What is knee osteoarthritis and how is it treated?

In everyday life, we often do not attach importance to occasional pain sensations in the body. Only when the pain develops into aching and constant, we go to the clinic. This approach is fundamentally wrong, because it allows the disease to progress intensively. There are many pathologies of the skeletal system. One of them is osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint.

What is shoulder arthrosis

Osteoarthritis deformans of the shoulder joint is a chronic disease associated with degenerative cartilage depletion.

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

Factors in the occurrence of shoulder arthrosis

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

  • vascular diseases leading to disruption of proper blood supply to the joint,
  • injury,
  • heavy physical load on the shoulder joint,
  • metabolic disease,
  • genetic predisposition,
  • diseases of the endocrine system,
  • 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 years. This is due to age-related changes in the form of cartilage wear.

The degree of development of the disease

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 stage

The initial stage is characterized by minor 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 patient's mobility of the hands is limited.

In the pictures, the doctor notes a slight narrowing of the joint space and the appearance of bone outgrowths in places where the cartilage is thinning. With the right treatment, arthrosis of the first degree is stopped and the joint is returned to a healthy state.

Second stage

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

The second degree has more pronounced signs. The articular cavity narrows to a minimum, pain in the area of the scapula and shoulder increases, becomes regular, a crunch 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 measures 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 experience difficulty in self-care. The degree of the disease under consideration is the most difficult to cure, it requires surgical intervention. The third stage of arthrosis 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 damage in shoulder arthrosis


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

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

If treatment is not started in a timely manner, then a feeling of stiffness in movements 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 the temperature of the whole body and in the area of the damaged joint. Redness may occur on the skin.


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

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

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


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

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

Auxiliary ones include: a therapist (a generalist performs treatment if it is not possible to get it from a rheumatologist, orthopedist, surgeon), physiotherapist, 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 complete recovery. So far, there are no drugs that would completely cure it.

Effective treatment consists of the following methods.


Treatment of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint with medication 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. Glucocorticosteroid hormonal preparations. They are used as part of ointments and injections into the joint in the treatment of shoulder-scapular arthrosis.

In addition, antibiotics, vitamins 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 arthrosis 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, stops the progression of the disease, strengthens the affected apparatus, and reduces pain.

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

  1. In a sitting position, take one hand behind your back, the other - from the side of the waist, stretch. Put your hands on your knees and relax. Perform slowly.
  2. Alternate and simultaneous lifting of the shoulders. Perform 10 times.
  3. Movement of the shoulders forward and backward, alternating alternately and simultaneously. Run 10 times.
  4. In a sitting position, hang your arm and relax. Perform a swinging movement back and forth without bending at the elbow. Repeat 10 times with each hand.

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

A feature of physical exercises is their focus on restoring the entire musculoskeletal system, and 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. Medicines and physiotherapy for coxarthrosis, arthrosis of the shoulder joint are prescribed by a doctor after examination and diagnosis.

Physiotherapy treatment includes:

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


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

The following types of operation are possible:

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

Folk remedies

In the treatment of deforming arthrosis, folk remedies are popular and widely used at home. However, remember that alternative treatments should 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 dry 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. Oatmeal compress. Reduces pain syndrome. It is prepared as follows: one full tablespoon of oatmeal is poured into 500 ml of water, put on fire and boiled for about 10 minutes. The prepared mass is cooled to a skin-tolerant temperature and applied to gauze. Such a compress is applied to the affected joint for one to two hours.
  3. Saline compress. Slows down the inflammatory process. Method of preparation: dissolve 50 g of salt in two glasses of water. Dip a piece of gauze into the prepared solution for three hours, then squeeze it out, heat it up and apply it on the sore joint until the dressing cools completely.


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

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


Deforming arthrosis of the shoulder joint significantly impairs the quality of life of a person, reduces the mobility of the musculoskeletal system and causes discomfort with increasing pain. The disease cannot be cured completely, but the use of a full range of therapeutic and preventive measures with a high degree of probability makes it possible to keep the disease in remission.

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