Arthrosis of the shoulder joint - symptoms and treatment

Arthrosis of the shoulder joint is a chronic degenerative disease, when it appears the motor capacity of the affected joint is reduced, there is a spasm of muscles and swelling of the surrounding tissues.

This is due to the destruction of the cartilaginous tissue of the joint.

Every movement that requires the involvement of a sick site causes pain.


  • 1Causes of the disease
  • 2Arthrosis of the shoulder joint - symptoms at different stages
      • 2.0.11 degree
      • 2.0.22 degree
      • 2.0.33 degree
      • 2.0.44 degree
  • 3Types of treatment
      • 3.0.1Medicamentous
      • 3.0.2Unconventional
      • 3.0.3Physiotherapeutic
      • 3.0.4Surgical

Causes of the disease

Like many joint diseases, shoulder arthrosis affects the elderly. Up to 75% of patients are people over 65 years old.

Osteoarthritis in young people is less common than in the elderly, but the percentage of morbidity increases every year. This is especially true for athletes.

Among the main causes of arthrosis can be identified:

  1. Excessive power loads on the shoulder joint (sport, hard physical labor).
  2. Subcooling.
  3. Shoulder injuries (sprains, sprains, fractures, bruises).
  4. Elderly age.
  5. Hormonal disorders.
  6. Diseases of the joints.

Provoking factors to the rapid development of arthrosis and transition to a more severe degree:

  • sharp changes in air temperature;
  • constant loads on the joint (sports, lifting weights, incorrectly selected set of exercises).
  • the presence of concomitant diseases of the joints (synovitis, arthritis, bone necrosis).

The absence of treatment of brachial arthrosis at an early stage will lead to the need for surgical intervention.

Arthrosis of the shoulder joint - symptoms at different stages

Both the symptoms and the treatment of arthrosis of the shoulder joint will vary depending on the degree of the disease.Doctors distinguish four degrees of arthrosis, we will dwell on the symptoms of each of them in more detail.

1 degree

Arthrosis of the shoulder joint of the first degree is characterized by minor damage to the cartilaginous tissue. The affected joint disturbs the patient with physical loads on it, can "pull" in inclement weather and cause inconvenience after sleep. It becomes harder to lift weights.

Since the 1st degree of arthrosis may not be reflected on the X-ray, doctors often diagnose it with the "lock" method. The patient is asked to put his hands behind his back and cross them. In a healthy person, this procedure does not cause discomfort.A patient with arthrosis of the shoulder joint will either not be able to do this, or will feel pain.

It is important to diagnose arthrosis of 1 degree in time to prevent its development.

2 degree

With arthrosis of the shoulder joint of the second degree, an osteophyte appears, which is clearly visible on the X-ray.

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The patient is more difficult to work with his hands, he can no longer wear weights, and sometimes it is difficult for him to raise his hand in order, for example, to turn off the light.

Hand movements can be accompanied by a crunch.

At the second stage of the disease, a gradual destruction of the joint is already taking place.

3 degree

The advanced stage of arthrosis of the shoulder. With her, the patient can do almost nothing with his own hands - the movements are very difficult and cause pain.

There is deformation and inflammation of the joint, muscles around the affected area can be partially atrophied.

The disease rarely develops to this stage, and in most cases with proper treatment, recovery occurs before the transition of arthrosis of the shoulder to the third degree. But if you do not take care of the affected joint, expose it to strain and do not treat it, the likelihood of complications is very high.

Arthrosis of the shoulder joint of the third degree is treated only with the help of surgery.

4 degree

Severe stage of arthrosis. There is a complete destruction of the joint, the bones coalesce. All this is accompanied by unbearable pain, which does not cease even with the use of strong pain medications. It is treated only operatively, in particular by endoprosthetics.

In addition to surgery, the patient does not have a chance to return to active life.

Types of treatment

To date, there are such types of treatment of arthrosis of the shoulder joint: traditional (medicamentous), surgical, physiotherapy. As auxiliary methods, traditional medicine and therapeutic gymnastics are used.

Since modern medicine does not yet know the methods of treatment of degenerative processes in the joints the main task of all methods of treatment is the removal of the pain syndrome and the maintenance of the patient's function the joint.

Let's consider each of the methods of treatment.


The traditional method of treatment involves the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and chondroprotectors.

The basis of the pharmacology of arthrosis are selective and nonselective inhibitors of cyclooxygenase-2.

Among the selective most effective are:

  • celecoxib;
  • etorikoksib;
  • nimesulide;
  • meloxicam.

The very name "selective" refers to the direction of action of drugs: they affect the affected organ with minimal effect on the body as a whole. Have a strong analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect.

A number of studies have identified celecoxib as the safest drug for treatment.

Among the non-selective drugs are the following:

  • diclofenac;
  • ibuprofen;
  • naproxen.
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These inhibitors effectively stop the pain syndrome, but have a number of side effects, among which: gastrointestinal disorders, bronchospasm, headache, tachycardia, allergic reactions, violation vision and hearing. In the case of prolonged use, peptic ulcer, bleeding, or kidney failure may occur.

The next group of drugs - chondroprotectors - is designed to restore cartilaginous joint tissue, activate the synthesis of intraarticular fluid and prevent dystrophic changes in cartilage. Almost all drugs in this group of active ingredients are chondroitin and glucosamine (alone or together).

Form release - tablets, ointments, injections and powders. The most effective are injections, since injections are placed directly inside the affected area. The use of injections also helps to stop the pain syndrome after the first procedures.

On the second place there are powders and tablets, on the third - ointments. The opinion about the effectiveness of tablets varies among specialists, as some question their effect after passing through the digestive tract. Ointments are often prescribed as an additional method for injections, powders and tablets.

As chondroprotectors, usually these drugs are prescribed:

  1. Dona (powder or solution for intramuscular injection).
  2. Arthra (tablets and capsules).
  3. Alflutop (solution for injection).
  4. Structum (capsules).
  5. Teraflex (capsules).
  6. Slaughter stone (dietary supplements, capsules).
  7. Rumalon (solution for injection).
  8. Chondroxide (ointment).
  9. Chondroitin (ointment).
All chondroprotectors are prescribed a long course of treatment (from four months), tangible improvements usually occur no earlier than five to six months.


Traditional medicine in the treatment of arthrosis can be used as an additional method (only in combination with medication and only after consulting a doctor).

Among proven methods, one can distinguish the wrapping of the diseased shoulder with a cabbage leaf, rubbing unrefined vegetable oil with salt or alcohol tincture from potato sprouts. As for medicinal herbs, the most popular are: mackerel, hops, sweet clover, St. John's wort, horse chestnut, burdock and others. Decoctions are taken orally, or as grits and compresses.

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This method is complementary to medication and is prescribed at the first and second degree of arthrosis of the shoulder.

Physiotherapy methods include:

  • ultrasonic influence;
  • special massage;
  • electrotherapy;
  • thermal procedures;
  • acupuncture.

The course of physiotherapy is prescribed by the doctor depending on the stage of the disease.


The operation is prescribed in advanced stages of the disease, when less cardinal methods are already powerless.

Operative intervention can be divided into two types:

  • endoprosthetics;
  • arthrodesis.

In most cases, endoprosthetics of the elbow joint. The operation is a joint replacement by an implant, which has an identical shape. The shoulder endoprosthesis performs its function from 15 to 30 years, after the expiry of this period, a second operation is necessary.

According to the developed trend, elderly patients are reluctant to operate, referring to the danger of the operation and its consequences. But modern research, which was conducted both in Russia and abroad, showed that the method endoprosthetics in the elderly is not only possible, but also highly desirable, since other chances of recovery the patient does not.

Postoperative complications in the case of patients with the older group are greater, but this value is not critical.

An arthrodesis is an operation, the result of which is the complete fixation (ie immobilization) of the joint, in other words - the creation of artificial ankylosis. During the operation, the joint is fixed in a position favorable for the patient, after which it is completely immobilized. This method is rarely used, only with severe forms of arthrosis.

Contraindications: children under 12 years old and older group after 60 years.

Operative treatment is effective, but it is quite expensive and is not carried out in all clinics.

It should be remembered that any disease is difficult and expensive to treat in advanced stages, so it is important to diagnose arthrosis in time and prevent its further development.