Effective Treatment for Shoulder Pain and Associated Arthritis
Updated: Oct 2, 2019
Shoulder arthritis is characterised by an insidious onset of shoulder pain with progressive loss of mobility in shoulder joint. It usually develops between the ages of 40 to 70 years, and also has a high level with diabetes.
Treatment options associated with shoulder arthritis have been recommended to include oral corticosteroids, intra-articular injection of corticosteroids, injection of hyaluronic acid, physical therapy exercises, heat, manipulation under anaesthetic, surgical arthroscopic release but the most effective treatment is still subjected to debate.
Primary objective, other than reducing pain and increasing functional mobility is to promote blood flow, increase capillary permeability and tissue metabolism, promote enhancement of tissue extensibility, and to facilitate muscle relaxation. The application of intra-articular corticosteroid injection is one of the commonly used approaches in the management of shoulder arthritis, although, evidence identifies poor long-term outcomes.
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) has emerged as a new, exciting treatment technique which is used to naturally and biologically stimulate re-vascularisation of soft tissue and increase the concentration of growth factors to improve and facilitate healing. PRP is now becoming a regularly used as an effective biological agent to promote healing. The study below looks at the comparison of PRP therapy and corticosteroid injection. with 195 participants https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5483763/.
In this study, PRP treatment resulted in statistically significant improvements over corticosteroid and ultrasound treatment in range of motion of shoulder, pain, and function at 12 weeks. At 6 weeks, PRP treatment resulted in statistically significant improvements over ultrasound. ALL participant are all instructed to carry out standardised physical rehabilitation exercises. The study demonstrated that PRP can be is more effective than corticosteroid injection and ultrasonic therapy in relieving pain and promoting functional mobility. Evidence for use of PRP in many orthopaedic and musculoskeletal conditions is growing fast as more and more studies are identifying functional benefit.
This study concluded to highlight the growing relevance and importance of PRP in the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal conditions like shoulder pain and arthritis, especially in comparison to corticosteroid, or when steroid is contraindicated or refused by the patient. This study identified that a single injection of PRP resulted in significant improvement in range of shoulder motion, pain and function than steroid or ultrasonic therapy in patients with shoulder arthritis.
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