The degeneration of connective tissue and cartilage eventually leads to the development of a chronic disease that is characterized by an undulating process and is known as arthropathy. It turns out that arthritis of the shoulder joint is pathological changes in the tissues of the articular sac of the shoulder. The distinguishing feature of this disease is that it develops extremely slowly. Because of this, the patient does not notice the development of the pathological process. The shoulder joint is one of the most mobile and has a large range of motion. But this makes it one of the worst injuries, along with the forearm joint. Even minor mechanical damage can lead to the development of disease.

shoulder joint disease

The reasons for the development of joint disease

The causes of the development of the disease are natural wear and tear of the connective tissues, inflammation of various etiologies and salt deposition. In addition, there are a number of factors that can also lead to the development of a pathological process, in which the cartilage tissue becomes thinner and loses its smoothness.

Classification of joint diseases

There is a conditional classification of the disease - it is primary and secondary arthropathy.

Primary arthropathy develops over time during natural joint changes without any obvious cause. Secondary - the consequences of a limb injury. The second type of arthritis is usually diagnosed in middle-aged and young adults. In the elderly, a mixed type of disease is often identified. The development of a major disease can lead to:

  • Genetic diseases that lead to premature destruction of connective tissue and disease onset at an early age. Usually, shoulder osteoarthritis occurs in women due to genetic dysfunction.
  • Congenital defects of the joints, leading to increased trauma.

The root causes of the development of the disease of the second group include the following reasons.

  • Mechanical and herbal damage of the hand. These include dislocations, fractures, and severe bruising. Sprains can also cause illness.
  • Osteoarthritis can be called an occupational disease of construction workers and all those who have the main burden of work on their hands.
  • The cause of joint disease is considered to be progressive rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Mechanical damage always affects the nerve fibers and the blood supply system, as a result of which the proper nutrition of the tissues is reduced, resulting in post-traumatic arthrosis.
  • Violation of the endocrine system, metabolic processes. Unstable functioning of the endocrine system leads to a decrease in the supply of organs and tissues with essential nutrients, which in turn negatively affects joint mobility and contributes to joint deformity. .
  • During menopause, due to a decrease in female hormones, the process of gradual destruction of cartilage tissue begins. Autoimmune diseases such as gout or psoriasis are also considered to be catalysts for the development of joint disease.
  • Diseases of the heart and vascular system of the body to a large extent affect the active destruction of the shoulder capsule. For example, varicose veins lead to a slowing of blood flow through the vessels, which significantly affects the nutrition of tissues, and as a result, osteoarthritis develops.

Trauma specialists always warn that a dislocation that is not treated in time or is not treated appropriately in the future will inevitably lead to the development of joint disease. This is due to the fact that the bones grow together and the joints lose mobility.

Progression of the disease

Osteoarthritis of the shoulder begins with a gradual change in cartilage tissue. Due to trauma or other reasons, the blood supply to the connective tissue is reduced, leading to thinning of the cartilage, changes in appearance, reduction of the synovial membrane, and the appearance of salt deposits. This leads to reduced range of motion and discomfort in this area.

Symptoms of the disease

The clinical picture of joint disease manifests itself gradually, so many people do not notice the early stages of the disease and miss the opportunity to rapidly reduce damage.

Symptoms of arthritis include:

  1. Shoulder, collarbone and shoulder pain. Pain can manifest itself both at rest and with movement.
  2. First, a quieter noise and then a crackling crack in the joint.
  3. Decreased motor activity of the extremities.
  4. Pain response from joints to changing weather conditions.
  5. A small bump may appear in the affected joint area.
  6. Complete loss of mobility due to rheumatism, this symptom is observed in the most severe stages of the disease.

Degree of shoulder osteoarthritis

The stages of disease development have a clear classification. Four advanced stages of joint disease have been identified.

Osteoarthritis 1 degree

The beginning of the development of the pathology is manifested by mild pain in the shoulder and neck region in the morning and in the evening. There is a decrease in motor activity in the morning, which disappears after a while. There is a bit of stiffness of motion. After a long period of rest with an active load, shooting pain may occur. When working with one hand in the shoulder joint, an almost inaudible crackle that is not accompanied by pain may be noted. Persistent pain occurs only with exertion and disappears with rest. It is not always possible to diagnose the onset of the disease with the help of X-ray examination, since the imaging shows only the appearance of small salt deposits and a slight narrowing of the synovial membrane.

Arthritis 2 degrees

At this stage of the development of the disease, there is a significant decrease in motor activity. A crunching sound in the joints with movement becomes pronounced, symptoms of acute, permanent pain. The joint remains mobile, but the mechanism of motion changes dramatically. With movement, the pain becomes more severe and lasts longer. During the development of grade 2 joint disease, the patient does not leave a constant feeling of fatigue. Aching pain occurs in the shoulder, associated with a significant change in the thickness of the connective membrane. X-ray images show that the synovial space becomes many times thinner than normal. In addition, there is a significant deformity of the joint, which leads to the inability to perform heavy work. Salt mines occupy an increasingly large area.

Osteoarthritis 3 degrees

This stage of the disease is characterized by significant loss of motor activity, up to small amplitude oscillating movements. The pain becomes constant, its character changing from aching to sharp. This is due to the contraction of the peristaltic muscles. Joints are inflamed and sensitive to changing weather conditions. A sign of this degree of joint degeneration is that other people can hear a crunching sound with the slightest movement of the hand. When X-ray inspection was carried out, there was an almost complete disappearance of the inner film, significant salt deposits along the edges. The deformation of the tissues is so great that it creates significant difficulties in movement until it is completely lost. Grade 3 osteoarthritis is the leading cause of disability due to loss of mobility of the limbs.

4 stages of development of joint disease

In this stage of the disease, complete loss of movement is noted, the joint is completely deformed. Accompanied by constant pain that cannot be controlled by medication. On radiographs, fusion of the joints is noted - ankylosing spondylitis or the appearance of a prosthetic joint - neoplasia. Disease in this form always leads to disability. The only treatment is an artificial joint replacement through surgery.

Diagnosis and differential diagnosis with joint disease

Preliminary diagnosis is made on the basis of tests of joint mobility and a description of symptoms from the patient's speech. For damage or rejection, an X-ray examination is prescribed. At the initial stage, light salt deposits are noted, the deformation of the joint is not fixed. In the complex stages of the disease, radiographs fully reflect the extent of damage to the connective tissue and the affected joint area.

For an accurate diagnosis at an early stage, the doctor may order further tests, for example, CT or magnetic resonance imaging with or without contrast.

Remember to order a biochemical blood test to determine the amount of uric acid salts.

Treatment of shoulder osteoarthritis

The golden rule that disease is easier to prevent than cure also applies in this case. But if the disease has already begun to develop, the main thing is to start complex treatment at the right time. The nature of the disease is incurable, but the risk of its development can be greatly reduced.

Treatment in the early stages

At the first stage of the development of the disease, chondoprotectors are prescribed, which accelerate the regeneration of cartilage tissue, and vitamin-mineral complexes, which increase the number of necessary trace elements. in periarticular tissues.

To relieve symptoms, the patient is prescribed a diet that strictly prohibits eating salty, sour foods, canned foods and smoked meats. Eat vegetables and fruits as much as possible.

The doctor must prescribe ointments and gels that not only relieve pain, but also help restore the connective tissues of the joints.

Of great importance in the treatment of grade 1 joint disease must include physical therapy exercises. Medical patches should be applied to the affected joint.

Treatment of arthritis stage 2

At this stage, it is necessary to relieve the pain syndrome and completely or partially get rid of the focal point of the inflammation. In this case, non-steroidal drugs are prescribed to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

As in the first case, chondoprotectors are required for use. Hyaluronic acid, which is part of these drugs, accelerates tissue repair. A strict diet is required, excluding all foods that provoke the development of the disease.

In addition to drug treatment, regular physical education is necessary. Physical therapy is an invaluable aid in the treatment of arthritis. Simple but effective treatment methods are indicated such as ultrasound treatment of damaged joints, electrophoresis, point laser impact on shoulder bones.

In addition, it is recommended to take a mud bath, visit massage and use traditional medicine to activate the recovery process. These measures can significantly slow down the progression of the disease.

Treatment of stage 3 of the disease

Treatment during this period is a set of measures to relieve pain, for this they will inject a corticosteroid into the joint. The number of blockades must not exceed 4 times a year.

Treatments aim to trigger tissue repair and slow down destruction. For this, chondoprotectors and drugs that improve blood circulation are prescribed.

Physical therapy and physiotherapy exercises are also recommended. It is necessary to follow a strict diet, which does not include foods or foods that contain a lot of acid.

Treatment of arthritis 4 degrees

This form of the disease can only be treated surgically with an artificial joint replacement. The most common are porcelain, titanium and plastic prosthetics. Medical methods as well as physical therapy did not bring any results.

Treatment with folk methods

Traditional medicine methods are actively used in the early stages of the disease. Drops on medicinal herbs, various compresses, massages, homemade ointments are widely used.

Folk remedies provide only additional pain relief, not a curative effect. Therapeutic measures are prescribed only by a specialist, and he also controls their implementation.

Compresses from oatmeal, cabbage juice or honey are widely used. The tincture is being prepared on the rhizomes of holly and golden mustache, lilac and angelica.

Herbal baths are recommended as a warming procedure. To do this, take hay, mint, burdock rhizomes, mustard seeds.

Ointment is prepared with sweet clover herbs, hops, St. John's wort based on cosmetic vaseline.

Which doctor treats arthritis?

Orthopedic surgeons address joint diseases, but once the root cause of disease development is determined, further examination by a trauma surgeon may be possible. Because clarifying the exact causes of the disease allows us to prescribe the most precise treatment.