According to a study shared at the 2016 annual meeting of The American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM), rotator cuff injuries are the most common source of pain for adults over the age of 50.
Older adults aren’t the only ones who can experience sports injuries. In fact, we treat many children, teens, and young adults who have chronic pain after having a sports accident. These injuries can include a torn rotator cuff, ACL tears, shin splints, and tendinitis. Sadly, degenerative joint disease, sciatic pain, and other medical conditions can develop years after a sports injury occurs.
A rotator cuff injury is particularly difficult in terms of functionality after the initial trauma. This is because the shoulder joint is needed for many everyday movements. Daily tasks such as getting dressed, cooking, cleaning, and driving can be excruciating.
Beyond the functional deficits, many orthopedic doctors are now also paying closer attention to their patients’ overall quality of life. A reduction in mobility can be discouraging and traumatic, often resulting in sadness, feelings of isolation, and frustration.
When chronic pain is an everyday reality, patients look to their doctors, like ShoulderMD in Seattle, for solutions and for relief. Although pain medication can help, it has drawbacks such as addiction potential, tolerance build-up, and its limitation of use in minors.
Because rotator cuff injury is so prevalent, the aforementioned 2016 AAPM study sheds new light on the effectiveness of 8 current treatment options:
- Arthroscopic surgery with platelet-rich plasma
- Arthroscopic surgery without platelet-rich plasma
- Acromioplasty with physiotherapy
- Acromioplasty without physiotherapy
- Physiotherapy with surgery
- Physiotherapy without surgery
- Open repair surgery with physiotherapy
- Open repair surgery without physiotherapy
Results Indicate a Promising Hope for Pain Relief
The study found that some of the most significant pain reduction occurred in the group that had a combination of arthroscopic surgery, platelet-rich plasma, and physiotherapy treatment.
The physical repair by the orthopedic surgeon was only the first step; the platelet-rich plasma was also very effective in reducing pain after surgery. Pain reduction continued for these patients, even after the post-operative healing process was complete.
Ongoing physiotherapy (PT) was also an important part of the pain reduction process for this group of study participants. PT helps to lubricate the joint, increase blood circulation, and strengthen the supporting structures such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Pain Reduction Helps to Restore Function and Improve Quality of Life
When chronic pain is present, the ability to accomplish daily tasks is greatly diminished. Pain is a mentally and physically exhausting condition to live with. Not being able to perform basic movements can make matters even worse.
Pain is a signal that alerts us that something is wrong. When pain is present, we tend to avoid making movements that will exacerbate the discomfort. This avoidance of movement plus the sensation of pain results in a decreased quality of life.
The result of this study showed that surgery, with or without physiotherapy, was not enough to dramatically reduce pain. However, surgery and PT with the addition of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) was the only combination that significantly reduced pain.
With these promising study results on the effectiveness of PRP, there is now hope for those who live with chronic shoulder pain from a rotator cuff tear. The most positive outcome is that once pain is significantly reduced, a person’s quality of life can be increased.
Get Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatment in Los Angeles
Advanced Pain Medical Group has a team of caring, expert sports medicine doctors and pain management physicians who specialize in PRP treatments. We provide pain relief solutions for sports injuries and medical conditions affecting the shoulders, knees, and hips.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation to see how platelet-rich plasma may be able to reduce your pain and improve your quality of life.