Shoulder Arthritis Treatment Options

A diagnosis of shoulder arthritis shouldn’t make you feel helpless or scared because there are a range of treatment options available. These include medication, or surgery in the more serious cases, and therapy, including self-help measures or counseling in mild situations. 

Here at Orthopedic Associates, our health professionals are aware of the importance of building a good relationship AND the best treatment possible. Treatment options will naturally follow the nature and severity of your shoulder arthritis. We go through some options below… 

Drug Treatment

Analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Steroids, and Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are some common drugs that may be prescribed by your doctor to counteract early symptoms or stages of shoulder arthritis. 

Work with your Doctor in regard to over-the-counter medicines as they can be dangerous if not taken properly.


In some cases surgical options may be necessary and involve procedures like:

  • Washing out/Arthroscopy, to remove loose fragments in your shoulder;
  • Synovectomy, to remove synovium from the joint; 
  • Surgical realignment, to correct deformity or straighten your shoulder; 
  • Joint Replacement/Arthroplasty, to replace all or part of your shoulder with an implant;
  • Cartilage transplant and microfracture, to stimulate growth of new cartilage in your shoulder. 

In rheumatoid arthritis, where the rotator cuff muscles in your shoulder are in bad shape, a hemiarthroplasty can be effective for alleviating pain. This leaves the joint feeling more comfortable albeit with little effect on range of movement. 

Physical therapy is often necessary for recovery. 

Complementary treatment options

There are a rich variety of these treatments and they generally help with symptom relief and comfort. These include natural remedies and supplements, bodywork and movement therapies. 

Sometimes a combination of two or more of these therapies may be necessary. They include, yoga, pilates, massages, reflexology, osteopathy, acupuncture, Chiropractic therapy, oils and herbs, proteins and supplements amongst others.

Food, drink & physical activity

A balanced diet is particularly important when you have shoulder arthritis — AND exercising regularly (and safely) is a great route to recovery.  Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are great and a diet of fruit, low-fat dairy, oily fish and vegetables can make all the difference with your arthritis. 

Exercise also doesn’t need to be intensive — even moderate activity will help with stiffness and mobility in your shoulder. It will also improve the overall health of your soft tissue and adjacent muscles.

Getting Treatment

If you have been dealing with shoulder arthritis, we can help you understand the roots of the pain and options for treatment. You deserve to live the best life possible, and this includes freedom from pain. 

Contact us to learn more and get the treatment you need! We are ready to get you back to health and happiness. 

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