Rotator cuff injuries can have a serious impact on your quality of life. Fortunately, there are therapies such as platelet-rich plasma injections that offer promising recovery results.
Why is My Rotator Cuff Causing Pain?
The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that help to stabilize your shoulder joint and allow it to have a full range of lifting and rotating motions. Generally, when you have a rotator cuff injury, it is due to repetitive motions performed over long periods of time. Certain sports and jobs can cause this type of injury, but simply falling on your shoulder or breaking a fall with your arm can cause the muscles in your rotator cuff to become torn or inflamed as well.
What is Platelet-Rich Plasma?
Platelet-rich plasma, more commonly abbreviated as PRP, is a substance that can aid your body’s natural healing processes when it is injected. Plasma is found in your blood, and it contains special proteins that not only help your blood clot but also support the growth of new, healthy cells.
PRP can be injected into damaged tissues, such as the muscle tissue found in an injured rotator cuff. By concentrating all of the growth factors and healing properties of plasma into a single, focused injection, the treatment is believed to help speed up the healing of your damaged tissues.
How Does a PRP Injection Work?
PRP begins by drawing a small amount of blood from your arm in order to utilize your own body’s growth factors. The amount of blood drawn depends on the seriousness of the injury being treated, but typically not much blood is needed.
Once the blood is drawn, it is spun in a special device called a centrifuge. The centrifuge’s motion separates your plasma from the rest of your blood cells, and this is what is used for the actual injection into your rotator cuff.
During the injection process, the practitioner will use ultrasound imaging to ensure that the needle is placed directly into the damaged tissues for maximum effect.
What Can I Expect After a PRP Injection?
Often, rotator cuff injuries can heal very slowly because it is difficult to get proper blood flow to the damaged tissues. The PRP injection puts a concentrated boost of the necessary healing growth factors into the injured area to speed up the healing process.
Unlike surgical methods, recovery from PRP injections can be as little as a few days. In addition, you will not have to immobilize your arm like you would with surgery. There will be a short period of time where you will be advised not to exercise, but once that period has passed, it is usually recommended that you begin a physical therapy regimen.
How Do I Know If PRP is Right For Me?
PRP injections are not effective for every type of rotator cuff injury. It is best to speak with a professional about whether or not the treatment will work for you. To find out more about PRP injections, call us at (631) 485-1137 today.