Osteoarthritis that occurs directly in the shoulder joint is called omarthrosis, in addition, arthrosis can affect the acromio - clavicular joint (the joint between the scapula and collarbone).

Degenerative changes in the joint begin with the destruction of the articular cartilage (hard elastic, smooth covering of the bone in the area of the articular surfaces). In the future, the degeneration process can spread to both soft tissues (eg, bursa, ligaments) and bones.

In the initial stage of the disease, omarthrosis is usually subtle, but can progress rapidly and lead to severe pain and significant limitation of mobility in daily life.


Insufficient nutrition of the joint. Cartilage does not contain blood vessels, and is supplied with nutrients through intra-articular synovial fluid. In the phase of stress on the joint, this fluid, like in a sponge, is squeezed out of the cartilage, and in the relaxation phase, it is reabsorbed into the cartilage.

If the joint is overloaded, i.e., it has to withstand high pressure, the initially smooth gluteal surfaces undergo mechanical destruction. The cartilage becomes fibrous, loses its elasticity, and the development of dystrophic processes in the cartilage tissue is also observed.

The most important reasons are:

  • High standing of the head of the humerus after rupture of the rotator (muscle-ligamentous, rotational) cuff
  • Injuries

Insufficient exercise also harms cartilage nutrition. Inflammatory diseases of the joints (for example, rheumatism) worsen the properties of the intra-articular fluid.

Heavy physical work or frequently repetitive movements are not the causes of the disease, but can accelerate its development.


The cartilage is nourished during the movement of the joint, at the same time, excessive load must be avoided. Only the joint that regularly "works", i.e. is in motion, thanks to which the cartilage receives sufficient nutrition, remains elastic and is able to withstand sudden overloads without loss. Extreme stress on the joint, such as lifting and carrying heavy objects, should be avoided whenever possible in daily life.

You can independently carry out a set of preventive measures that will help you prevent the onset of the disease or slow down the development of the disease in the initial stages.

Do you have to sit a lot due to the nature of your professional employment?

  • Stretch your arms and legs repeatedly
  • Practice certain sports
  • Make movements in the joints in full
  • Do gymnastics regularly
  • Strengthen muscles, increase their elasticity
  • Do exercises to stretch the joint capsules and ligaments
  • In the presence of previously established injuries, avoid additional stress on the shoulder joint.
  • Avoid activities in which the arms are in a position above the head.
  • When shopping, use a trolley instead of a basket.
  • Sleep on your back or on a special mattress with a notch for your shoulder.
Doctor of Medical Sciences
Head of the Orthopedics and Traumatology Clinic
Doctor of Medical Sciences
Head of the Center for Special Orthopedic Surgery, Onco-Orthopedics and Revision Surgery
Privatdozent, Doctor of Medical Sciences
Head of Orthopedics Clinic
Professor MD
Head of the Orthopedics Clinic and Endoprosthesis Center