The shoulder has a larger range of motion than any other joint found in the body, thus it’s particularly at risk of degeneration and injury. The rotator cuff and biceps tendon represent common problem areas.
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons which often become injured in athletes who play sports that involve a great deal of overhead activity. The biceps tendon, on the other hand, is the primary muscle used for flexing the elbow and usually becomes injured through overuse or general wear and tear.
In either case, surgery has often been considered necessary. The rotator cuff is particularly difficult to heal. Fortunately, regenerative medicine can be one of the best shoulder pain treatments in these cases — a stem cell or PRP treatment may allow the rotator cuff or biceps tendon to repair themselves using cells taken from your body.
Injuries to the Rotator Cuff
The rotator cuff consists of muscles and tendons which serve to attach the shoulder blade and humeral head, allowing the arm to move while keeping the joint held together. Rotator cuff tendonitis often produces weakness, stiffness, and shoulder pain, as well as reducing the range of motion. A direct injury may be the result of sudden force or wear and tear seen over time — rotator cuff injuries are particularly common for athletes who have a lot of overhead activity.
Rotator cuff injuries are among the most common injuries to the shoulder. Over 2 million people suffer a rotator cuff injury every year. Having a rotator cuff injury means experiencing pain as you go about every day activities; the pain often gets worse at night, interfering with sleep.
In the event you think you might suffer from a rotator cuff problem, seek medical attention immediately. The problem could become chronic or even progress to a more serious condition if it is not treated, predisposing you to a partial or a complete cuff tear. (In the event of a tear, patients often find it impossible to lift their arms from the shoulder, making daily functioning very limited.)
Rotator cuff injuries are considered very difficult to treat. Surgery has often been considered the only practical option. Even then, patients who undergo surgery have as much as a 90% chance their injury will recur later.
PRP or stem cell treatment offers an effective alternative for many patients. By repairing the rotator cuff using cells from your body, the tissues themselves regenerate — the treatment solves the problem, rather than merely patching over the symptoms.
Injuries to the Biceps Tendon
The main muscle used to flex the elbow is called the biceps, and it attaches to the forearm and shoulder via tendons. When the tendon which connects the biceps and the shoulder thickens or becomes inflamed, the condition is called tendonitis — it’s primarily caused either by wear and tear (as a result of normal aging) or by overusing your arm (as in certain athletes or people with physically demanding work).
Most treatments for biceps tendonitis or biceps tendon injuries focus on rest and rehabilitation. Sometimes the injury is severe enough to require surgery, but this carries risks. In many cases regenerative medicine treatments like PRP or stem cells represent a viable alternative, with no surgery or post-operative pain.