Osteoarthritis of the shoulders

Degeneration of connective tissue and cartilage eventually leads to the development of a chronic disease characterized by a wavy flow and is called osteoarthritis. It turns out that osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint is a pathological change in the tissues of the articular sac of the shoulder. A distinctive feature of this disease is considered to be extremely slow development. Because of this, the patient does not notice the development of the pathological process. The shoulder joint is one of the most mobile and has a wide range of movements. But that makes it one of the most traumatic, along with the forearm joint. Even minor mechanical damage can lead to the development of the disease.

osteoarthritis of the shoulders

Reasons for the development of osteoarthritis

The causes of the development of the disease are the natural coating of connective tissue, inflammation of various etiologies and salt deposits. In addition, there are a number of factors that can also lead to the development of a pathological process, during which the cartilage tissue becomes thinner and loses its softness.

Classification of osteoarthritis

There is a conditional classification of the disease - it is primary and secondary arthrosis.

Primary osteoarthritis develops over time in the course of natural changes in the joints without any apparent cause. Secondary - consequence of limb injuries. Osteoarthritis of the second type is most often diagnosed in middle-aged and young people. In older people, a mixed type of the disease is most often defined. The development of a primary disease can lead to:

  • genetic diseases leading to premature destruction of connective tissue and development of the disease at a young age. Most often, osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint occurs in women with dysfunctional genetics.
  • Congenital joint defects, which lead to increased trauma.

The main causes of the development of the second group disease include the following reasons.

  • Mechanical and herbal injuries to the hands. These include dislocations, fractures, severe bruising. Sprays can also provoke disease.
  • Osteoarthritis can be called the occupational disease of builders and all those who have the main burden of work in their hands.
  • The cause of osteoarthritis is considered to be advanced rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Mechanical damage always affects the nerve fibers and the blood supply system, as a result of which proper tissue nutrition decreases, which leads to post-traumatic osteoarthritis.
  • Violations of the endocrine system, metabolic processes. Unstable work of the endocrine system leads to a decrease in the supply of organs and tissues with essential nutrients, which, in turn, negatively affects the mobility of the joints and contributes to its deformation.
  • At menopause, due to the decrease in the amount of female hormones, the gradual destruction of cartilage tissue begins. Autoimmune diseases like gout or psoriasis are also considered as a catalyst for the development of osteoarthritis.
  • Diseases of the heart and vascular system of the body greatly affect the active destruction of the articular sac of the shoulder. For example, varicose veins lead to a slowing of blood flow through the vessels, which significantly affects tissue nutrition and, as a result, joint degeneration develops.

Traumatologists always warn that a reduced displacement in time or lack of proper treatment in the future will inevitably lead to the development of osteoarthritis. This is due to the fact that the bones grow together and the joint loses its mobility.

The course of the disease

Osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint begins with a gradual change in cartilage tissue. Due to injury or other reasons, the blood supply to the connective tissue is reduced, which leads to thinning of the cartilage, its external changes, shrinkage of the synovial membrane and the appearance of salt deposits. This leads to a decrease in range of motion and discomfort in the area.

Symptoms of the disease

The clinical picture of osteoarthritis manifests itself gradually, because of this, many do not notice the initial stage of the disease and miss the opportunity for rapid relief of the lesion.

Symptoms of arthritis include:

  1. Pain in the shoulder, clavicle and shoulder blade. Pain can occur both at rest and during active loads.
  2. First, a quieter crack and then audible at the joints.
  3. Decreased motor activity of the limbs.
  4. Painful joint reaction to changing weather conditions.
  5. A small swelling may appear in the affected wrist area.
  6. Complete loss of mobility due to ossification of the joint, this symptom is observed in the most severe stage of the disease.

Degrees of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint

The stages of disease development have a clear classification. 4 stages of osteoarthritis progression have been identified.

Osteoarthritis 1 degree

The onset of pathology is characterized by mild pain in the shoulder area in the morning and evening. There is a decrease in motor activity in the morning, which disappears after a while. Has a slight stiffness of movement. After a long rest with an active load, shooting pains may appear. When working with one hand at the shoulder joint, a barely audible crack can be noticed without an attack of painful sensations. Persistent pain occurs only during physical exertion, which disappears at rest. It is not always possible to diagnose the onset of the disease with the help of an X-ray examination, as the image shows only the appearance of small salt deposits and a slight narrowing of the synovial membrane.

Osteoarthritis 2 degrees

At this stage of disease development, there is a significant decrease in motor activity. Chewing in the joints during movement becomes noticeably audible, pain symptoms are acute, permanent. The connection remains movable, but the movement mechanics change significantly. During exercise, the pain becomes stronger and prolonged. During the development of grade 2 osteoarthritis, the patient does not leave the feeling of constant fatigue. Painful pains appear in the shoulder, accompanied by a significant change in the thickness of the interosseous membrane. The X-ray image shows that the synovial gap becomes several times thinner compared to the norm. In addition, there is a significant deformity of the wrist, which leads to the inability to perform heavy physical work. Salt deposits occupy an increasing area.

Osteoarthritis 3 degrees

This stage of the disease is characterized by a significant loss of motor activity, up to oscillating movements of small amplitude. The pain becomes constant, its character varies from pain to sharp. This is due to periarticular muscle spasms. The ankle bones become inflamed and sensitive to changing weather conditions. A sign of this degree of arthrosis is a crackling, audible to others, at the slightest movement of the hand. When performing an x-ray examination, there is an almost complete disappearance of the interosseous membrane, significant salt deposits are located along the edges. The deformation of the tissue is so great that it creates considerable difficulty in movement until it is completely lost. Grade 3 osteoarthritis is the cause of disability due to loss of limb capacity.

Stage 4 development of osteoarthritis

At this stage of the disease, a complete loss of movement is recorded, the joint is completely deformed. Accompanied by persistent unbearable pain, which is not suppressed by drugs. Radiography shows fusion of the ankle bones - ankylosis or the appearance of a false joint - neoarthrosis. Disease in this form always leads to disability. The only treatment is to replace the wrist with an artificial one through surgery.

Diagnosis and differential diagnosis of osteoarthritis

A preliminary diagnosis is made based on tests for joint mobility and descriptions of symptoms from the patient's words. For damage or refutation, an X-ray examination is prescribed. In the initial stage, slight salt deposits are observed, the deformation of the joint is not fixed. In the complex stages of the disease, an x-ray image fully reflects the degree of connective tissue destruction and the area of the affected joint.

For an accurate diagnosis at the initial stage, the doctor may prescribe additional examinations, for example, a CT scan or magnetic resonance with or without contrast.

Be sure to prescribe a blood biochemical test to determine the amount of uric acid salts.

Treatment of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joints

The golden rule that a disease is easier to prevent than to cure also applies in this case. But if the disease has begun to develop, the main thing is to start complex treatment on time. The nature of the disease is such that it can not be cured, but the risk of developing it can be significantly reduced.

Treatment in the early stages

In the first stage of disease development, chondroprotectors are prescribed, which accelerate the process of regeneration of cartilage tissue, and vitamin-mineral complexes, they increase the amount of essential trace elements in periarticular tissues.

To reduce the symptoms, the patient is prescribed a diet, it is strictly forbidden to eat salty foods, pickles, various types of canned foods and smoked meats. It is recommended to eat as many vegetables and fruits as possible.

The doctor should prescribe ointments and gels that not only relieve pain but also help restore the connective tissue of the ankle.

Great importance in the process of treating the first degree of osteoarthritis is given to physiotherapy exercises. It is recommended to apply medical patches to the affected joint.

Treatment of stage 2 osteoarthritis

At this stage, it is necessary to reduce the pain syndrome and completely or partially eliminate the focus of inflammation. In this case, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are prescribed.

As in the first case, chondroprotectors are mandatory for use. Hyaluronic acid, which is part of these drugs, speeds up the tissue repair process. A strict diet is mandatory, excluding all foods that provoke the development of the disease.

In addition to drug treatment, regular physical education is needed. Physiotherapy is an invaluable aid in the treatment of osteoarthritis. The simplest but most effective methods of treatment are described, such as ultrasound treatment of the affected joint, electrophoresis, the effect of point laser on the bones of the shoulder joint.

In addition, mud baths, massage visits and traditional medicine are recommended to activate the recovery process. These measures can significantly slow down the development of the disease.

Treatment of the third stage of the disease

The treatment of this stage is a set of measures to relieve the pain, for this they make an injection in the joint with a corticosteroid. The number of blockades should not exceed 4 times a year.

Therapeutic measures are aimed at activating the processes of tissue repair and slowing down the process of destruction. For this, chondroprotectors and medicines that improve blood circulation are prescribed.

Physiotherapy and physiotherapy exercises are also recommended. A strict diet is required, excluding foods or foods rich in acids.

Treatment of osteoarthritis 4 degrees

Treatment of this form of the disease is possible only by surgical method by replacing the joint with an artificial one. The most common are artificial ceramic, titanium and plastic prostheses. Medical methods, as well as physiotherapy, bring no results.

Treatment with folk methods

The methods of traditional medicine are actively used in the initial stages of the disease. Widely used herbal tinctures, various compresses, rubs, home-made ointments.

Folk remedies offer only additional pain relief, no healing effect is observed. Therapeutic measures are prescribed only by a specialist and he also controls their implementation.

Compresses from oats, cabbage juice or honey are widely used. Alcohol tinctures are being prepared on the rhizomes of elecampane and golden mustache, lilac flowers and angelica.

Baths with medicinal herbs are recommended as a heating procedure. To do this, take hay powder, mint, burdock rhizomes, mustard seeds.

Ointments are prepared with sweet clover herb, hops, St. John's wort based on cosmetic Vaseline.

Which doctor treats arthritis

An orthopedic surgeon deals with joint diseases, but when determining the root causes of the disease development, an additional examination by a trauma surgeon is possible. Since it is precisely the explanation of the causes of the disease that allows us to prescribe the most correct treatment.