It’s easy to take your shoulders for granted as you happily go about your life with the full use of your arms. So, when a shoulder injury crops up, especially in your rotator cuff, you’re given a crash course in a life that’s limited in ways you never thought possible.
At Genesis Regenerative Sports and Aesthetic Medicine, our team of orthopedic and regenerative medicine experts specializes in shoulder pain and rotator cuff injuries and how to restore pain-free movement as quickly as possible. With the goal of avoiding more invasive solutions, we turn to the incredible healing powers that lie within your own body — namely your platelets.
Here’s a look at how platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy can help you wave goodbye to shoulder pain.
Your shoulders at a glance
Your shoulders are shallow ball-and-socket joints that join together three bones:
- Your upper arm bone (humerus)
- Your shoulder blade (scapula)
- Your collarbone (clavicle)
What gives your shoulder its wide range of motion is the band of connective tissue that holds your arm in your shoulder socket — your rotator cuff. This group of tissues is formed by four muscles that join together as tendons that allow you to lift and rotate your arm.
Most rotator cuff injuries occur as a result of wear and tear on these tissues — repetitive stresses create tiny tears in the tissue that weaken your rotator cuff and lead to nagging pain and inflammation.
In less common cases, a rotator cuff injury stems from an acute accident in which you tear your rotator cuff either partially or completely.
Whether your rotator cuff problem develops over time or as a result of an acute injury, the good news is that we can help.
How PRP therapy can help
When it comes to rotator cuff injuries, treatment options often came down to time or surgery. Thanks to the advent of regenerative medicine, however, we’re now able to redirect your body’s own healing resources to help rebuild and repair the tissues more quickly.
In this case, we’re talking about your platelets, which are components of your blood that are primarily responsible for clotting. What we’ve come to realize is that the role of your platelets goes well beyond clotting, as they release growth factors that create the ultimate healing environment.
With PRP therapy, our goal is to harness and redirect this power to accelerate healing and reduce your pain. To accomplish this, we draw your own blood and separate out your platelets in a centrifuge. Once isolated, we mix the concentrate back in with a small amount of your plasma and inject the solution directly into your rotator cuff.
In terms of results, we’d like to direct your attention to a study of 20 patients with partial rotator cuff tears. After being given platelet-rich plasma, 17 of the participants showed significant improvements, which led researchers to conclude that PRP therapy, “is an effective procedure that leads to significant decrease in pain, improvement in shoulder functions, much [more] cost-effective and less problematic compared to a surgical treatment.”
If you’re struggling with shoulder pain, contact our office in Westfield, New Jersey, to explore how the power to heal may lie in your very own platelets.