How to Reduce Shoulder Pain With Regenerative Therapy

May 5, 2021Blog Post, PRP, PRP Therapy


Are you suffering from shoulder pain and wondering about your options? Many people in the same situation only know about one thing: surgery. The good news is that there are several ways to treat both mild and severe shoulder problems, and most of them do not include invasive surgery.

In fact, there are only a few, quite advanced shoulder-pain situations in which surgery should even be considered, and even in those cases, it’s more of a last resort than a first approach. What are the more sensible methods for addressing shoulder pain?

First things first. In order to understand how shoulder problems appear, and what all your choices are for dealing with them, it’s important to know several things first, namely:

  • What Causes Shoulder Discomfort?
  • When is Surgery the Best Approach?
  • When Does Stem Cell Therapy Make Sense?
  • How Does Stem Cell Therapy Work?
  • When Does PRP Therapy a Better Option?
  • How Does PRP Therapy Work?

The more you know about shoulder pain and the various treatment strategies, the better you’ll be able to take targeted, informed action to get the help you need as quickly as possible.

What Causes Shoulder Discomfort?

There are dozens of ways you can hurt your shoulder. In young people, the most common injuries result from playing sports in which the arms are held above the head, basketball being the best example. Others include gymnastics, dance, wrestling, football, and baseball.

For young and older adults, the causes of shoulder disorders are varied and often don’t have a single cause. Common causes of discomfort include osteoarthritis, bursitis, tendinosis, joint injuries of all kinds, vehicle accidents, falls, tears of the tendons, rotator cuff problems, and various kinds of tendon diseases. The good news is that both stem cell and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapies can deal with the vast majority of shoulder pain cases.

It’s important to note that many of the care options out there, and some of the ones that are advertised the most, amount to nothing more than treating symptoms and temporarily relieving pain and discomfort. They do nothing to deal with the cause of the problem. The main advantage of non-surgical approaches like PRP (platelet-rich plasma) and stem-cell treatment is that they eliminate the root cause of the discomfort without costly surgery and with almost no pain and no need for risky anesthetics.

When people do choose non-surgical strategies like PRP and stem-cell therapies, recovery times are brief, typically just a few days, and are followed by a couple of weeks of physical therapy until the musculature is back to full, pain-free working order.

When is Surgery the Best Approach?

There are times when surgery is the only way to go, but as noted above, it’s often the last resort or used only in cases of complex tears of muscles like the biceps in which physical therapy is of no use.

One thing people should keep in mind is that surgery is usually *not* the best approach. Sadly, some patients wait so long before getting medical attention that the problem has progressed so far that surgery is the only remaining choice for them. If they had sought out care as soon as they noticed the pain, it’s quite possible a non-surgical, and much less costly, option would still have been available to them.

The field of regenerative medicine is advancing at a fast pace. Many degenerative muscle disorders that were once thought to be out of the realm of stem cell therapy, for example, are drawing a lot of attention from the research community.

If you have shoulder pain of any kind, you can minimize future complications by doing the following:

  • Get a comprehensive diagnosis as soon as possible. Time is your greatest ally when you are experiencing shoulder pain.
  • Try not to sit for long periods of time, especially if you’re in pain while doing so.
  • Make an effort to maintain adequate posture while standing, sitting, and moving about.
  • Make some written notes about your pain and discomfort so you will be able to give accurate information to your health care professional. For example, keep a record of when the pain occurs, what your posture is when it strikes, how severe it is, and whether any physical activities or movements seem to make it worse or better.

Become a part of your own treatment team from day one by seeking diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible, giving specific information to your treatment providers, and following their suggestions about exercise and lifestyle.

When Does Stem Cell Therapy Make Sense and How Does It Work?

Stem cell therapy is the regenerative approach that works best with more severe kinds of shoulder injuries and conditions. While it’s more effective, it also tends to be more costly than platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections.

For instance, a PRP regimen might call for several sessions while stem-cell treatment usually takes place during a single treatment session. Actually, there are pros and cons to each method. Stem-cell treatment means you’ll need to undergo either liposuction or biopsy of the bone marrow, so it’s more invasive than PRP.

For example, serious rotator cuff conditions and severe muscle tears often respond much better to stem-cell techniques than to any other kind of treatment.

When is PRP Therapy a Better Option?

PRP therapy is less complex and time-consuming than stem-cell therapy and is best suited for certain kinds of shoulder pain. Bursitis, for example, responds well to PRP in most situations, as do most of the less severe kinds of injuries.

A general rule is that for very severe shoulder pain cases, it’s more likely you’ll need to opt for stem-cell remedies. For less severe injuries and pain scenarios, PRP can usually address the problem. For most patients, doctors who do PRP treatments will follow up with physical therapy, nutritional guidelines, exercise programs, behavioral approaches, and education.

How Does PRP Therapy Work?

Platelet-rich plasma therapy, which involves a series of safe, painless injections of your own blood plasma directly into your skin, typically calls for about three visits. The number varies from patient to patient, but the aim is to do a full diagnosis, make a plan, and then perform the treatment.

Injections can last from a couple of minutes to perhaps an hour, depending on the individual case. Costs vary but are usually in the range of $1,500 to $3,000. Your provider will give you a much more specific pricing estimate before any treatment begins.

The Right Treatment at the Right Time

Once you’ve decided to be proactive about your shoulder pain, it’s important to get a complete diagnosis rather than just “treat the symptom.” At Integrative Physical Health, our first goal is to find out why you are experiencing shoulder pain. After that, we’ll help you come up with a treatment plan that makes sense for you.

It’s all about removing the pain and lack of mobility from your life and getting you back in the swing of things. We use only the latest, state-of-the-art techniques for both the diagnostic and treatment phases of your shoulder discomfort. In fact, we’re proud of our multi-faceted approach that combines thorough diagnosis, exercise rehabilitation, regenerative treatments (like PRP and stem cell therapy), physical therapy, education, myofascial therapy, and more.

What is the overall result for you? We aim to help you prevent future injury, maintain shoulder stability, minimize medical interventions, keep costs as low as possible, shorten total recovery time, increase mobility, enjoy significant pain relief, and feel better than you did prior to the appearance of shoulder pain.

Feel free to call us if you have any questions or desire more information about what we do. Remember, the sooner you take action, the better your chances for a full, rapid recovery. Our direct phone number is (302) 993-9113.

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