Monday , March 8 2021

Can Regenerative Medicine Relieve Your Shoulder Pain?

By Physicians Rehabilitation

If you suffer from shoulder pain due to injury, degeneration or disease, you know that most physicians will tell you there are two options, medications such as narcotics, or steroids (which are addictive and risky), or surgery, which is often unnecessary. While surgery may be needed with severe cases, it is permanent, and it often fails to relieve the underlying cause.

The purpose of Regenerative medicine is it to utilize the body’s own ability to regenerate cells and tissues that have been damaged back to full functionality. When used in orthopedics, the goal is to regenerate soft tissues, cartilage, muscles, and tendons. Regenerative Medicine should be the first recommendation, and in many cases it is the only treatment necessary when dealing with muscle strains, tears. When it comes to joint dysfunction or tears such as with shoulder conditions, physical therapy is also extremely beneficial as an add on treatment.

What causes shoulder pain?
• Degenerative disorders (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis)
• Inflammation
• Trauma
• Cartilage and/or tendon tears
• Muscle tears or sprains
• Rotator cuff injuries
• Frozen/ Impinged shoulder
• Dislocated shoulder

The shoulder is made up of three bones, the humerus (arm), scapula (upper back), and the clavicle (collarbone). The glenoid socket houses the upper ball of the humerus bone and the central joint that connects everything together is the AC or acromioclavicular. And just like with any articulating joint it has synovial sacks (bursas) with synovial fluid and cartilage, which allow for a smooth, gliding functionality of the bones within a joint.


Often times with shoulder conditions such as osteoarthritis, the synovial fluid and cartilage become damaged and degenerate to where there many not be any at all.

Viscosupplementation is an injectable substance that mimics the synovial fluid found naturally in the joint. Synovial fluid is a high concentration of Hyaluronic Acid (HA) and is used to help protect the joint, act as a cushion and protector against damage and most importantly acts as a lubricant to enable smooth function of the joint. As you age, your body supplements with less Hyaluronic Acid (synovial fluid) and an increasingly less viscous Hyaluronic Acid replaces your thick and very well lubricating HA. This lack of fluid creates dried out joints which leads to cartilage, tissue, muscle, and bone breakdown – leading to Osteoarthritis and making it easier to have tissue and muscle damage within and around the joint.

The procedure can be done in our office and only takes a few minutes. After locally numbing your shoulder, the procedure is monitored under a fluoroscopic image, which is a live X-ray. This allows us to see the inside of your joint while it is in motion and during the injection process. Using the fluoroscope the practitioner will have the ability to see exactly where the Hyaluronic Acid is being placed to make sure it is in the joint space – because if it is not, it will do NO GOOD! You’ll receive approximately five injections at one week apart. The results of the cartilage enhancement will last for around six months or longer. Physicians Rehabilitation has become the expert on providing great results when this process is paired with physical therapy. Many of our patients report feeling pain relief immediately, while others cumulatively see results within a few short weeks.

Another issue with shoulder conditions is soft tissue, tendon, cartilage, and muscle damage. PRP can help to heal damaged tissue and also regenerate the injured cells while recruiting more new repairing cells and stem cells to repair at a much faster rate.

PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma)
Fortunately for our patients today, advances in science have allowed us to find new and targeted approaches to treating degeneration and injuries. Platelet-rich plasma or PRP is an “autologous blood therapy” that uses a patient’s own blood components to stimulate a healing response in damaged tissues. PRP provides an alternative to surgery by promoting safe and natural healing by spiking your bodies natural ability to heal by using your own growth factors and proteins in your blood!

Research studies and clinical practice have shown PRP therapy to be very effective at relieving pain and returning patients to their normal lives. Both ultrasound and MRI images have shown definitive tissue repair after PRP therapy, confirming the healing process. The need for surgery can also be greatly reduced by treating injured tissues before the damage progresses and the condition is irreversible.

How Does PRP Therapy Work?
To prepare the PRP injection, blood is drawn from the patient (only 10cc/1 tube per injection) and is spun in a centrifuge so that it is separated into its four components: red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma. At that point, the Platelet Rich Plasma layer is removed from the top layer and prepared for injection. This forms a solution of plasma containing platelets, growth factors, growth hormones, cytokines and proteins for healing – which is then injected into and around the point of injury, jumpstarting and significantly strengthening and boosting the body’s natural healing cascade. PRP uses the patient’s own blood thereby eliminating any chance of rejection response and greatly minimizes the likelihood of infection.

“I was thinking about buying a shoulder brace when I came there. After 2 month I was back to playing Pickle Ball. Excellent people working there and excellent help. Thank you so much.” — Greta

“Today, I had full shoulder rotation for the first time in more than a year! I had the PRP treatment done three weeks ago now…for the first time in MORE THAN A YEAR, I was able to throw a softball and I’m SO thrilled. Pickleball, softball, LIVING, here I come!!! ” —Leslie

Physicians Rehabilitation
Physicians Rehabilitation is a patient-focused practice that provides comprehensive care to eliminate your pain non-surgically. We evaluate each patient and implement an individual care plan specifically designed to alleviate your pain and dysfunction. Trained and licensed providers, with years of clinical experience, work together to provide this plan of care that addresses the specific concerns and problems of each patient. Our clinical care providers are able to employ a wide variety of physical modalities by utilizing state-of-the-art tools.

Our goal is to identify the source of your pain, promote healing and eliminate your pain. We begin by giving you a thorough examination and quickly address outward symptoms of pain, such as inflammation, while gathering medical history and evaluating your symptoms to get to the root of your pain and dysfunction. Our therapists have found that these advanced technologies, along with a specialized physical therapy program specific to the individual condition, makes for extremely successful pain relief treatments.



Check Also



By Dr. J. Mandume Kerina Dr. Kerina and his colleagues have spent their professional life …