PRP (Platelets Rich Plasma) injection for Shoulder Pain

The shoulder joint is the most mobile of the large joints in the body connecting to the torso through a shallow cup-shaped articular surface from the scapula to a significantly oversized ball-shaped end of the bone on the humerus, the shoulder joint allows a wide range of motion not seen in other large joints.

The shoulder joint suffers from a unique set of disorders partially because of its extreme range of motion these include easier dislocations, osteoarthritis, rupture of the rotator cuff muscles or tendons, articular surface damage, and ligamentous and tendon injuries.

When untreated this can result in an involuntary decreased range of motion which can later lead to reduced mobility or a “frozen“ shoulder, the patient may try various treatments including intra-articular steroid injections, which are usually limited to no more than two injections per year. Surgical options for a frozen shoulder can compound the problem.

Steroid injections can be effective but are limited in frequency due to side effects, Platelet Rich Plasma injections can be an excellent alternative option.

In October 2021, a systematic review and meta-analysis article for non-operative PRP injections for rotator cuff pathology was performed, the purpose of the review was to look at the efficiency of PRP in rotator cuff tears and to measure pain reduction and improvement in function.

The authors looked at various peer-review studies and concluded that at least six of them met the criteria for evaluation. These studies concluded that PRP pain scores were significantly better in the short term when compared to physical therapy alone or with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication and steroid injections.