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...
Alternative Names Diffuse esophageal spasm; Spasm of the esophagus Symptoms Difficulty swallowing or pain with swallowing Pain in the chest or upper abdomen It can be hard to tell a spasm from angina pectoris, a symptom of heart disease. The pain may spread to the neck, jaw, arms, or back Signs and tests Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) Esophageal manometry Esophagogram (barium swallow x-ray)
Vascular spasms temporary limit blood flow to tissue supplied by that vessel. The most common symptom is pain. Other symptoms are caused by lack of proper circulation and will vary depending on the specific organ affected:
When the spasm affects circulation in a limb, there may be pallor and a sensation of cold in that arm or leg. Limb function and movement will be impaired.
When the spasm affects circulation in the heart, there may be symptoms similar to a heart attack and irregular heartbeats. Other names for chest pain resulting from vascular spasm are Prinzmetal's angina and variant angina.
Signs and tests
These vary depending on the affected organ.
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