What is osteoarthritis of the knee and how is it treated?

In everyday life we often do not pay attention to the occasional pain sensations in the body. Only when the pain grows painful and constant do we go to the clinic. This approach is fundamentally wrong, as it allows the disease to progress rapidly. 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 depletion of cartilage.

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

Factors for 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 the proper blood supply to the joint,
  • injury,
  • heavy physical exertion of the shoulder joint,
  • metabolic disease,
  • genetic predisposition,
  • diseases of the endocrine system,
  • age-related changes in the joints,
  • congenital changes
  • extensive diseases of the musculoskeletal system,
  • autoimmune diseases.

The risk group includes people over 55 years of age. 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 while moving and lifting weights. This is due to a decrease in the elasticity of cartilage tissue. The maneuverability of the joint is reduced, as a result of which 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 bone growths in places where the cartilage is thinning. With proper treatment, first-degree osteoarthritis stops and the joint returns to a healthy state.

Second stage

If the patient has not paid attention to the symptoms of first-degree osteoarthritis, the second degree progresses rapidly, in which it is already problematic to restore the damaged structure of joint tissues.

The second degree has more pronounced signs. The joint cavity narrows to a minimum, the pain in the area of

Third stage

The last stage is characterized by changes in bone tissue, 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 complete violation of the motor activity of the hand.

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

joint damage in shoulder osteoarthritis


Osteoarthritis of the scapular-shoulder joint has been asymptomatic for a long time. In most cases, the first sign is sharp pain. At the beginning of the disease pain rarely occurs - due to physical activity, from uncomfortable hand movements.

In the future, the pain increases, begins to appear at night with sudden movements, awkward position, and then during the day, disturbing more often and becoming systematic.

If the treatment is not started on time, then the pain will be joined by a feeling of stiffness in the movements. There is a click and crunch in the shoulder joint. This area is also often swollen, which is accompanied by a rise in temperature throughout the body and in the area of the damaged joint. Reddening of the skin may occur.


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

The following methods are used to diagnose osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint:

  • radiography,
  • laboratory researches,
  • 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 for visual examination of the joint cavity with a special optical device (arthroscope),
  • thermography is a method of recording the infrared radiation of the human body.


For many people facing this disease, the question often arises: is it possible to cure osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint forever? The treatment of all kinds of degenerative diseases of the joints is aimed primarily at relieving symptoms and combating complications of the disease. Complete healing is possible only by replacing the affected joint with an artificial one.

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

Auxiliary include: therapist (treatment performed by a general practitioner, if it is not possible to obtain 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 chronic, so it is not necessary to talk about full recovery. So far, there are no drugs that can 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. The following pharmacological groups are used for this:

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

In addition, antibiotics, vitamin-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.


Exercises aimed at strengthening the muscles of the shoulder girdle are an integral part of the complex treatment of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint. Exercises are performed at the end of the inflammatory process, in remission.

Physiotherapy helps to restore the joint, its mobility, stops the progression of the disease, strengthens the affected apparatus and reduces pain.

Before you start gymnastics, prepare your 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 - on the side of the waist, stretch. Put your hands on your knees and relax. Run slowly.
  2. Alternate and simultaneous lifting of the shoulders. Perform 10 times.
  3. Movement of the shoulders back and forth, alternating sequentially and simultaneously. Run 10 times.
  4. In a sitting position, hang your arm and relax. Swing back and forth without bending at the elbow. Repeat 10 times with each hand.

Author's methods for treating osteoarthritis are especially popular. This exercise is performed in specialized centers, but is easy to do at home.

A characteristic feature of physical exercises is their 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 physiotherapy for coxarthrosis, osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint are prescribed by a doctor after examination and diagnosis.

Physiotherapy treatment includes:

  • ultraviolet radiation,
  • UHF therapy,
  • magnetic therapy,
  • ultrasound therapy,
  • amplipulse therapy,
  • therapeutic baths,
  • healing mud.


When current therapeutic measures have not led to positive dynamics and the disease progresses, surgery is prescribed.

The following types of operations are possible:

  1. Shoulder puncture is a minimally invasive method that allows you to remove inflammatory fluid from the joint cavity and inject medicine there.
  2. Arthroscopy is performed with the help of a video camera through a puncture of 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 folk remedies are popular and widely used at home. Remember, however, that alternative therapies should be used in addition to the main drug therapy.

The following herbal recipes are effective:

  1. Tincture of elecampane for grinding. Stimulates blood circulation, relieves pain. To prepare it, 100 g of dried roots of the plant are poured with 250 ml of vodka and applied to the affected area no more than five times a day.
  2. Oatmeal compress. Reduces pain syndrome. Prepare as follows: a full tablespoon of oatmeal is poured 500 ml of water, put on fire and boil for about 10 minutes. The prepared mass is cooled to a skin-resistant temperature and applied on gauze. Such a compress is applied to the affected joint for one to two hours.
  3. Physiological compress. Slows down the inflammatory process. Method of preparation: 50 g of salt are dissolved in two glasses of water. Dip a piece of gauze into the prepared solution for three hours, then squeeze it, heat it and apply it on the inflamed 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 to prevent the disease. They include:

  • maintaining an active lifestyle,
  • regular long walks
  • training exercises, gymnastics, yoga,
  • quitting bad habits (smoking, alcohol),
  • cold and hot shower,
  • swimming,
  • weight control,
  • healthy diet,
  • timely and comprehensive treatment,
  • avoidance of injuries, excessive exercise, 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 increasing pain. The disease cannot be completely cured, but the use of a full range of therapeutic and preventive measures is highly likely to keep the disease in remission.

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