top of page

[Pain Management NYC] 7 Signs That Show You Might Have Arthritis in the Shoulder

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

shoulder pain relief NYC

Shoulder arthritis is a common musculoskeletal problem that affects many people. Arthritis is a degenerative condition of the joints that occurs when there is damage to the cartilage and connective tissues in your joints. It is something that becomes more common as we age, but there are even some people who have it who are not that old at all.

Arthritis of the shoulder is caused by several factors. And when you have pain, tenderness, or stiffness in various spots over the affected area, it helps to know what you are dealing with. Always keep a close eye on this very important joint that you use every single day of your life. If the pain becomes too much, our pain management NYC center offers strategies to treat and stop the effects of arthritis.

This blog will allow you to recognize the signs of shoulder arthritis, understand how it affects your body, and choose treatment options that can help you prevent future complications and improve your quality of life.

Shoulder Arthritis

A shoulder is a complicated joint. It has a large ball-shaped head, called a humeral head, at the top of the humerus bone. This allows your shoulder joint to have an extreme range of motion. The shoulder is also surrounded by ligaments to help keep the shoulder stable and prevent it from moving in too many directions.

When your shoulder joint becomes damaged, the cartilage can wear down faster than it can be replaced. This cartilage is responsible for helping both joints move smoothly and without pain. It is highly susceptible to disease and injury. If left untreated, this can lead to constant pain, diminished mobility, and even permanent disability.

Shoulder arthritis happens when cartilage damage becomes permanent and causes inflammation in your joints. As time goes on, the joint degenerates, causing even more pain and stiffness in your shoulders.

Arthritis is a common condition that affects millions of people each year. There are several types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Some are genetic, while others can be caused by an injury or infection.

Because there are so many causes of shoulder pain, it's important to see a pain physician if you think you're suffering from arthritis in your shoulder. They will be able to perform a physical exam and order tests to determine the source of your pain.

Signs and Symptoms of Shoulder Arthritis

shoulder pain management

1. Shoulder pain

The most common symptom of arthritis in the shoulder is pain. This can be a dull or sharp pain that comes on gradually or suddenly. The pain may travel down into the arm or up into the neck when you move the joint or use it too much.

The pain may be felt while performing simple tasks such as reaching for something or putting on a jacket. The pain usually worsens with activity, but it may also occur at rest. Arthritis pain may be felt in the joint itself or in surrounding muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

If you have shoulder pain, it's important to see a pain specialist for an accurate diagnosis. If you do have arthritis, the condition can be managed and treated.

2. Swelling of the joint

Swelling is common with arthritis, and it's usually worse with movement. The swelling may occur in just one part of your joint, such as your rotator cuff muscle, or it may be more general throughout the joint space.

3. Stiffness

If you have arthritis in one or more of your joints, they may be stiff and hard to move. Stiffness occurs because of swelling within the joint. This can make it hard to do things like comb your hair or button your shirt.

Over time, this stiffness may get worse until it's difficult for you to move at all without help from another person or device, such as a cane or walker. Some people may also feel aching and stiffness in their shoulders after sleeping or sitting for long periods of time. If you notice any new or worsening symptoms, it's important to seek help from a medical professional as soon as possible.

limited shoulder mobility due to pain

4. Limited range of motion

Reduced range of motion occurs when joints become stiff or swollen due to arthritis. You may have difficulty raising your arm over your head or reaching behind your back. You may also feel pain when trying to reach behind you or do overhead activities like throwing or serving.

This causes muscle strain and fatigue when you try to move them further than usual. Over time, this can lead to muscle spasms and weakness as well as decreased strength in that limb or body part.

5. Weakness

You may have noticed a decreased strength when raising your arms over your head or holding them outstretched to either side of your body. Weakness can be caused by several factors, including poor posture, lack of exercise, and obesity. But it's also common for those suffering from arthritis pain in the shoulder to experience weakness.

It's important to see a pain specialist right away. Arthritis is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain, and it can have serious effects on your quality of life. The sooner you get treatment, the better your chances are for regaining normal movement and function.

6. Difficulty resting and sleeping

When you're sleeping, your body should be relaxing and repairing itself from the day's activities. Unfortunately, if you have arthritis in your shoulder joint, this process will be interrupted by pain from inflammation or damage to the joint itself. You may find that when you try to lie down at night, the pain becomes too great for you to rest comfortably for long periods of time.

shoulder joint pain treatment

7. Joint popping sounds

Joint popping sounds (called crepitus) happen when cartilage breaks down as part of the normal aging process. The cartilage is a smooth surface that covers bones at joints and allows them to glide easily against each other during movement. As you get older, this cartilage begins to wear away, causing bones to rub directly against each other without any cushioning between them. This rubbing causes popping sounds that can be heard when you move your joint.


Arthritis is a disorder of the joints that causes pain, stiffness, and sometimes swelling and decreased function. It is something you should take seriously and treat before the condition worsens.

If you notice any of these signs, or if your shoulder pain has been persisting for some time, you're well-advised to seek professional help from our pain management NYC specialists as soon as possible. With early diagnosis and treatment, you can manage your arthritis and get on with living a full life.


bottom of page