Shoulder pain is a common ailment that can be caused by a variety of factors, including injury, overuse, and aging. While many people turn to pain medication to manage their discomfort, there are several alternative treatments that can help alleviate pain and improve shoulder function. In this blog post, we’ll explore how physical therapy, chiropractic, and regenerative medicine can all play a role in helping people with shoulder pain.
Physical Therapy for Shoulder Pain
Physical therapy is a non-invasive treatment that focuses on improving mobility, strength, and flexibility. A physical therapist will evaluate your shoulder and create a personalized treatment plan that may include exercises, stretches, and other techniques to help reduce pain and restore function.
One of the most common causes of shoulder pain is rotator cuff injuries, which occur when the tendons and muscles that attach to the shoulder joint are damaged. Physical therapy can be particularly effective for treating rotator cuff injuries, as it can help to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint and improve range of motion.
Some of the exercises that a physical therapist may recommend for shoulder pain include:
Shoulder stretches: These can help to improve flexibility and range of motion in the joint.
Rotator cuff exercises: These focus on strengthening the muscles that support the shoulder joint.
Posture exercises: Poor posture can contribute to shoulder pain, so your physical therapist may recommend exercises to help improve your posture.
In addition to exercises, physical therapy may also involve other techniques such as massage, heat therapy, and ultrasound therapy. These treatments can help to reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and promote healing in the affected area.
Chiropractic Care for Shoulder Pain
Chiropractic care is another non-invasive treatment that can be effective for shoulder pain. Chiropractors use hands-on techniques to adjust the joints and soft tissues in the body, with the goal of restoring proper alignment and reducing pain.
Chiropractic care can be particularly helpful for shoulder pain caused by misalignments in the spine or neck. These misalignments can put pressure on nerves that run from the neck to the shoulder, leading to pain and discomfort.
Some of the techniques that a chiropractor may use to treat shoulder pain include:
Spinal manipulation: This involves applying pressure to the spine to help improve alignment and reduce pain.
Soft tissue mobilization: This technique involves using hands-on pressure to release tension in the muscles and other soft tissues surrounding the shoulder joint.
Trigger point therapy: This involves applying pressure to specific points in the muscles to relieve pain and tension.
Chiropractic care can also involve lifestyle changes and exercises to help support the healing process. Your chiropractor may recommend stretches or exercises to help improve your posture, as well as lifestyle changes such as improving your diet or getting more exercise.
Regenerative Medicine for Shoulder Pain
Regenerative medicine is a relatively new field of medicine that focuses on using the body’s own healing mechanisms to repair damaged tissue. This can involve techniques such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, Wharton's jelly therapy, and prolotherapy.
These techniques can be effective for treating shoulder pain caused by conditions such as rotator cuff injuries or osteoarthritis. According to the Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, Wharton’s jelly contains the highest concentration of mesenchymal stem cells per milliliter compared to other tissues with rich extracellular matrix components, including collagen, chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid, and sulfated proteoglycans. Wharton’s jelly has also a clinically relevant quantity of growth factors, cytokines, and extracellular vesicles. The large amount of these substances may play a role in reducing inflammation, pain, and augment healing of musculoskeletal injuries The various tissues and cells can support healing and the process of differentiating into the type of cells needed to repair the damaged tissue.
PRP therapy involves taking a sample of the patient’s blood and then isolating the platelets, which are then injected into the damaged area. Platelets contain growth factors that can help to stimulate healing in the damaged tissue.
PRP therapy is particularly effective for treating soft tissue injuries, such as rotator cuff tears. These types of injuries can be difficult to treat with traditional methods, such as physical therapy or corticosteroid injections, because soft tissue has limited blood supply and therefore limited ability to heal on its own.
PRP therapy can also be effective for treating osteoarthritis in the shoulder joint. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that occurs when the cartilage in the joint wears down over time, causing pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. PRP therapy can help to stimulate the growth of new cartilage cells and reduce inflammation in the joint, leading to improved function and reduced pain.
Overall, PRP therapy is a safe and effective treatment option for many patients with shoulder pain. It is minimally invasive, requires no downtime, and can be performed as an outpatient procedure. While the exact effectiveness of PRP therapy may vary depending on the severity of the injury or condition being treated, many patients experience significant improvement in pain and function after undergoing PRP therapy.
If you or a loved one are needlessly suffering from a shoulder pain condition, take action today and discover how we can help you reach your goals today.