You can’t afford to ignore shoulder pain and not just because of the discomfort. Shoulder pain affects your arm strength and movement. Without prompt treatment, you can end up with a chronic and debilitating condition that severely limits your activities.
The Cascade Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Center, P.C., team has helped many patients overcome shoulder pain and restore optimal function with personalized care, including offering platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections.
PRP injections relieve your pain in the best way possible — by promoting healing in the damaged tissues responsible for the pain.
How PRP eases pain
Along with white and red blood cells, your blood naturally contains platelets. Platelets have two essential roles: They stop bleeding by clotting blood and activate the healing process in damaged tissues.
Platelets carry proteins (growth factors) that communicate with the cells in injured tissues and trigger an array of activities essential for healing and reducing pain, including:
- Regulating inflammation
- Promoting new cell growth
- Producing new blood vessels
- Rebuilding damaged nerves
- Preventing degeneration of healthy tissues
- Building a foundation to support tissue growth
- Neutralizing pathogens like bacteria
- Recruiting stem cells to the area
Stem cells regenerate new cells to rebuild and replace damaged muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, collagen, bones, and blood vessels.
We produce PRP in the office using a sample of your blood. After separating the platelets and plasma from other blood components, we use real-time imaging to inject PRP into the injured tissues in your shoulder. The boost of concentrated platelets accelerates healing, which eases your pain.
Shoulder pain treated with PRP
PRP’s cellular activities can ease the pain caused by many shoulder conditions. However, it’s most often used to treat common soft tissue injuries like:
Rotator cuff tears
The rotator cuff’s four muscles attach to your shoulder blade, and their tendons connect to your upper arm (humerus), forming a cuff-like structure covering the humerus.
These soft tissues hold your arm in the shoulder joint and support arm movement. Considering how often you move your arms, it’s no surprise to learn that the rotator cuff is vulnerable to sports and overuse injuries.
The problem usually occurs in a tendon when a rotator cuff injury causes shoulder pain. PRP is especially beneficial for reducing tendon inflammation (tendonitis) and speeding healing in torn tendons.
Accelerating healing is essential because tendons often heal slowly, leading to more scar tissue, impaired strength afterward, and a higher risk of re-injury. PRP lowers your risk of scarring.
Biceps tendonitis occurs when the tendon connecting the biceps to your shoulder becomes inflamed.
Though biceps tendonitis may begin after an injury, it most often develops due to age-related tissue degeneration. The condition frequently occurs with other problems like shoulder arthritis, tears in the shoulder labrum (a ring of cartilage), and chronic shoulder instability.
PRP delivers the same benefits for biceps tendonitis as those described above for rotator cuff injuries, alleviating your pain by promoting healing and diminishing inflammation.
Shoulder labral tears
The labrum is a ring of cartilage around the shoulder socket. The cartilage deepens the socket by about 50%, providing extra support for your upper arm and stabilizing the joint. Several ligaments and tendons also attach to the labrum, including the biceps tendon.
You can end up with a labral tear because of an accidental injury like falling or taking a blow to your shoulder. Like the first two shoulder conditions, PRP injections may make a significant difference in healing a labral tear and easing the pain.
Call Cascade Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Center, P.C., today to schedule an appointment at our Hood River or The Dalles, Oregon office, or use online booking to request a consultation and learn how PRP can treat your shoulder pain.