As shoulder pain specialists, the team at 360 Orthopedics is always on the lookout for innovative ways to help treat our patients. The shoulder is the most flexible joint in the body and one of the most complex. The bones, muscles, and other support tissues give these joints amazing mobility and strength, though they can often prove difficult to treat when things go wrong.
There’s no healer more advanced than your own body. As practitioners, we try to take full advantage of any time we can harness the power of natural healing. That’s a reason why the field of regenerative medicine is so exciting. It presents us with drug-free, natural treatments that can boost your body’s healing abilities and aid your recovery after an injury or surgery.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is an ideal complement to many shoulder treatments. Let’s look at the technique and three ways PRP can help relieve shoulder pain. It could be a game-changer for you.
The power of platelets
Best known for their ability to form clots over cuts in your skin, platelets are a blood component that’s easy to isolate through simple centrifuge separation. Platelet-rich plasma starts with a small sample of your own blood. Once extracted and combined with some plasma, a PRP working serum can be injected back into your body.
As well as clotting capability, platelets carry hormones called growth factors that help guide body healing processes. Normally delivered by blood in your circulatory system, PRP supplements these natural quantities with an injectable boost when and where needed. It’s a therapy that’s a great match for shoulder pain.
The nature of shoulder injuries
The shoulder is primarily a ball and socket joint. Its wide range of motion comes partly from the shallow socket in the scapula (shoulder blade) that supports extensive rotation. The rotator cuff's muscles and tendons provide mobility and stability for the shoulder joint.
Your shoulders are prone to a wide range of injuries, including sprains, strains, and tears to elements of the rotator cuff. Dislocations and separations are common, as are inflammatory conditions like bursitis and tendinitis. As with any bones, those of the shoulder can be fractured.
3 ways PRP therapy can help relieve shoulder pain
Inflammation is a common natural by-product of injury and healing. While it’s a necessary part of getting better, too much inflammation can cause pain, stiffness, and loss of mobility. The normal course of natural healing may not occur in a timely way, requiring pain medication to keep you comfortable and able to function.
PRP therapy helps to relieve shoulder pain in three key ways.
1. Reduced inflammation
The initial burst of inflammation at the time of shoulder injury starts the cascade of healing that regenerates tissue and repairs normal function. PRP provides a surplus of anti-inflammatory mediators, natural chemicals that reduce excess swelling.
2. Faster healing
Growth factor hormones injected into areas of slow healing can boost the speed at which recovery progresses. Cellular activity increases and along with it comes a boost in tissue regeneration.
3. Drug-free treatment
Reduced inflammation and faster recovery mean less need for pain medication or interventions such as corticosteroid injections, which carry their own side effects. PRP uses components of your own blood re-injected into your body. The only risks to PRP treatment are the same as those with taking a blood sample or receiving an allergy shot. PRP is also compatible with virtually any other treatment you receive for shoulder pain.
Find out more about PRP by visiting 360 Orthopedics at any of our three offices. You can make an appointment using our online booking link or by calling the nearest location directly. Get the jump on your shoulder pain and plan your consultation today.