What is knee osteoarthritis and how is it treated?

In everyday life, we often overlook occasional sensations of pain in the body. Only when the pain becomes painful and constant do we go to the clinic. This approach is fundamentally wrong, because it allows the disease to progress intensely. There are many pathologies of the skeletal system. One of them is osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint.

What is shoulder osteoarthritis

Deforming osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint is a chronic disease associated with degenerative cartilage depletion.

The disease is prone to the progression and worsening of functional disorders of the human musculoskeletal system. The influence of pathogenic factors leads to cartilage thinning, the appearance of cracks and its subsequent destruction.

Factors in the occurrence of osteoarthritis of the shoulder

There are many reasons for the development of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint. The main ones are:

  • vascular diseases that lead to the interruption of adequate blood supply to the joint,
  • wound,
  • heavy physical load on the shoulder joint,
  • metabolic disease,
  • genetic predisposition,
  • endocrine system diseases,
  • age-related changes in the joint,
  • congenital changes
  • extensive diseases of the musculoskeletal system,
  • autoimmune diseases.

The risk group includes people over the age of 55. This is due to age-related changes in the way cartilage wears down.

The degree of disease development

Depending on the gradual deterioration of a person's well-being against the background of the course of the disease, signs of 1, 2, 3 degrees of arthrosis of the shoulder joint are distinguished.

First step

The initial phase is characterized by small changes in the joint, the appearance of pain during movement and weight lifting. This is due to a decrease in the elasticity of cartilage tissue. The maneuverability of the joint is reduced, as a result, the mobility of the patient's hands is limited.

In the photos, the doctor notes a slight narrowing of the joint space and the appearance of bony bulges in places where the cartilage is thinning. With the right treatment, first-degree osteoarthritis stops and the joint returns to a healthy state.

second stage

If the patient did not pay attention to the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the first degree, then the second degree progresses quickly, in which it is already problematic to restore the disturbed structure of joint tissues.

The second degree has more pronounced signs. The joint cavity narrows to a minimum, pain in the scapula and shoulder area increases, becomes regular, a crisis appears when moving the hand, muscles partially atrophy, osteophytes (bone growths) are visible on x-rays.

third stage

The last stage is characterized by changes in bone tissues, there is a pronounced deformity, the joint is almost immobilized, there is constant pain. Without taking steps to stop the degenerative process in the tissues, there is a high probability of a complete violation of the motor activity of the hand.

Some patients have difficulty in self-care. The degree of the disease in question is the most difficult to cure, it requires surgical intervention. The third stage of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint is extremely rare. As a rule, it becomes the result of excessive systemic loads on the damaged joint (for example, in professional sports).

joint injury in osteoarthritis of the shoulder


For a long time, osteoarthritis of the scapular-shoulder joint is asymptomatic. In most cases, the first sign is a sharp pain sensation. At the beginning of the disease, pain rarely occurs - due to physical activity, from uncomfortable movements of the hands.

In the future, the pains increase, begin to appear at night with sudden movements, an uncomfortable position, and then during the day, bothering more often and becoming systematic.

If treatment is not started in a timely manner, a feeling of stiffness in movement will join the pain. There are clicks and crunch in the shoulder joint. This area also often swells, which is accompanied by an increase in temperature throughout the body and in the area of the damaged joint. Redness of the skin may occur.


If you experience pain in your shoulder area, contact a doctor who will perform an initial examination and interview.

For the diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint, the following methods are used:

  • radiography,
  • laboratory tests,
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI),
  • computed tomography (CT)
  • ultrasound examination (ultrasound),
  • scintigraphy - a functional imaging method, which consists of introducing radioactive isotopes into the body and obtaining an image by determining the radiation emitted by them,
  • arthroscopy - a method of visually examining the joint cavity with a special optical device (arthroscope),
  • Thermography is a method of recording infrared radiation from the human body.


For many people who are faced with the disease in question, the question often arises: is it possible to cure osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint forever? Therapy for any degenerative joint diseases is primarily aimed at relieving the symptoms and combating the complications of the disease. A complete cure is only possible by replacing the affected joint with an artificial one.

Depending on the severity of arthrosis and the secondary causes of its occurrence, treatment of arthrosis-arthritis of the shoulder joint is prescribed by a rheumatologist (in the early stages), orthopedist or orthopedic traumatologist, surgeon, arthrologist (with advanced forms of arthrosis). These are the top experts.

Helpers include: a therapist (a generalist carries out treatment if it is not possible to get it from a rheumatologist, orthopedist, surgeon), physical therapist, radiologist. Which doctor will treat the patient depends on the stage and cause of the disease.

Important! The disease belongs to the number of chronic, so it is not necessary to talk about a full recovery. So far, there are no medications that completely cure it.

Effective treatment consists of the following methods.


Treatment of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint with medications reduces the symptoms of inflammatory processes and relieves pain. For this, the following pharmacological groups are used:

  1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  2. Chondroprotectors.
  3. Painkillers.
  4. Hormonal preparations of glucocorticosteroids. They are used as part of ointments and joint injections in the treatment of shoulder-scapular osteoarthritis.

In addition, antibiotics, vitamin and mineral complexes and other specific drugs are used for treatment, which are prescribed by the attending physician, depending on the clinical picture of the patient's disease.


Physical exercises aimed at strengthening the muscles of the shoulder girdle are an integral element of the complex treatment of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint. Exercises are performed at the end of the inflammatory process, during the period of remission.

Physiotherapy helps to restore the joint, its mobility, stop the progression of the disease, strengthen the affected apparatus and reduce pain.

Before starting gymnastics, prepare your muscles for the next loads by warming up and stretching. A simple training complex includes the following exercises:

  1. In a sitting position, put one hand behind your back, the other - on the side of the waist, stretch. Place your hands on your knees and relax. Run slowly.
  2. Alternate and simultaneous elevation of the shoulders. Run 10 times.
  3. Movement of the shoulders back and forth, alternating alternately and simultaneously. Run 10 times.
  4. In a sitting position, hang your arm and relax. Perform a rocking back and forth motion without bending your elbow. Repeat 10 times with each hand.

Especially popular are the author's methods of treating osteoarthritis. This exercise therapy is performed in specialized centers but is easy to do at home.

A hallmark of physical exercise is its focus on restoring the entire musculoskeletal system, not just the mobility of individual joints.


Physiotherapy is included in the complex of measures for the treatment of deforming arthrosis. It is effective in the early stages of the disease. Medications and physical therapy for coxarthrosis, osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint are prescribed by a doctor after examination and diagnosis.

Physiotherapy treatment includes:

  • ultraviolet irradiation,
  • UHF therapy,
  • magnetotherapy,
  • ultrasound therapy,
  • amplification therapy,
  • therapeutic baths,
  • healing mud.


When the current therapeutic measures have not brought positive dynamics and the disease progresses, surgical intervention is prescribed.

The following types of operation are possible:

  1. Shoulder joint puncture is a minimally invasive method that allows you to eliminate inflammatory fluid from the joint cavity and introduce a drug there.
  2. Arthroscopy is performed using a video camera puncturing the joint area. This treatment option relieves symptoms without requiring a long recovery period after surgery.
  3. Endoprosthesis - replacement of damaged areas of the joint with artificial elements.

Folk remedies

In the treatment of osteoarthritis deformans, folk remedies are popular and widely used at home. However, remember that alternative treatments must be used in addition to the main drug therapy.

The following herbal recipes are effective:

  1. Elecampane tincture for grinding. Stimulates blood circulation processes, relieves pain. To prepare it, 100 g of dried roots of the plant are infused with 250 ml of vodka and applied to the affected area no more than five times a day.
  2. Oat compress. Reduces pain syndrome. It is prepared as follows: a full tablespoon of oatmeal is poured into 500 ml of water, placed on fire and boiled for about 10 minutes. The prepared mass is cooled to a skin-tolerant temperature and applied to gauze. This compress is applied to the affected joint for one to two hours.
  3. Saline compress. Slows down the inflammatory process. Preparation: dissolve 50 g of salt in two glasses of water. Soak a piece of gauze in the prepared solution for three hours, then squeeze it out, warm it up, and apply it to the painful joint until the bandage cools completely.


To prevent the onset and subsequent progression of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint, it is important to follow simple rules for disease prevention. These include:

  • maintain an active lifestyle,
  • regular long walks
  • training exercises, gymnastics, yoga,
  • giving up bad habits (smoking, alcohol),
  • cold and hot bath,
  • swimming,
  • weight control,
  • proper nutrition,
  • timely and thorough treatment,
  • avoid injuries, excessive physical exertion, hypothermia.


Deforming arthrosis of the shoulder joint significantly impairs a person's quality of life, reduces the mobility of the musculoskeletal system and causes discomfort with increased pain. The disease cannot be completely cured, but the use of a full range of therapeutic and preventive measures with a high degree of probability allows keeping the disease in remission.

The result of the joint pathology that arose depends entirely on the person, his readiness to regularly engage in therapeutic exercises and adhere to preventive measures. A person with this diagnosis can lead a full life.