Shoulder injuries are one of the most commonly treated conditions in our office. The instability in the shoulder joint is what lends it to be easily injured. When looking at the mechanics of the shoulder, it is a long limb that allows for significant leverage on a joint who’s only solid connection is the collar bone. Everything else that attaches the shoulder to the body is with a muscle. Additionally, we have several small muscles called the ‘rotator cuff’ that are easily injured causing tendonitis, sprains and tears. Other common injuries of the shoulder include A/C joint, SC joint sprains or tears, bicipital tendonitis, bursitis, and all of the problems with the labrum (SLAP tear, or other tears of the labrum).
I want to focus on tendonitis specifically for a second. This is something that rarely shows up on an x-ray or MRI, often described as ‘arthritis’ and generally leads to either a steroid injection (like cortisone) or ‘exploratory surgery’. If the orthopedic doctor is more conservative, they will recommend physical therapy beforehand.
The good news is that all of these injuries can benefit from Regenerative Injection Therapies (RIT), including Prolotherapy and Platelet therapy (PRP, or Platelet Rich Plasma) These therapies work to stimulate the body to regenerate the structures. They do this by leveraging the growth factors that are contained in platelets to repair ligament, tendon and labrum tears as well as strengthen tendons that are sprained to reduce and eliminate pain.
Old injuries are not excluded from this. Many injuries that are 10, or even 20+ years old can receive a lot of benefit from RIT since those sprains and tears have never fully healed. Many times patients can get relief within the first or second treatment.