My shoulder hurts...is it osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a very common problem. Most people know someone who is dealing with arthritis of at least one joint. Spine, hips, knees, and hands are the most common places for osteoarthritis to cause symptoms. However, any joint can be affected and a common question I hear when a patient presents with shoulder pain is: Do I have arthritis?
First, a bit of anatomy -- the shoulder is composed of two separate joints:
(1) the acromioclavicular joint where the collarbone meets the shoulder bone (2) the glenohumeral joint where the ball of the humerus articulates with the shoulder blade (scapula). Both joints can be affected by osteoarthritis. It is relatively uncommon for osteoarthritis to develop in the glenohumeral joint without a history of trauma or previous injury. We'll discuss that in a minute. First, let's review the acromioclavicular joint.
Causes of Shoulder Pain Besides Arthritis The glenohumeral joint is the most mobile j...
Try washing your hair, brushing your teeth or getting dressed without the use of one shoulder, it's darn near impossible to do anything without your shoulders. We use our shoulders all day long, 365 days per year. And over the years, the shoulders may not be feeling as comfortable or limber as they once did back in your younger days. Or maybe you are in your younger years but have been hard on your shoulders. Whether you are young or old, stiff painful shoulders make life's daily activities much more difficult to get done.
The most common reason to have a painful shoulder is tendonitis. The shoulder is a complex joint with a network of tendons called the rotator cuff . As all of the muscles in the shoulder work to pull, push, lift and reach, the tendons - which attach the shoulder muscles to the bones - can get very inflamed and painful. Sometimes the rotator cuff actually gets pinched between two bones, the acromion and the humerus. This condition is called shoulder impin...
A year ago, I was walking my two dogs at the beach when one lurched in one direction and other decided to swing around behind me to catch up to the other. The result was one heck of a sore shoulder! For nearly 2 weeks I had trouble moving my shoulder without pain and I had many people telling me I had torn the rotator cuff and I was doomed for surgery.
Unlike myself, I let it sit and I took time off and then went back to doing yoga and activities that I normally do and just favored it, when it would speak to me. A year later, I found myself suffering elbow pain when I would massage my clients and physical weakening to the point I gave up many poses in yoga due to no strength and continued limited range of motion. Finally, a month ago I was looking at my shoulders in a mirror and I could see a structural change to my left shoulder, which is my dominant arm. Movement had become so impinged that I was compensating in ways that were not healthy lo...
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