A person with shoulder arthritis can get relief by changing his typical arm movement to rest the shoulder joint and by taking ibuprofen, aspirin or other nonesteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, according to WebMD. Doctors may also recommend physical therapy and range-of-motion exercises that improve flexibility.
Physicians often initially suggest nonsurgical treatments to alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis, notes WebMD. A person may have to change his usual arm movement when doing normal activities, such as wearing clothes. For instance, he should choose clothing zipped up in front instead of clothes worn over the head.
NSAIDs are sometimes prescribed to individuals with shoulder osteoarthritis to relieve pain and inflammation, states WebMD. Other recommended treatments include ice application for 20 minutes up to three times daily, damp heat and corticosteroid injections.
Surgery is an option if noninvasive treatments fail to work, notes WebMD. Shoulder joint replacement is typically a treatment option for arthritis of the glenohumeral joint, and it involves using an artificial joint to replace the entire shoulder. Hemiarthroplasty involves replacing the upper arm bone. A surgery that can treat arthritis of the joint at the top of the shoulder is resection arthroplasty, which involves removing a tiny piece of the edge of the collarbone. Infection and anesthesia problems are potential risks associated with these surgeries.