Your shoulder is one of the largest and most flexible joints in your body. It’s also one of the most important because it’s a part of virtually every movement you make with your upper body.
With all that responsibility, it’s no wonder that so much can go wrong, from mild bursitis to full-blown rotator cuff tears.
Fortunately, treatment for the problems that plague your shoulder can be as simple as an injection. Here, our team of experts at Somers Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Group gives you an inside look into three different injections that could be the answer to your lingering shoulder pain.
#1 Steroid injections
If inflammation is the culprit behind your shoulder pain, steroid injections are often the most effective treatment. Within each steroid injection is a dose of powerful anti-inflammatory medication along with a local anesthetic. Together, they work quickly to reduce painful inflammation and give you a break from your symptoms so that you can focus on rehabilitation.
We use steroid injections to address a wide range of shoulder problems, including rotator cuff problems, adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder), and arthritis. However, we tend to be somewhat cautious and judicious with repeating steroid injections in your shoulder especially at short intervals.
#2 Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
PRP injections have made quite a splash, especially in the sports medicine world. You’ve likely noticed elite athletes, such as Tiger Woods, turning to PRP — and there’s a good reason for it.
PRP injections provide fast, lasting healing by harnessing the power of your own blood, which is chock full of all-natural growth and healing factors. Once we inject PRP, the platelets trigger your body’s natural ability to heal itself and promote new cell growth. We can use PRP injections to treat tendon injuries, arthritis, tendonitis, ligament sprains, and other causes of shoulder pain.
#3 Stem cell injections
We like to think of stem cells as your body’s building blocks. They’re essentially blank canvases that can transform into virtually any type of cell your body needs. That’s why we use them when your shoulder needs help replacing and repairing damaged tissues.
Bonus: We can get stem cells right from your own body. We use an advanced type of stem cell therapy called Lipogems®. This involves making a tiny incision in your abdomen and extracting a small amount of fat from your love handle area. We use this fat because adipose tissue (fat) has many natural reparative characteristics that promote healing where you need it most.
We treat the fat sample using a closed-system device that purifies and micro-fragments the fat cells. The result is fat tissue that’s small enough to be injected. Along with healing and new cell growth, Lipogems also provide cushioning and support to alleviate your pain.
Like PRP injections, stem cell injections are excellent treatments for shoulder pain caused by injuries and degenerative conditions.
It may seem strange that we can treat pain as overwhelming as shoulder pain with a simple injection, but it’s true. Each injection addresses the direct cause of your pain rather than simply masking your symptoms. There are several areas in the shoulder that can be the source of your pain, and we tailor not only each type of injection to your needs but also the locations of the injection in your shoulder.
But our lineup of injectable treatments doesn’t stop at relieving pain.
With the help of an injection, many of our patients are able to participate more fully in physical therapy, and others see enough progress to avoid the operating room. This allows you to manage your symptoms and allow your body to heal naturally, all while sticking to your other health and wellness goals.
If you’d like to see if injections are right for you, don’t hesitate to request an appointment online or over the phone at any of our five conveniently located offices.