Discussions from our Radio Show Shoulder Arthritis:
CALLER: I have had a pretty bad banged up shoulder and wrist from years of playing basketball and I probably have the onset of arthritis going on in there as well as bursitis too. I was wonder how Prolotherapy would help?
Dr. Darrow: Well it is a very simple answer that I have, any kind of overuse syndrome, especially in sports like Basketball where you are constantly throwing your arms out (too defend) and to throw that ball as far as you can. When you throw the arm out, there is an end point so there is a snapping motion in the shoulder that takes place, and that wears down a lot of the tissues in the superspinatus tendon which comes out of one of the back muscles and holds the rotator cuff together. That is the cuff that surrounds the shoulder. What we do is inject into the shoulder where it is causing pain and what (Prolotherapy) does is rebuild a lot of that tissue. It is a very, very common injury in all athletes especially in those playing basketball, baseball, swimmers, weight lifters where overhand motion is needed. We get all kind of athletes and the weekend warrior, even for some one who doesn’t do sports, someone who is getting older, there can be a breakdown in the tendon and that can happen from lifting something too quickly, and just happens as we get older. The collagen material that we have in our bodies starts drying out and wearing down so as we age it starts thinning out and it is much easier to be injured.
Injuries for the most part are stretch injuries or wearing out injuries sometimes traumatic injury where you get smashed, (like in contact sports) where the collagen gets damaged.
I think that the chances of your shoulder being healed is like 80-90% with a series of Prolotherapy injections. We would ask that you stop playing basketball while we are healing you up. A future article will go into detail concerning Shoulder Impingement rehab as well.
You know weekend warriors get the worst injuries it seems because they are not in the best of shape and they go out and blast all of a sudden and they do not have the muscle or tendon strength to do these things.
Discussions from our Radio Show:
CALLER: I had a 4th degree shoulder separation accident from a bicycle ride, I had surgery on it. I have full range of motion but the bone does stick out. But occasionally I have aches from it and it feels like it almost feels like it is “asleep,” there is a strange deadness feeling in it.
Doctor Darrow: What probably what happened was as the bone separated, some of the nerves may have been stretched out or been torn. They may have been very superficial nerves that are not major nerves because you are probably as strong as you were before.
CALLER: My arm seems a little bit shortened, it is harder to stretch it out. My main question (my therapist) said that one of the ways other than the strengthening exercises to alleviate the pain was to actually put a lot of pressure on it by hanging from a bar and that would seem to me counter-intuitive because I thought it would hurt it, but it actually does help it when I actually hand and put a lot of weight on it.
Doctor Darrow: There are several things going on, when you stretch it you are allowing the area to open up a little bit, it may be “congested” or jammed together after the surgery and you may be stretching out all the scaring.
The good news is that you have a functional shoulder after that and that was a pretty bad separation.
You can get Prolotherapy to the joint area where the separation was and that would gain more collagen to the area, stimulate the natural growth of collagen there, it is very easy to do, nearly painless with a small, thin needle, see Prolotherapy injections.
Doctor Marc Darrow, M.D., J.D.
Discussions from our Radio Show:
Caller: I have a tear in my labrum, I had surgery a few years ago and I am still getting a lot of pain there and I am desperate to avoid another surgery.
Dr. Darrow: Often times a torn labrum will show up on an MRI, but it will not be the reason for someone’s pain, something else maybe causing the pain.
The labrum is a little lip on the inside of the glenoid (the socket in the shoulder blade) which the ball of the humerus (the upper arm bone) goes in, the labrum is the soft tissue that helps hold the ball in the socket and very often it gets torn, I see them all the time.
We had a patient, he was a lacrosse player that use to fly in from the east coast once every couple of weeks. Initially he could barely move his arm, I saw his MRI, it was the worse MRI I had ever seen.
We did Prolotherapy injections to the proliferate or growth new tissue in the area and we tried to heal it up that way. After about three times he was back to playing Lacrosse again.
The thing is he probably STILL has a torn labrum but that was not the cause of his pain. My point is that you cannot look at an MRI to decide to do surgery, you have to find where the pain is coming from, the best way I think of doing that is a diagnostic injection of lidocaine to see if it can numb up the area, and if it can numb it and then put some dextrose with it then we know that the proliferent is going with the numbing agent. I think there is very good hope for you even with the torn labrum can heal you up. A future discussion will focus on a rotator cuff tear and other similiar injuries.
Dr. Marc Darrow, M.D., J.D.
Chronic shoulder instability syndrome results from trauma caused by subluxations, dislocations, from less detectable micro-trauma caused by repetitive strain on the tissues, or from congenitally loose shoulder joints. Recurrent pain or tenderness in the shoulder joint and weakness in the arm are two of the more common symptoms, but severe examples include patients whose shoulders pop in and out of joint. Frequent shoulder dislocations stretch the brachial plexus, the nerves that run from the neck down the arm. This process can cause permanent nerve damage, pain, and loss of use of the arm.