve pain, for which they give an injection of corticosteroids into the joint. The number of blockades should not exceed 4 times a year.

Therapeutic measures are aimed at activating the process of tissue regeneration and slowing down the process of destruction. Chondoprotectors and drugs that improve blood circulation are prescribed for this.

Physiotherapy and physiotherapy exercises are also recommended. A strict diet is required, excluding foods or foods rich in acids.

Treatment of 4 degrees of arthrosis

Treatment of this form of the disease is possible only by surgical method by replacing the joint with an artificial one. The most common are artificial dentures made of ceramic, titanium and plastic. Medical methods, as well as physiotherapy, do not bring any results.

Treatment by folk methods

The methods of traditional medicine are actively used in the initial stages of the disease. Tinctures on medicinal herbs, various compresses, rubbing, homemade ointments are widely used.

Folk remedies provide only additional pain relief, no healing effect is observed. Therapeutic measures are prescribed only by a specialist and he also controls their application.

Compresses of oatmeal, cabbage juice or honey are widely used. Alcoholic tinctures are prepared on the rhizomes of elecampane and golden mustache, lilac and angelica flowers.

Baths with medicinal herbs are recommended as a warming procedure. To do this, take hay dust, mint, burdock rhizomes, mustard seeds.

Fats are prepared from sweet clover herbs, hops, St. John's wort based on cosmetic Vaseline.

Which doctor treats arthritis

An orthopedist deals with joint diseases, but an additional examination by a traumatologist is possible when determining the cause of the development of the disease. Because it is precisely clarifying the cause of the disease that allows us to prescribe the most correct treatment.