What Causes Shoulder Arthritis?
There are five common causes of shoulder arthritis that make natural arm movements painful and difficult to perform.
Most common in people over the age of 50, osteoarthritis is known as the “wear-and-tear” of the smooth outer cartilage that covers the bone. It is also the most common type of arthritis.
This type of shoulder arthritis commonly develops in the acromioclavicular joint and is sometimes referred to as “bone on bone” arthritis.
Osteoarthritis develops from overuse, but there are other risk factors for osteoarthritis, including:
- Previous injury to the joint; or
- Family history
#2: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease where the defenses that protect the body from infection instead damage normal tissue and soften bones. In addition to the shoulder, RA can attack many different joints in your body. It is also common in both acromioclavicular and glenohumeral shoulder joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis causes the lining that covers your joints to swell, which causes the stiffness and pain you experience as a symptom.
People of all ages can develop RA, and some are more susceptible to the disease than others.
#3: Post-Traumatic Arthritis
Different from other types of shoulder arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis develops quickly due to the shoulder injury (or affected joint). Also, unlike other forms of shoulder arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis is usually temporary and can be healed in time.
#4: Rotator Cuff Tear Arthropathy
Almost 2 million people in the United States suffer from rotator cuff tears each year. And as a result, shoulder pain and shoulder arthritis occur.
Because a rotator cuff tear weakens the shoulder, the rotator cuff can no longer hold the head of the shoulder in its socket. As the shoulder head moves, it begins to rub against the outer edge of the shoulder blade, causing arthritis to develop.
#5: Avascular Necrosis
Avascular necrosis (AVN) is a blood supply condition that can ultimately destroy the shoulder joint.
The blood supply in the head of the humerus is disrupted most commonly from …
- High-dosage steroid use
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Sickle cell disease; and
- Traumatic shoulder injuries
… leading to shoulder arthritis over time.