Shoulder Arthritis Symptoms and Treatment

Shoulder arthritis can be an extremely painful and limiting condition. Whether you have been diagnosed with a type of shoulder arthritis or suspect your might have this affliction, you are likely suffering from one or more key symptoms.

There are a few different types of shoulder arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type. It is also known as degenerative joint disease. This type of shoulder arthritis develops over time as smooth cartilage wears away, causing rubbing between the rough ends of the bones. The end result is a very painful, restricting condition.

Symptoms:

The main symptoms of shoulder arthritis are pain and decreased range of motion. The shoulder is a complicated part of the body. Arthritis may not be limited to one part of the shoulder. Some people have pain and limited motion in the ball and socket joint of the shoulder. Other people experience pain in the joint where the collar bone and scapula meet.

In addition to pain and loss of motion, some people also experience a grinding sensation in the shoulder when doing certain activities. This can be painful as well as irritating. Further, some individuals report feeling weakness and/or stiffness in the shoulder.

Treatment:

If you have been experiencing any or all of the symptoms in your shoulder for an extended period of time, it is wise to seek the opinion of an orthopaedic surgeon. Specifically, it is advisable to see a surgeon that is fellowship trained in shoulder and elbow.

Once you have been given a diagnosis, your orthopaedic surgeon can review the options for treatment of your shoulder arthritis. Surgery might be an option but there are other non-operative treatments that could help. Here are some of the steps that could help relive symptoms of shoulder arthritis.

  • Rest and modifications of  specific daily activities
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections
  • Ultrasound
  • Anti-inflammatory medications

If you think you are suffering from shoulder arthritis, do not ignore the symptoms. Seek treatment and explore your treatment options.

 

Shoulder Pain: When to See an Orthopaedic Surgeon

Shoulder pain can be a debilitating issue that interferes with the simplest of daily activities. If you suffer from shoulder pain, you know how much it can impact your fitness routine, ability to work and even to get dressed in the mornings. Shoulder pain can be a chronic issue, lasting for several months or even years. It can also be an acute issue, brought on by a trauma or injury. Whatever the cause or duration of your shoulder pain, getting the appropriate treatment to address the source is key to getting back to your normal life.

There can be many types of shoulder pain associated with the joint comprised of your humerus, clavicle and scapula. The following are the primary sources of pain in the shoulder joint:

  • A fracture in one of the three bones; the humerus, clavicle or scapula; can result from a high impact sports injury. It can also result from taking a fall from a significant height or from a car accident.
  • Arthritis, including osteoarthritis, is very common in causing pain in the shoulder area. This condition devlops slowly and tends to get worse with time.
  • Inflamation of the tendon, tendinitis, or a tear in the tendon can result in significant shoulder pain. Tendinitis often results from overuse of the joint. This can be related to issues such as arthritis or from excessive, repetitive movements in certain jobs or sports.
  • Instability of the shoulder joint, including total dislocation or subluxation, can be extremely painful and chronic. If the head of the upper arm bone slips out completely or partially from the socket, a dislocation occurs. A partial dislocation is also called a subluxation. A major issue with this type of injury is the fact that once it happens, you are more prone to repeating the injury. This occurs as the tissues holding the joint in place become loose.
  • Tumors and infections can also contribute to shoulder pain so it is important to rule out all causes.

With so many different causes of shoulder pain, you can see why it is so important to first determine the source before understanding the appropriate course of treatment. If you have been suffering from shoulder pain for several days and rest has not addressed the issue, seeing an orthopaedic surgeon may be the best option. In the office, an orthopaedic surgeon, especially one trained in shoulder issues, can get a better understanding of your shoulder pain. From a complete medical examination and possibly an x-ray, MRI or ultrasound, the physician can evaluate the source of your pain.

An orthopaedic surgeon should be able to determine not only the source of your pain but also the appropriate course of treatment. This could mean surgery but could also be something less invasive like physical therapy. This will vary greatly from one person to the next taking into consideration factors like age, activity level and past medical history.

Ski Injuries: Identifying and preventing common issues

Ski injuries plague thousands of winter sport enthusiasts every year. Whether you are a first timer or a seasoned veteran, a ski injury can put a major damper on your winter break plans.

Skis injuries range in severity depending on a variety of factors. Injuries to the knee, ankle, shoulder and arm are very common. No matter what your level of experience, it is important to be informed on injury prevention before you hit the slopes this season.

Common Types of Ski Injuries

Foot and Ankle

  • Lateral ankle ligament sprain
  • Ankle fracture
  • Fifth metatarsal fracture
  • Frostbite

Knee

  • Meniscus injuries
  • ACL and PCL tear or strains (anterior cruciate ligament and posterior cruciate ligament)
  • Medial collateral ligament injury

Hand and arm

  • Wrist sprain
  • Wrist tendonitis
  • Skier’s thumb
  • Finger fractures
  • Wrist fracture
  • Frostbite

Shoulder and elbow

  • Shoulder dislocation
  • Shoulder separation
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Shoulder fracture
  • Elbow fracture

Neck and Back

  • Neck strain
  • Whiplash
  • Herniated disk
  • Muscle strains of the back

Prevention of ski injuries can mean the difference between a great vacation and months of painful recovery. Weeks before you hit the slopes, it is important to make sure you are in good shape. Plan ahead with skiing conditioning exercises such as squats, agility drills and hill or stair running. Building up endurance is key for minimizing injuries that happen when your body is fatigued.

In addition to building strength and stamina, focus on building your core strength and flexibility. Improving your balance and posture will give you a good foundation for proper form on the slopes. Increasing flexibility will help your body respond well to the rigorous demands of skiing.

Another key to preventing injury is to take it slow. Even if you are trying to pack a lot of fun into just a few short days, do not overdo it. Plan a shorter day of skiing on your first day so you do not fatigue too quickly. If you do too much at first, you will be more sore and tight for the rest of your skiing days.

If you do get injured while skiing, be sure to allow your body a chance to heal before hitting the slopes again. What might start as a minor injury can quickly escalate if you try to push through the pain with further activity. Be sure to consult an orthopaedic surgeon if you do sustain a ski injury this winter.

Friday night football: Common injuries and prevention

The shift from summer to fall signifies a number of changes. The weather shifts, the leaves begin to turn and weekends become filled with a variety of fall sports. Football is one of the most popular sports of the season. Whether enjoying this activity as an athlete or a parent of a player, there are several things to consider before launching into a busy football season.

There are a number of common injuries sustained by football players during any given game. Despite wearing pads, helmets and supportive footwear, each and every play can result in a serious injury.

Here are the most common football injuries:

Knee Injuries

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears and strains
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) tears and strains
  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) tears and strains
  • Meniscus tears
  • Patellar fractures
  • Knee dislocations

Head Injuries

  • Concussions caused by single or repeated trauma to the head
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive, degenerative disease

Overuse Injuries

  • Patellar tendinitis, also known as jumper’s knee
  • Back pain
  • Rotator cuff strains or tears

Shoulder Injuries

  • Shoulder dislocations
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Shoulder tendinitis

Foot and Ankle Injuries

  • Sprained ankles
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Heel contusions
  • Tendonitis
  • Ankle fractures

It is no secret that football can be a very dangerous sport. Prevention is key for avoiding a football injury this season. Addressing any injuries, as soon as they occur on the football field, is the best way to avoid serious issues. Consult a board certified orthopaedic surgeon for a full assessment and treatment options.

Make sure to stay hydrated while playing football or any sport. Choose proper fitting gear that is in good condition while practicing and playing in all football games. Using faulty pads can result in an unnecessary injury. Never play football without a helmet and report any pain or injury to your coaching staff.

Always warm-up before hitting the football field. Many strains and tears can be prevented if you are taking simple precautions such as stretching and warming up appropriately.