Skip to Main Content
Signs & Symptoms Orthopedics

Arthritis of the Shoulder
Signs and Symptoms

The most common symptom of shoulder arthritis is pain that is aggravated by activity and progressively worsens. If the glenohumeral joint is affected, the pain is centered in the back of the shoulder and may intensify with changes in the weather. Pain from the AC joint is focused on the front of the shoulder. Someone with rheumatoid arthritis may have pain in both areas if both joints are affected.

Other symptoms may include stiffness, difficulty using the arm (even for routine activities) and trouble sleeping. Arthritis pain and degree of functional impact can range in severity from mild to debilitating.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.