Ways to alleviate arthritic shoulder pain include rest, physical therapy, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, icing the shoulder and using dietary supplements, notes OrthoInfo. Surgical treatments such as arthroscopy, shoulder joint replacement and resection arthroplasty are used if nonsurgical options fail to work.
Resting helps avoid putting pressure on the shoulder, according to OrthoInfo. Physical therapy exercises enhance the range of motion in the shoulder. Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, helps ease pain and inflammation. However, these medications have side effects as they can cause internal bleeding and stomach lining irritation in patients with sensitivities or with prolonged use. Corticosteroid injections in the shoulder can help with shoulder pain. Icing the shoulder for about 20 to 30 minutes two to three times a day also helps reduce pain and inflammation.
Doctors recommend surgical treatments for cases that do not respond to nonsurgical methods, but these procedures have common surgery complications such as blood clots, infection, excessive bleeding and damage to blood vessels, states OrthoInfo. Surgical treatments are effective in reducing the arthritic shoulder pain and restoring the shoulder motion. A doctor recommends surgery depending on a person's condition, and the recovery time depends on the type of surgery.