An estimated ten percent of the population experiences some sort of shoulder pain. Everything from a frozen shoulder, chronic shoulder pain and rotator cuff pain to recovering from shoulder surgery.This means that over 31 million Americans have shoulder problems right now. Shoulder pain is a problem that can severely disrupt your life, as it can make it difficult for you to do many things, including activities as simple as washing dishes or even putting your clothes on.
Fortunately, there are many ways to treat, reduce and even cure shoulder pain. But what treatment options for shoulder pain are the best? We are going to take a look at two of the most successful modern shoulder pain treatments, why they work and how much they cost relative to other options.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
PRP therapy is rapidly growing in popularity as an effective solution to shoulder pain. Many professional athletes including Kobe Bryant and Alex Rodriguez have undergone this treatment to great success.
What PRP therapy does
Whenever we have tissue damage, we need fresh blood at the site of the trauma to fuel recovery. One component of our blood that is especially critical to the repair process is the platelet. Known for clotting blood and creating scabs so that we don't suffer excessive blood loss when we get cut, platelets also offer another important benefit: they release growth factors (substances that incite cellular growth).
PRP treatment starts out by drawing blood directly from the patient. Then, using a centrifuge, the platelets are concentrated in the blood sample. Then, this platelet-rich plasma is injected back into the patient's body at the site of an injury. This increases the platelet concentration at the site, thereby adding more growth factors and inciting the body to repair the area more quickly.
How often PRP therapy works
PRP therapy currently has a success rate between 80 and 85 percent. Patients typically only require between 2 and 5 treatments, with most patients requiring 2-3 treatments for successful recovery.
Other benefits of PRP therapy
Patients who undergo PRP therapy do not have to worry about the risks or strain associated with shoulder surgery.
Risks associated with PRP therapy
As with all medical procedures, PRP therapy does carry some risks. The biggest risk associated with the procedure is the possibility of infection at the site of injection. Some people also complain of minor pain at the site of the injection; this dissipates after a few days.
Cost of PRP therapy
A single PRP therapy treatment is usually about a tenth of the cost of surgery, somewhere around $500 per treatment. Even with patients who require multiple PRP treatments, that is still a substantial savings in medical costs when compared to shoulder surgery. If you further consider the cost savings in terms of time lost from surgery compared to PRP injections, then the final cost savings benefits from PRP therapy is substantial.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy is another treatment is fast becoming one of the best solutions for serious shoulder problems. Here is why:What stem cell therapy does
The human body has the capacity to heal all kinds of damage, including muscle, tendon and ligament tears in the shoulder. Unfortunately, as we grow older, our bodies become less effective at repairing such damage; as a result, our daily activities make the damage worse before our body can heal anything.
Stem cell therapy for shoulder pain uses the stem cells produced by a patient's own body (youthful cells that can be instructed to act in certain ways) to speed up the healing process, thereby making recovery possible without invasive surgery.
How often stem cell therapy works
Stem cell therapy has an extremely high success rate with about 80-90 percent of all patients seeing results. Most patients see results within 1-2 months, with the rest seeing benefits within 3-6 months.
Other benefits of stem cell therapy
Stem cell therapy has fewer risks and a much shorter recovery time than the more invasive treatment options such as surgery. Treated as medical office procedure, patients usually complete the entire medical procedure in a few hours.
Risks associated with stem cell therapy
As with PRP therapy, the risks associated with stem cell therapy are relatively minor. Patients who undergo stem cell therapy face an increased risk of infection, as the gathering of stem cells, which are taken from the patient's own fat tissue, causes a reduction in white blood cells.
There is also a minor risk of infection at the site of injection during the procedure.
The cost of stem cell therapy
Depending on the needs of a patient, the cost of stem cell therapy for shoulder pain can vary greatly. In most cases, it is 30 to 50 percent less than comparable shoulder surgery.
Treatments like PRP and stem cell injections are changing how our bodies heal
These treatments are making relief from shoulder pain a reality for countless people. What's more, they are reducing the need for surgery, which, due to its nature, will always carry lower success rates and higher risks.
As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition.