PRP treatment for shoulder pain
Throughout the medical community, and particularly in orthopaedic surgery, the clinical use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has increased rapidly over the past decade.
PRP is rich in growth factors that are thought to influence the inflammatory process and promote healing of tendons, ligaments, muscles and bones.
The potential to biologically enhance healing combined with a low risk of side effects makes Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) an attractive treatment option for many musculoskeletal conditions.
Basics of PRP
PRP, manufactured and administered for clinical purposes, is the release of human platelets containing human plasma and related growth factors at a supernatural level.
Blood is drawn from the peripheral vein and centrifuged to divide all the blood into layers. High platelet counts can then be mixed with small amounts of plasma and injected at the site of injury.
Current theories suggest that the topical release of PRP-containing growth factors such as beta growth factor transformation, fibroblast growth factor factor, platelet growth factor and connective tissue growth factor, along with highly active platelets, stimulates healing and promotes muscle growth.
Causes of shoulder pain
Before identifying the main causes of shoulder pain, you need to understand the structure of the joint. The top of the forearm bone fits into the rounded or glenoid socket of the shoulder blade. Various tissues called the rotator cuff hold the leg in place and facilitate movement. In addition, the fluid-filled sac or small pouches cushion bones and tissues that absorb kinetic energy. The shoulder joint also has tendons that attach muscles to the bones.
Shoulder pain can occur when one of these tissues is misaligned or inflamed.
- Bursitis or tendonitis due to excessive movement of the shoulder.
- Torn tendons, also due to frequent use of the joint.
- Shocks that occur when the upper part of the shoulder blade rubs against the tissue when the arm is moved.
- Shoulder torsion, when the upper part of the forearm is partially or completely pulled out of the socket due to a fall or injury (the tissues in the shoulder joint may also tear).
- Arthritis of the shoulder.
- Injecting PRP into the shoulder can help you with most of these causes by repairing the tissue that supports the upper arm bone at its base.
Clinical studies have shown that PRP therapy works for shoulder pain
Studies at the National Centre for Biotechnology https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5220679/ have shown that the use of PRP injection into the shoulder effectively reduces pain and improves mobility. The doctors examined 17 patients with different causes of shoulder pain and found the following:
- PRP therapy administered to the joint twice at four-week intervals effectively relieved the pain caused by rotator cuff erosion.
- A single injection of PRP serum was able to relieve the pain by repairing the abraded tissue around the shoulder socket.
- The injection of PRP was effective in patients with shoulder bursitis who had the fluid-filled sacs removed.
- Patients said they had better symptom relief after PRP treatments than after physiotherapy.
PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) therapy for patients with labral tears
The labrum of the shoulder is another common cause of shoulder pain. The labrum in the shoulder joint is a cup-shaped part of the cartilage that helps support the rounded top of the forearm.
When this cartilage tears, the bone can shift. A PRP shoulder injection can help with this problem because the plasma contains chondrocytes, which are the building blocks of cartilage. If you have had a problem with frequent shoulder dislocations, PRP therapy can be used for shoulder labral tears.
Recovery time of PRP injection for shoulder pain
Most patients reported how pain and movement difficulties were relieved up to three months after treatment.
PRP therapy may be the only treatment option that can repair and rejuvenate damaged tissues, tendons, cartilage and nerves. Because it signals the body to heal the area and stimulates natural recovery, you can expect improvement in about 3-4 weeks from the first session.
While there is no interruption after PRP injection into the shoulder, you may need several sessions depending on the severity of the damage to your tissue.
Well-known athletes use PRP therapy for shoulder pain
Ihris Waddell has been a top athlete for over two decades. He won twelve medals in skiing, including five gold medals at four Paralympic Games. He was a world record holder for wheelchair skiers. In 2009, he became the first paraplegic to climb the mountain. Kilimanjaro drives a custom-made four-wheel drive with his arms. Already at the age of 45, Waddell, paralysed in a college accident, has a muscular, sharply defined upper body that results from thousands of hours of training.
But all that exercise has had a big impact. A few years ago, Waddell's shoulders ached constantly. But all those exercises have taken a toll. A few years ago, Waddell's shoulders started hurting all the time. He tore a rotator cuff while weightlifting.
A PRP treatment helped him repair the torn rotator cuff. Source: https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/the-blood-injections-that-might-transform-orthopedics
Conclusion on PRP therapy for shoulder pain
PRP therapy can help you with a variety of causes of shoulder pain, including tendonitis, bursitis, rotator cuff injuries, arthritis, and muscle and tissue tears caused by common sprains.