Shoulder Arthritis -- Treatment

  • You may try taking over-the-counter pain medicine if you do not have any other existing medical problem that would make these dangerous.

  • Cryotherapy, or the use of cold compresses, can help to relieve your pain, expecially after a long day. We offer the PolarCare Cub cold therapy unit to help get your pain under control. To see if cold will work for your shoulder, simply try a bag of ice to start. If you feel relief of pain with that, then you will enjoy our cryotherapy unit.

Second, preserve the cartilage you have left

  • Glucosamine sulfate has been scientifically proven to help preserve joints in osteoarthritis. Although most studies have been in the lower extremity (e.g., knee), many orthopedic surgeons have used it for shoulder arthritis as well. This is an over-the counter vitamin.

Third, maintain/improve your motion and strength

  • A simple exercise program will maintain your motion. If you have the proper equipment, this is something that can be done at home. You can use your "good shoulder" or the assistance of a friend to help you keep your motion and strength. Remember, once you lose your motion with arthritis, it is very difficult to regain it! Most orthopedic surgeons will tell you that surgery can improve pain, but no surgeon will guarantee that joint replacement surgery will improve motion. Our Deluxe Shoulder Therapy Set is ideal in maintaining a healthy shoulder.

What if all this doesn't work?

  • Sometimes injections into the shoulder can be given by your doctor. When these fail to relieve your pain, your doctor may recommend arthroscopic surgery if you have mild arthritis.

  • If you have severe arthritis, your physician may recommend shoulder replacement surgery.

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