When it comes to getting through your day, your shoulders play no small role. From eating to carrying your child to bed, your shoulders are hard at work providing support for your arms and hands. So, when shoulder pain strikes, it can have a surprisingly large impact on your life, making it hard to ignore — and you shouldn’t ignore shoulder pain.
At Genesis Regenerative Sports and Aesthetic Medicine, our team of orthopedic specialists treats a wide range of musculoskeletal issues, from head to toe. Our goal is to help our patients regain pain-free mobility. More often than not, the earlier we can intervene, the better your outcome.
Here’s a look at the many drivers of shoulder pain and when you should seek treatment.
A quick look at the anatomy of your shoulder
When it comes to shoulder pain, it’s important to understand how complex and fragile this structure is. At the heart of your shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint that joins your arms to your body. This ball and socket is very shallow, which is what allows you such a wide range of motion. (Windmill your arms for a moment to truly appreciate this range of motion.) But this also means that your shoulder joint is inherently unstable, by design.
Holding your shoulder to your body is a band of connective tissues called your rotator cuff, which is joined by other soft tissues, such as your labrum, to provide support, cushioning, and motion.
These soft tissues are tasked with providing stability to an inherently unstable joint, and sometimes the workload is too much.
The most common causes of shoulder pain
There are any number of issues that can lead to shoulder pain, including:
- Damage to your rotator cuff
While the pain is certainly the first thing you notice when there’s a problem, many of the issues listed above can lead to limited mobility.
When to seek treatment
Our belief at Genesis Regenerative Sports and Aesthetic Medicine is that no pain should be ignored. After all, it’s your body’s way of signaling that there’s a problem, and if you ignore this signal, you run the risk of much larger problems down the road.
Take, for example, a nagging pain in your shoulder after you play tennis or paint a room in your house. If this pain subsides after a day or two of rest, you’re likely in good shape. But if the pain persists any time you put your shoulder to work, it’s a sign that there’s a bigger problem at play, something that goes beyond sore muscles. The more you ignore your body’s call for help, the more the damage can pile up.
In these cases, we urge you to come see us so that we can take a closer look to see what’s going on inside your joint. If we find a problem, we can take the necessary steps to start the healing process, which may include:
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
The platelets in your blood contain powerful growth factors, which call in additional resources to create the ultimate healing environment. With our PRP injections, we create a concentrate of your own platelets and redirect them into your shoulder, where they get to work to rebuild and repair your damaged connective tissue.
Stem cells are arguably your body’s most powerful resource as they have the amazing ability to transform into different cells to help regenerate tissue. With our Lipogems® system, we harvest your own stem cells from your adipose (fat) tissue, which contains 100-500 times more reparative components. We then process and re-inject these cells into your shoulder.
Bone marrow aspirate injection
Aside from your adipose tissue, mesenchymal stem cells can also be found in your bone marrow. To harvest these stem cells, we gently aspirate your bone marrow to collect these healing resources and then re-inject them into your shoulder.
If your shoulder pain stems from a tendon issue, we offer TenJet, which is a minimally invasive treatment in which we dislodge and suction out damaged tissue, paving the way forward for healthier growth.
No matter which treatment we decide to use to remedy your shoulder pain, the odds are that physical therapy will play an invaluable role in helping these hard-working joints regain strength, mobility, and range of motion.
Even if we find that there’s nothing wrong, and all your shoulder needs is a little rest, you should still see us for a thorough evaluation as that peace of mind is also invaluable.
If you’re struggling with shoulder pain, please contact our office in Westfield, New Jersey, so that we can quickly get you on the road to relief.