Tendon damage anywhere in your body can be frustrating because these connective tissues heal at their own, often very slow, pace. When it comes to rotator cuff tears, which drive almost 2 million doctor visits each year in the United States, this is definitely the case.
If you’re dealing with a rotator cuff injury, you’re anxious to regain use of your arm and shoulder, but you’re at the mercy of your body’s timeframe, which is often much slower than your desired one.
To speed up this healing process, the experienced team of musculoskeletal experts here at Valiant Life Medical often turn to regenerative medicine in the form of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy.
Here’s a look at how we use PRP injections, in combination with other therapies, to encourage your rotator cuff to heal more quickly and strongly.
Understanding healing in your body
A great way to understand why PRP therapy can be beneficial for damaged tissues is to step back and understand your body’s incredible healing process.
When you incur an injury, your body jumps into action and initiates a 4-stage healing process, which includes:
- Hemostasis — controlling bleeding through clotting
- Inflammation — further controls bleeding and prevents infection
- Proliferation — creation of new collagen and other tissues
- Maturation — the wound remodels itself with new tissues
The first responders in this wound-healing cascade are your platelets, which not only control bleeding, but they also release growth factors that are involved in every stage.
How platelets help your rotator cuff
When we use PRP therapy for rotator cuff injuries, our goal is to amplify and support the healing process in this connective tissue.
We collect and isolate platelets from your own blood and reinject them directly into your damaged tissues. Once they arrive, these platelets register the damage and release growth factors and cytokines that support the healing process.
Not only can PRP injections speed up healing and restore function more quickly, this therapy can also reduce pain and inflammation, making your recovery a little more comfortable.
PRP therapy along with other therapies
As integrative specialists, we feel that PRP injections can play a valuable role in rotator cuff injuries, but they’re not the only treatment you need. We also urge you to engage in physical therapy and follow our recommendations for activity modifications (to give your shoulder a rest!).
By allowing your rotator cuff time and space to heal, providing additional healing resources through PRP therapy, and doing targeted exercises that improve function, we feel confident we can get your shoulder back to full health.
For a more detailed look at how we can help you heal from a rotator cuff injury, please contact our office in Fort Worth, Texas, to schedule an appointment.