How to cure arthrosis of the shoulder joint

Arthrosis (osteoarthritis) is a degenerative disease of the cartilage tissue, in which the normal functioning of the joint is disrupted. In most cases, the disease is chronic. Shoulder arthrosis is characterized by pain and gradual loss of hand functionality. Most often, pathology is detected in old age. The causes of osteoarthritis are senile changes in the body, shoulder injuries, birth defects and constant stress on the shoulder girdle. If a person is faced with discomfort in the shoulder girdle, it is necessary to consult a doctor and undergo an examination. With the help of a complex effect, it is possible to stop the development of degenerative changes.

What is shoulder arthrosis

Arthrosis of the shoulder - damage to the cartilage tissue of the joint, during which degenerative changes occur. The blood supply is disrupted in the cartilage tissue, so it ceases to receive a sufficient amount of nutrients and oxygen.At risk are people who daily experience excessive stress on the shoulders and have congenital defects in joint tissues.In the early stages, the person experiences aching pain, but the normal functionality of the shoulder is preserved. If the provoking factors are not eliminated, the disease will cause serious damage to health.

Diagnostics plays an important role in the treatment of arthrosis. With the help of X-rays, it is possible to accurately determine the cause of the ailment and the degree of damage.

Anatomical background

Congenital disorders of the structure of joints and connective tissue can become the causes of the appearance of the disease. If a person has features in the structure of the shoulder girdle, then even an ordinary load can provoke the appearance of arthrosis. To avoid problems, you will need to carry out preventive measures and regularly visit a doctor. Congenital dysplasia can be controlled with massage and exercise therapy.

Causes and risk factors

All elderly people are at risk.According to WHO statistics, the likelihood of developing arthrosis after 45 years increases significantly.By the age of 65, more than 50% of people suffer from this disease. Among the reasons that provoke the early onset of the disease are:

  • damage to the rotator cuff of the shoulder;
  • shoulder injury;
  • constant stress associated with sports or work;
  • infectious and autoimmune pathologies;
  • obesity;
  • improper metabolism.

The older a person gets, the higher the risk of developing degenerative joint damage.


The defeat of the cartilaginous tissue is divided into primary and secondary. The diagnosis of primary arthrosis is made if there are no concomitant diseases. It is usually detected in old age. The reason for its appearance is age-related changes. The secondary view occurs due to injuries or against the background of another disease. In addition, the disease is classified by location.Degenerative changes in the shoulder can occur in the area of the shoulder joint itself or the acromioclavicular joint.

Development stages and symptoms

Symptoms depend on the stage of development of shoulder arthrosis. Pathology is divided into three stages:

  1. The first. . . There are aching pains that intensify at night, the functionality of the shoulder girdle is preserved.
  2. The second. . . When moving the hands, a crunch is heard, the pain is constant, there is a limited mobility of the shoulder.
  3. Third. . . Severe pain, the arm is fixed in one position, protrusions are visible in the affected area, a severe deformation of the joint is noticeable on the X-ray.

The disease may not develop for a long time. If a person continues to load the shoulder girdle, then the condition worsens.

Which doctor to contact

Arthrosis of the shoulder joint is treated by different doctors. The initial examination is carried out by a therapist or rheumatologist. In addition, the following specialists may be involved in the treatment:

  • surgeon;
  • orthopedist;
  • neurologist.

In most cases, the treatment regimen is drawn up by a rheumatologist.The help of a surgeon is necessary if the disease requires surgical treatment or intra-articular manipulations.Consultation with a neurologist is necessary if the nerve bundle has been compressed due to the disease.

Only after a diagnostic examination, the therapist or rheumatologist will determine if the help of other specialists is needed.


A patient with arthrosis of the shoulder joint at a consultation with a rheumatologist

To make an accurate diagnosis, hardware and laboratory tests are used, as well as manual examination. First of all, an inspection is carried out with various tests. The history of the person is being studied. All this helps to make a preliminary diagnosis. In addition, MRI and X-ray are used in order to determine the degree of narrowing of the joint space, the condition of the blood vessels, synovial membrane, tendons.

Manual examination

Manual examination includes palpation of the affected area and performing diagnostic tests. Pain usually occurs on palpation of the acromioclavicular joint. If a person has problems with putting his hand behind his head, then this may signal the presence of arthrosis of the shoulder joint. During a manual examination, the doctor will be able to detect inflammation. The information obtained during the manual examination plays an important role in the diagnosis.The examination should be carried out by an experienced rheumatologist or therapist, so as not to cause harm during testing and functional tests.

Instrumental methods

Instrumental research methods allow you to determine:

  • the degree of narrowing of the joint space;
  • uneven joint surface;
  • localization of arthrosis.

After using instrumental diagnostic methods, the necessary therapy is selected. For diagnosis, radiography, CT or MRI are used. These methods provide the necessary information. Instrumental examination can be repeated during treatment.

X-ray of arthrosis of the shoulder joint of the 2nd degree of severity


Laboratory tests allow you to assess the condition of the body as a whole, as well as exclude inflammatory arthritis. First of all, blood is taken for analysis. With arthrosis, all indications of the clinical and biochemical blood test are within normal limits. With arthritis, the erythrocyte sedimentation rate, the amount of immunoglobulins and other markers of the inflammatory process in the body are significantly increased. Based on the results obtained, the doctor makes a final diagnosis and selects an effective treatment regimen.

To get accurate results, donate blood in the morning on an empty stomach.


The approach to treatment is complex. Medicines, physiotherapy, physiotherapy exercises are used. If the disease is advanced or does not respond to treatment, surgery is used. Basic principles of therapy:

  • relieve pain;
  • stop the development of the disease;
  • start the mechanisms of cartilage tissue restoration.

At the initial stage, the result is achieved through the use of medicines.It is important to exclude provoking factors. Stable remission is achieved through physiotherapy and exercise therapy.


The following groups of drugs can be used for treatment:

  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory;
  • chondroprotectors;
  • corticosteroids;
  • vasodilators.

NSAIDs and corticosteroids are used to relieve pain. They apply for a limited period of time. Chondroprotectors can speed up the restoration of cartilage tissue. Vasodilators help improve blood flow and relieve small vessel spasm.

Before prescribing this or that remedy, it is necessary to carefully study the contraindications. Only a doctor can correctly combine all the drugs.


Surgical intervention is carried out only as a last resort when irreversible degenerative processes have occurred. The reasons for the operation are:

  • lack of effect from conservative therapy;
  • the occurrence of complications;
  • the appearance of severe degenerative changes.

If the joint has lost its original appearance, then arthroplasty is performed.The diseased joint is replaced with an artificial one. The operation is complex and requires high qualifications of the surgeon. Puncture and arthroscopy can also be performed to treat arthrosis.


Puncture is performed if a large amount of fluid has accumulated in the articular cavity. Also, this procedure is performed for infectious inflammations in order to determine the type of infection. Getting rid of excess fluid helps to reduce pressure on the shoulder joint and increase its mobility. The procedure is minimally invasive, so recovery after its completion takes place as soon as possible. Puncture has indications and contraindications. It is used only in case of accumulation of fluid in the joint capsule or if there is a suspicion of an infectious complication of arthrosis.


Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique that removes damaged shoulder cartilage. The operation is performed using endoscopic equipment and a micro-camera. The advantage of this method of treatment is quick rehabilitation. Removing the destroyed cartilage allows you to relieve stress and restore mobility to the joint. The disadvantage of the procedure is that access to the affected area is somewhat limited.


Endoprosthetics is a complete replacement of a damaged joint with a biocompatible analog.Titanium construction is commonly used. The operation allows you to get rid of even stage 3 arthrosis. Long-term rehabilitation is carried out after endoprosthetics. As a result, it is possible to achieve complete disposal of the affected areas and chronic pain, as well as restore the mobility of the shoulder girdle.

Replacement of a damaged shoulder joint with an endoprosthesis

The operation is not always possible. In older people, the rehabilitation period is much more difficult. Other treatment options are used prior to the appointment of arthroplasty.


Physiotherapy procedures play an important role in getting rid of arthrosis of the shoulder girdle. With their help, it is possible to restore normal joint mobility and reduce the severity of pain. The following procedures are carried out:

  • electrophoresis;
  • local cryotherapy;
  • magnetotherapy.

Physiotherapy can be used if there are no acute manifestations of the disease (severe pain, limited mobility). Regular exposure will completely eliminate discomfort. Any procedure must be performed by a qualified technician.Before visiting physiotherapy rooms, you need to consult with your doctor.


Exercise on a simulator for arthrosis of the shoulder joint

Kinesitherapy refers to the use of active and passive methods to restore shoulder functionality. If the disease is mild, then the person can begin to use an active method of recovery through exercise. The passive method consists in external exposure through massage or mechanotherapy. Kinesitherapy helps to quickly get rid of the manifestations of arthrosis of the shoulder joint.

The passive method of recovery through mechanotherapy is available to people of all ages.

Exercise therapy

Physiotherapy exercises allow you to put a load on the muscles and restore the mobility of the shoulder joint. Mostly static exercises are used. A dynamic load in which active shoulder rotation is carried out is undesirable. The following exercises can be performed:

  1. Swaying shoulders- it is required to take the starting position, sitting on a chair and putting your hands on your knees. Relax your shoulders, then start swinging your elbows. At the same time, the hands are on the knees.
  2. Slow rotation- you need to sit on a chair and put your hands on your knees, then slowly begin to rotate your shoulders with short pauses. Circular movements are performed back and forth.

Physiotherapy exercises can only be used during remission, when pain and limited movement are almost completely absent.

Basic exercises for the treatment and restoration of mobility of the shoulder joint in arthrosis


Massaging the affected area allows you to get the following effects:

  • improve tissue nutrition;
  • relieve swelling;
  • tone the muscles;
  • remove pain.

It is advisable that all actions be performed by a qualified specialist. When performing self-massage, strong pressure and sudden movements should be avoided.The result of the massage effect is noticeable within a few weeks after regular use.

The massage should be accompanied by other activities. If a person performs exercises from the exercise therapy complex and visits a massage room, he will achieve great results.


Mechanotherapy for arthrosis of the shoulder joint for the early recovery of muscles and ligaments

Mechanotherapy means a set of exercises that are performed on specialized mechanisms. This method allows you to recover in the shortest possible time. Mechanotherapy is ideal for rehabilitation after surgery. Special mechanisms allow you to adjust the load, allowing faster recovery of muscles and ligaments. All actions are performed under stationary conditions. Classes on rehabilitation mechanisms should be conducted with an instructor. He will correctly select the load and the necessary simulator.

Traction of joints

Joints are stretched using a specialized device. With this procedure, the following effects can be achieved:

  • improve blood circulation;
  • enlarge the joint space;
  • relieve tension from the ligaments.

Narrowing of the joint space is one of the main manifestations of arthrosis. With this procedure, you can improve the situation. The degree of load is selected individually. At first, the traction is performed with minimal burden.

Before prescribing traction of the joints, it is necessary to conduct an examination for possible contraindications.

Folk methods

Traditional methods allow you to get rid of pain and speed up the process of cartilage tissue restoration. The following remedies can be used:

Compress for the shoulder with arthrosis in order to get rid of pain
  1. Burdock leaves- fresh burdock leaves are crushed until soft and applied to the affected area for 30-60 minutes. Fixation is carried out with gauze.
  2. Salt compress- 50 g of salt is dissolved in 450 ml of water, after which gauze is placed in the liquid. The gauze is removed, heated and applied to the shoulder for 45 minutes.
  3. Gelatin- 2 teaspoons of gelatin will need to be diluted in 100 ml of warm water, after which the liquid is heated to a boil. Gelatin is taken orally 1 time per day before meals. It promotes the restoration of cartilage tissue.

Traditional methods will help to achieve a good result in therapy. It is advisable to use them during remission.

Diet for arthrosis

With any type of arthrosis (shoulder, wrist, ankle), you need to provide your body with all the nutrients for the speedy restoration of cartilage tissue. You will need to add the following foods to your diet:

  • nuts;
  • bran;
  • gelatinous jelly;
  • buckwheat porridge;
  • eggs.

Nutrition should be balanced. Vitamin supplements can be taken to obtain essential vitamins and minerals. It is advisable to eat 4-5 times a day. During the treatment of arthrosis, alcoholic beverages and sweets are excluded. If a person wants to achieve lasting remission, then he will need to adhere to the principles of proper nutrition on an ongoing basis.

Complications and prognosis

The prognosis depends on the age of the person, the degree of damage, the individual characteristics of the organism. At a young age, it is possible to achieve complete restoration of cartilage tissue and joint functionality. In old age, you will need to adhere to certain rules to obtain a lasting improvement in the condition. Arthrosis of the shoulder responds better to therapy than arthrosis of the foot, since the shoulder girdle is easy to isolate from stress. This allows for more effective conservative treatment.

Differences between shoulder arthrosis and arthritis

Arthrosis and arthritis have the same manifestations, but differ in the clinical picture. The main difference is that arthrosis is a non-inflammatory disease.In the early stages, pain in arthrosis worries a person only after exercise, and in arthritis it is constant.Arthritis is an inflammatory-degenerative disease. Its treatment is somewhat different from that of arthrosis.

In order not to confuse these diseases, methods of differential diagnosis are used. Laboratory and instrumental studies will help to accurately determine the presence or absence of inflammation.


Prevention of arthrosis consists in eliminating provoking factors and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You will need to do the following:

  • give moderate physical activity;
  • avoid hypothermia;
  • use chondroprotectors;
  • avoid hard physical work;
  • reduce body weight to normal.

Preventive actions will help keep joints healthy until old age. Prevention should be especially carefully followed by people over 45 years old or actively involved in sports.


  1. Arthrosis of the shoulder is a degenerative disease in which there is a gradual destruction of the cartilage tissue of the joint.As a result, the person has pain and movement is limited.
  2. Treatment for the disease includesthe use of medicines, carrying out physiotherapy and performing exercises from the complex of physiotherapy exercises.
  3. At an early stage of the course of the disease, the prognosis for complete recovery is favorable.
  4. Prevention can significantly reduce the likelihood of arthrosis of the shoulder joint.