As we get older, our bodies undergo wear and tear. The pain that we feel can sometimes arise because of damage to the ligaments and cartilage of certain joints. The resultant pain, stiffness and weakness can make it difficult for us to carry out everyday tasks. It might also impair our ability to socialise and spend time with our loved ones. Shoulder pain can be especially disabling because we use our limbs and hands all the time.
Some of the us think that pain is part and parcel of ageing and try to be stoic. While it is important to be resilient and not to catastrophize about pain, we should also take steps to address pain if it is affecting our health and ability to function.
Pain in the shoulder can be due to:
- adhesive capsulitis also known commonly as “frozen shoulder”
- cartilage injuries
- rotator cuff injuries
- bursitis or tendonitis
- nerve impingement
- referred pain from the neck
We can try using medications such as paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen, or COX II inhibitors like celecoxib. Unfortunately these all aim to provide temporary relief without treating the underlying cause.
What about going for surgery?
Surgery is sometimes required when there is a fracture or an extensive tear of a ligament or when other less invasive treatment methods do not work effectively.
Any other options?
Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) injection can be useful in some cases of shoulder pain. Plasma is a component of your blood that contain special “growth factors” and protein to support cell growth. Injection of PRP can be used to treat rotator cuff tear and other ligamental injuries.
Are PRP injections safe?
The risk of PRP injection is significantly lower than open surgery, with a lower risk of general anaesthesia, infection, bleeding or nerve injury. Ultrasound imaging is used by a trained professional to deliver the PRP accurately to the site of injury to maximise its effectiveness.
How long will I take to recover?
About 2 days in average. It is normal to see some swelling at the side of injection as well as to experience some minor discomfort.
When can I feel the result?
You will notice results within 2 to 8 weeks, although some cases may take longer for results to be seen.
What are the other options?
In some cases of chronic shoulder pain, there might be neuropathic pain which may respond to pulse radiofrequency treatment to the suprascapular nerve. This suprascapular nerve provides a large part of the sensation to the shoulder.
If you require any further information, feel free to contact +65 8860 1861