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...
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...
Does John McCain have shoulder osteoarthritis? Is that why he has trouble elevating his arms above his head?
Whatever your political views may be, hopefully we can all agree that we owe a profound debt of gratitude to Sen. John McCain for his honorable service during the Vietnam War. I do not provide medical care for Sen. McCain and I do not know his personal medical history, but a patient with shoulder pain asked me "What's wrong with McCain's shoulders and why can't he raise his hands above his head?"
There are many reasons why a person may not be able to raise his hands high above his head. Many of them deal with shoulder problems. With the disclaimer once more that I don't know Sen. McCain's medical history or the extent of the injuries he incurred as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, there are certain reasonable hypotheses one could make.
While shoulders are not common joints to develop significant osteoarthritis, they are much more prone to developing osteoarthritis if they...
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