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Shoulder Arthritis Treatment

Shoulder Arthritis Treatment

Did you know that shoulder arthritis is an uncommon shoulder condition that most physiotherapists rarely diagnose or treat?

Fortunately, Perth Shoulder Physio are experts in shoulder arthritis treatment in Perth. We can diagnose the source of your pain and implement a shoulder arthritis treatment program that’s right for you.

Note: Shoulder arthritis is a complex condition so this general information is provided at a level that can be easily understood.

We recommend you book an appointment with Perth Shoulder Physio for more specific information and individualised shoulder arthritis treatment Perth.

What is arthritis of the shoulder?

The shoulder has two joints that can be affected by arthritis. These are the glenohumeral or ‘ball and socket joint’ and the acromioclavicular or ‘AC Joint.’

And, in case you don’t already know, there are two common types of arthritis that can impact the body:


When we talk about arthritis of the shoulder, we are typically referring to osteoarthritis or ‘wear and tear’ of the shoulder. This involves deterioration of the smooth articular cartilage that lines the joint surfaces of the shoulder.

As a non-weight-bearing joint, the ball and socket of the shoulder is not typically subjected to excessive ‘wear and tear.’ However, previous injuries to the joint and repetitive overhead activities may eventually cause shoulder arthritis.

The AC Joint is more commonly affected by ‘wear and tear’ from overhead activities and weight-lifting, thus making ACJ arthritis far more common than glenohumeral joint arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis can affect both the ‘ball and socket joint’ and the ‘AC Joint’ of the shoulder.

Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis of the shoulder is very different to treatment for osteoarthritis of the shoulder and as it’s an autoimmune disease, requires a rheumatologist to intervene.

What are the causes of arthritis in the shoulder?

The most common causes of shoulder arthritis include:

  • Previous trauma or injury to the shoulder joints
  • Long term rotator cuff tears
  • Long term instability of the shoulder
  • Excessive loading of the shoulder over a long period of time
  • Repetitive overhead activities over a long period of time

What are the symptoms of shoulder arthritis?

Symptoms of shoulder arthritis usually develop gradually over the course of months to years, but it’s possible to experience a sudden onset of symptoms if a background level of shoulder arthritis is present and the shoulder is subjected to excessive or repetitive force.

Symptoms of shoulder arthritis include:

  • Shoulder pain when using the arm and lying on the affected side
  • Restricted and painful movement of the shoulder
  • Crunching or clicking of the shoulder
  • Weakness due to pain or concurrent rotator cuff tears

How is shoulder arthritis treated?

This section includes general advice on shoulder arthritis treatment in Perth, which we hope will benefit you. Perth Shoulder Physio strongly recommends booking an appointment with an expert shoulder physio as incorrect shoulder arthritis treatment may exacerbate your shoulder pain.

Physiotherapy Treatment for Shoulder Arthritis

Shoulder arthritis treatment at Perth Shoulder Physio is essential to maintain movement and strength of the shoulder with the use of specific exercises and will be targeted to your specific needs.

Mobility and strengthening exercises for your shoulder arthritis must be prescribed by an experienced physio to prevent a flare of your pain.

Your expert shoulder physio may also provide ‘hands on shoulder arthritis treatment’ to relieve your pain and muscle tension.

Shoulder Exercises for arthritis

Shoulder arthritis exercises are crucial in maintaining flexibility and strength of the shoulder. As mentioned above, the exercises must be individually targeted depending on your presentation.

Book an appointment with Perth Shoulder Physio to receive your personalised shoulder exercise program.

Medical Treatment for arthritis

Your doctor may prescribe medication like slow-release paracetamol or even anti-inflammatories to ease your pain.

Surgery for ‘AC Joint’ arthritis is relatively simple and effective in relieving pain and improving function. It involves trimming the affected end of the collar bone (clavicle) to prevent rubbing of the joint.

Surgery for the ‘ball and socket joint’ is far more complex, consisting of a shoulder replacement. There are two types of shoulder replacement surgeries that may be recommended depending on your condition. Your Perth Shoulder Physio can explain the procedures to you in more detail at your appointment.

Medical treatment for rheumatoid arthritis will require an expert rheumatologist.

Alleviate your shoulder arthritis

Need help alleviating your shoulder arthritis and the pain that goes with it?

Book an appointment today for a personalised treatment plan.


Ready to recover and get pain free?

Your Perth Shoulder Physio is ready to help.