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...
Very few joints in the body work harder than the shoulder joint. Pushing, pulling, reaching, lifting; the shoulder does it all. And all that work can lead to a painful problem like rotator cuff tendonitis, a rotator cuff tear, shoulder bursitis, or shoulder arthritis. How can you keep that shoulder moving comfortably and get through some shoulder aches and pains? A few tips and tricks can come in handy some day or maybe even today when wicked shoulder pain comes your way.
Trick #1: Icing; when icing your shoulder, especially an inflamed rotator cuff, place the hand of the same limb behind your back. This "back-pocket" position exposes the shoulder tendons which hide underneath the shoulder bone (the acromion) to the ice. The ice pack (like a sack of frozen peas) is positioned slightly forward near the collarbone. Leave the ice on the area for 15 to 20 minutes.
Trick #2: Massage; after icing an inflamed rotator cuff, find the most painful spot and rub it against the grai...
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