Osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint. Causes, treatment, prevention
Our joints are under tremendous strain throughout their lives. Cartilage need constant nutrition. Even minor disorders can lead to the development of such a pathology as osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint. What it is?
Description of the disease
Osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint is understood as a chronic degenerative disease characterized by the gradual destruction of cartilage and the development of the inflammatory process. As a result of such changes, the hand cannot perform its primary functions.
Modern medicine is not able to offer such a medicine that could cure a patient with a similar diagnosis forever. However, there are effective drugs, the proper use of which allows you to stop the course of the illness, reduce pain discomfort and prevent disability.
The main causes of the disease
Osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint is not diagnosed as often as similar processes in the lower extremities. The fact is that the static load of body weight in this case is not so important. Only the features of the functions performed play a crucial role in the formation of pathology.
The shoulder joint of a person is distinguished by a spherical configuration; all movements are carried out in three planes. That is why the joint capsule is usually loosened, ligaments are weak. All this creates a fertile ground for various kinds of injuries (sprains, ruptures, strains). Such mechanical damage is the main cause of the disease.
In addition to injuries, the pathology is facilitated by chronic shocks in the performance of certain works. This may be carrying weights or playing sports. In rare cases, osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint is a consequence of inflammation of a rheumatic or gouty nature.
Due to the continuous degenerative processes, articular cartilage primarily suffers. It gradually becomes thinner, loses moisture, and over time it becomes less elastic.Then the pathological process spreads to the subchondral bone of the head of the shoulder. To stabilize the affected area, the cartilaginous ring thickens, and so-called osteophytes form on the subchondral surface. These are special bone growths, which are perceived by many as salt deposits.
What signs indicate shoulder osteoarthritis?
Symptoms of the disease in each case may vary. Typically, patients complain of stiffness after sleeping or prolonged stay in one position. They also note painful discomfort in the joint after physical exertion. In the morning there may be swelling and slight swelling.
Pain discomfort and movement disorders in medical practice are simply referred to as “frozen shoulder”. The intensity of the clinical picture is not the same and may increase over time. If the above symptoms appear, it is recommended to consult a specialist. Only a doctor can prescribe treatment and confirm the diagnosis of “shoulder osteoarthritis”.
Extent of the disease
- The first degree of lesion is characterized by brief pain in the shoulder joint. The elasticity of cartilage tissue is reduced, and its surface becomes loose.
- The second degree of lesion is characterized by prolonged painful discomfort and a short-term restriction in the mobility of the shoulder region. Fibers of the cartilage surface gradually exfoliate, tissues become thinner.
- The third degree of damage in their symptoms is similar to the previous stage, but the pain becomes sharp, and any movements are accompanied by a crunch. Some patients report temporary numbness of the limbs. When moving, additional support may be required. During the diagnosis, doctors identify the beginning of the formation of deep cracks, joint deformity, and partial muscle atrophy.
- The fourth stage is characterized by endless pain in the affected area, a prolonged restriction in movement. Examination shows extensive bone growth and muscle atrophy.
Diagnosis of the disease
Only a doctor after collecting anamnesis and examining a patient can make a diagnosis of osteoarthritis. Symptoms of pathology play an important role in confirming the disease.To determine its nature and purpose of treatment usually requires a comprehensive examination. By MRI and CT, it is possible to determine the localization of the inflammatory focus, the stage of the disease.
Patients with such a diagnosis after a full examination is usually prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Naproxen, Nimesulide, Diclofenac). These remedies relieve existing inflammation, as well as reduce pain discomfort. It is important to note that such drugs should be prescribed exclusively by a physician due to possible negative effects on metabolic processes directly in the cartilage tissue. In addition, anti-inflammatory drugs should be taken with extreme caution in people who have problems with the gastrointestinal tract. Components in their composition, a bad effect on the gastric mucosa, and sometimes contribute to the development of ulcers.
In especially serious cases, with a high activity of the disease, other treatment of the joints is required. For the treatment of inflammation is usually prescribed a procedure called intraarticular blockade. Injections of drugs (corticosteroids) are carried out directly in the affected area.The use of these drugs in the form of tablets can adversely affect the work of the whole organism. If hormones act locally on the joint, most often it is possible to achieve an excellent anti-inflammatory effect without serious side effects.
In the early stages of the disease, when a patient is diagnosed with osteoarthritis grade 1, doctors recommend non-invasive treatment options. These include the use of local hormonal and non-hormonal drugs in the form of ointments and gels ("Butadion", "Relief", "Bystrumgel").
Physiotherapy and physiotherapy
The use of physiotherapeutic methods can significantly slow the progression of the disease. In this pathology, the following procedures are usually prescribed: medical baths, infrared laser therapy, the use of ultrasound.
Taking into account the fact that osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint develops due to increased physical exertion, physiotherapy can have a beneficial effect on the affected area. Note that the lack of sports in a person’s life is not the solution to this problem. A qualified specialist should help the patient to find a kind of "middle ground" between physical activity and complete physical inactivity.The complex of exercises is selected on an individual basis. During exercise, the muscles receive stimulation, and the shoulder girdle begins to gradually recover.
When surgery is required
In particularly serious cases, when the cartilage is almost completely destroyed, and anti-inflammatory treatment of the joints is ineffective, the doctor decides on surgical intervention. As a rule, we are talking about endoprosthetics.
During such an operation, part of the joint is replaced with a plastic, ceramic or metal prosthesis. Its service life is at least 15 years.
Of course, the cost of this operation is usually high, and rehabilitation can last several months. That is why doctors strongly recommend that you seek qualified help at the first symptoms of the disease.
If the patient is diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the joints, treatment should be prescribed exclusively by a doctor. The choice of a specific therapeutic tactic depends on many parameters. If the disease is at an early stage of development, anti-inflammatory drugs are usually prescribed.In especially serious cases, surgery is required to replace the joint. Is it possible to prevent this disease?
First of all, experts recommend to join a healthy lifestyle, try to eat right and treat all disorders in a timely manner. Particular attention in the prevention of osteoarthritis is given to sport. Dosed physical activity has not harmed anyone. It is important to use sports equipment to avoid injuries and dislocations. In addition, the exercises are best performed under the control of a trainer.
Experts note the need to consume large amounts of calcium-rich foods, because they contain components that are important for the body. From the diet is better to remove sausages, pastry and flour products.
If all the above recommendations are observed, many people manage not only to lower the body mass index, but also to streamline the daily physical exertion and enrich the body with vitamins and trace elements. Be healthy!