Shoulder pain can occur due to a number of reasons, including sprains, brachial plexus injury, fractures, dislocated shoulder, osteoarthritis. However, two of the more common causes for shoulder pain include rotator cuff tear and adhesive capsulitis (commonly known as ‘frozen shoulder’)
Rotator Cuff Tear
Rotator cuff refers to a group of tendons and muscles around the shoulder. Overuse of the shoulder (due to strenuous activities e.g., playing tennis, volleyball or swimming) can loosen the rotator cuff, causing this problem.
Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder)
Frozen shoulder, medically referred to as adhesive capsulitis, is a disorder in which the shoulder capsule, the connective tissue surrounding the glenohumeral joint of the shoulder, becomes inflamed and stiff, greatly restricting motion and causing chronic pain. In frozen shoulder, there is a lack of synovial fluid, which normally helps the shoulder joint, a ball and socket joint, move by lubricating the gap between the humerus (upper arm bone) and the socket in the scapula (shoulder blade). The shoulder capsule thickens, swells, and tightens due to bands of scar tissue (adhesions) that have formed inside the capsule. As a result, there is less room in the joint for the humerus, making movement of the shoulder stiff and painful. Frozen Shoulder is commonly seen in diabetics, Hypothyroid patients, Post stroke, Post injury to shoulder and following lung and heart disease.
Adhesive capsulitis is a painful and disabling condition that often causes great frustration for patients due to slow recovery. Movement of the shoulder is severely restricted. Pain is usually constant, worse at night, and when the weather is colder. In addition to difficulty with everyday tasks (like changing clothes, combing etc), people who suffer from adhesive capsulitis usually experience problems sleeping for extended periods due to pain that is worse at night and restricted movement/positions.
Treatment of Shoulder Pain:
Medicines/Pharmacotherapy: One of the easiest techniques for pain control is using conservative care (e.g., resting the impacted part, using hot/cold packs) along with medicines, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and adding a neuropathic agent in case of chronification of pain.
Injections: Intralesional injections in the impacted part can provide significant pain relief in cases where medicines haven’t worked. Such interventional techniques should be followed by regular stretching and exercises for better results.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy: PRP therapy involves injecting platelets from the patient’s own blood to rebuild a damaged tendon or cartilage. It has been successful in not only relieving the pain, but also in jumpstarting the healing process. The patient’s blood is drawn and placed in a centrifuge for 15 minutes to separate out the platelets. The platelet-rich plasma is then injected into the damaged portion of the tendon or cartilage.
Shoulder PainTreatment Options Available at DPMC
At DPMC, we provide the best and latest non- surgical interventions to treat shoulder pain
- Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy