One specific and often common arthritis is acromioclavicular [A/C Joint] osteoarthritis. It is a type of osteoarthritis that affects the joint where the clavicle (collarbone) meets the acromion process of the scapula (shoulder blade) that comes up from the back to meet on top of the shoulder. It is a degenerative joint condition that occurs when the cartilage that cushions the joint wears down over time. This can cause pain and stiffness, which will decrease movement in the shoulder.
Over time, the cartilage can become thin and worn, exposing the underlying bone. This can lead to bone spurs. Inflammation can increase, increasing shoulder pain as the rough surfaces rub against each other during shoulder movement. The condition can develop gradually over time or as a result of an injury, such as from a fall on that shoulder.
Symptoms of A/C Joint osteoarthritis include pain in the shoulder joint, especially with movement or when bearing weight on the affected shoulder, such as lying on the side that has the arthritis. There may also be tenderness and swelling in the joint, but swelling is difficult to see in this joint. As the condition progresses, there may be a loss of movement with tightness and less strength in the affected shoulder. Avoiding some activities that aggravate the joint can all help reduce the symptoms of A/C arthritis. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can help reduce pain and inflammation. Your doctor may also prescribe stronger pain medication if necessary. In a few severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove damaged tissue or bone spurs to try and reduce pain from complications of the spurring.Top of Form
Importantly, Jones Physical Therapy can develop an exercise program to help strengthen the muscles around the shoulder joint, improve range of motion, and reduce pain.
It is important to work with a licensed physical therapist to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and goals.