Elbow and Shoulder Osteoarthritis

Get Relief From Elbow and Shoulder Pain

Is your elbow or shoulder causing you bother?

You may be experiencing:

  1. Pain and Discomfort – particularly on movement 
  2. Swelling and Tenderness
  3. Limited Movement

Managing Elbow and Shoulder Osteoarthritis (OA)

Effective ways of dealing with hands, wrists and fingers osteoarthritis include: 

  1. Changing the way you do various activities to reduce strain 
  2. Exercises and stretching
  3. Pain relieving medicines and and steroid injections 
  4. Radiotherapy
  5. Surgery including joint replacements
Elbow and Shoulder Osteoarthritis treatments

Low-dose radiotherapy treatment can relieve the symptoms of elbow and shoulder osteoarthritis, and get you back to your normal activities.

Radiotherapy treatment (also known as the external beam radiation therapy) is a way to reduce inflammation and pain in the elbow and shoulder. This leads to improved function so that you can do the things that you need to with your elbow and shoulder – moving them properly with less stiffness and pain. 

What is Low Dose Radiotherapy?

Low-dose radiation therapy treatment is a specialised technique that reduces pain and inflammation of the elbow or shoulder using very low dose and carefully controlled radiation. 

Unlike the stronger radiotherapy used in cancer treatment, much lower doses of radiation are used to treat elbow and shoulder arthritis / OA. The use of low radiation levels ensures that the treatment is very safe.

This is a non-invasive treatment that does not involve any injections or surgery. It is exclusively focused towards the affected areas, and does not affect the rest of the body.

It’s given as an outpatient, so that you can keep on doing your normal activities without needing a break during treatment. Since it is very low dose, it tends to have only very mild (if any) side effects.

A typical course of radiotherapy involves 6 treatments given over 2 to 3 weeks. Each treatment, delivered as an outpatient, takes less than 10 min. About 70% of patients may need a 2nd course of radiotherapy to maximize the benefits.

When should I consider Radiotherapy for Elbow and Shoulder OA?

Persistent pain and inflammation

If you still have pain in your elbow or shoulder despite using self-help treatments and medicines.

Medications aren't enough

Where simple pain relief and anti-inflammatory drugs aren’t working well enough or are causing side-effects .

Symptoms are getting worse

If you notice increased aching and discomfort in your elbow or shoulder.

You do not want surgery

If you are not suitable, for instance due to personal choice or other health conditions.

How Can Radiotherapy Help Elbow and Shoulder Arthritis / OA?

  1. Pain Reduction

Low-dose radiotherapy reduces pain from elbow and shoulder osteoarthritis in around 7 out of 10 people.

  1. Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Scientific evidence shows that radiotherapy reduces joint inflammation, leading to reduced swelling in the affected joints. This reduction helps reduce pain and improves joint function.

  1. Improved Mobility

People having radiation therapy treatment for elbow or shoulder OA may report substantial improvements in overall joint performance, which can include increased ease of movement, allowing for greater mobility.

  1. Addresses Multiple symptoms

Radiotherapy can help with various symptoms such as swelling, stiffness, and discomfort in the elbow and shoulder joints. This can improve overall quality of life for those dealing with elbow and shoulder joint problems.

  1. Sustained and Long-lasting Benefits

Some studies suggest that the benefits of radiotherapy may last over a considerable period, resulting in long-lasting relief.

Is Radiotherapy Treatment for Elbow and Shoulder Osteoarthritis Safe?

Low-Dose Radiotherapy treatment is a very safe treatment for elbow and shoulder osteoarthritis. This is due to various factors:

Low-Dose Radiotherapy

This ensures effective treatment with very few side effects.

Precise Treatment

Radiotherapy is focused towards only the specific areas of the joints causing trouble. This way, the surrounding areas are not affected by the treatment.

Mild Side Effects

Low-dose radiotherapy typically causes only very mild redness or perhaps some dry skin in the treatment area.


Radiotherapy treatment is a non-surgical way to treat osteoarthritis in the elbow and shoulder joints. This allows you to avoid the risks involved in invasive surgery.

Treatments for osteoarthritis-Radiotherapy-UK

What are the Side Effects of Radiotherapy for Elbow and Shoulder Joint Arthritis?

Radiotherapy is a straightforward outpatient procedure which doesn’t need an anaesthetic, injections or surgery. You can easily schedule it around your regular work or other activities.

Before starting radiation therapy , we’ll thoroughly discuss any potential side effects with you. We will provide comprehensive information about the risks and benefits of the elbow or shoulder osteoarthritis treatment, so that you can make the best decisions possible.

The side effects of low dose radiotherapy for elbow and shoulder arthritis tend to be very mild. These can include:

  • Skin Reactions

You may get a bit of redness, dryness, or irritation in the treated area. Typically, these effects disappear a couple of weeks after finishing the treatment.

  • Tiredness

Sometimes people feel a bit tired during or after the treatment. However, this tends to settle down once the treatment has finished and energy levels usually improve quickly after that.


Do You Have Any Questions?

Explore detailed answers to common queries on our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

Taking the First Step towards Easing Your Elbow and Shoulder Pain

Expect a quick response within one working day. If you would like to set up an appointment, we will do our best to accommodate your preferences.

Initial consultations for the treatment of arthritis of the elbow and shoulder are available in Nottingham, London, or Guildford for your convenience. And for follow-up treatments, we have centres across the UK in places like Nottingham, Birmingham, London, Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Elstree, Chelmsford, Bristol, Windsor, Guildford, Maidstone, Southampton, and Portsmouth.