Many people are told that surgery is the only option when dealing with shoulder pain symptoms, particularly arthritis. But that’s not the only option! For some of our patients, stem cell therapy may relieve symptoms. 

Many patients have turned to stem cells for shoulder arthritis treatment as a better alternative to shoulder surgery, with an easier and faster recovery and significantly fewer complications.

But before we explain further, let’s start with the basics.

What is Shoulder Arthritis?

Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints. It comes in many forms (there are over 100 forms of arthritis!), and many affect the shoulder. The most common form of shoulder arthritis is osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease. Other types of shoulder arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis and traumatic arthritis. 

Stem Cells For Shoulder Arthritis Treatment

In the case of osteoarthritis, the cartilage starts to get worn away. This causes bones to rub against each other and cause bony spurs. These spurs form as the bone tries to heal itself.

Irregular motion, bone spurs, and inflammation can result in pain and loss of motion in the shoulder.

Shoulder Arthritis Symptoms

The symptoms may vary depending on the type of arthritis. Generally, it causes pain that develops gradually over time, although sudden onset is also possible. Other symptoms include:

  • Pain. This is the most common symptom of shoulder arthritis. The pain may occur even when not using the arm, and it’s usually aggravated by activity and progressively worsens. Depending on the joint affected, the location of the pain will vary. Sleeping may become troublesome, as night pain is common. The pain often radiates into the arm.

  • Limited range of motion. Lifting your arm may become more difficult, for example.

  • Crepitus as you move your shoulder. Crepitus is a grinding, clicking, or snapping sound. It may or may not be painful.

Shoulder Arthritis Causes

Shoulder arthritis is usually a result of gradual wear and tear of the cartilage. This is the case for osteoarthritis.

In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, the body attacks its own healthy cells, which may include the lining of the joints. In this case, it’s not uncommon for people to have arthritis present in both shoulders simultaneously.

Lastly, if you have fractured, dislocated, or otherwise injured your shoulder, you may develop post-traumatic arthritis.

These are the most common causes of arthritis but not the only ones. Shoulder arthritis is most common in people over the age of 50, but younger people may develop it after injuries. It’s also worth mentioning that arthritis can run in families, as it is a hereditary condition.

Treating Shoulder Arthritis

The initial treatments for shoulder arthritis do not involve surgery. 

Doctors will usually treat shoulder arthritis with:

  • Range-of-motion exercises. The aim is to keep your shoulder mobile. If your range of motion is not affected, these exercises are still used as a preventative measure.

  • Lifestyle changes. After being diagnosed with shoulder arthritis, it’s essential to avoid the things that make the shoulder hurt. This is especially true if the pain interferes with your day-to-day activities.

  • Ice or heat. Ice packs reduce inflammation, but some people feel that heat is better since it warms up the joint before stretching.

  • Physical therapy.

  • Pain management medication. The type of medication used to treat the condition varies depending on the kind of pain and the patient’s overall health. Medication should always be discussed with a medical professional, and you should not self-medicate for shoulder arthritis. 

  • Injections. There are two types of injections typically used for shoulder arthritis: cortisone shots and hyaluronic acid shots.

When the above solutions fail, doctors start considering surgery. There are many types of surgery for shoulder arthritis, depending on the situation. A total shoulder replacement may be recommended.

As with every other surgery, shoulder surgery may cause many complications. That’s when stem cells for shoulder arthritis treatment may help as an alternative. 

How Stem Cells can help

First off, what are stem cells?

Stem cells are a type of cell in the body from which specialty cells develop, including muscle cells, brain cells, ligaments, tendons, bones, cartilage, and more.

What is stem cell therapy?

Also known as regenerative medicine, stem cell therapy uses stem cells to help repair diseased, dysfunctional, or injured tissue. 

Stem cells can come from very different places, including bone marrow, placenta, and fat. The most common method for shoulder arthritis treatment is getting the cells from fat in your body. The process of harvesting these cells only requires a local anesthetic. 

Stem cell therapy is a non-surgical injection-based procedure.

Reduced range of motion in shoulder arthritis is usually caused by bone spurs. This cannot be improved by regenerative medicine because, as the name indicates, regenerative treatments are meant to regenerate and heal, not eliminate. 

However, stem cell therapy can help with the pain. It can, for example, repair small tears in the rotator cuff and create a better chemical environment in the shoulder.

Before considering shoulder replacement surgery, we advise you consider regenerative medicine. There’s a chance you don’t need to go through the side effects and long recovery processes of surgery. Feel free to contact us if you’d like more information about your particular case.

Benefits of stem cell therapy

  • Reduces pain effectively

  • Minimal post-procedural recovery

  • Increases functionality and range of motion

  • It helps avoid surgery and its complications

  • Potentially reverses injury

  • No need for general anesthesia

  • Little to no risk of rejection

Nona Medical Arts is proud to offer our patients innovative technology and treatments to provide long-lasting relief from pain without complications. Stem cell therapy is one of those treatments. Call us to book an appointment or click the button below to learn more about our regenerative medicine solutions.

Note: This blog post provides general information to help the reader better understand regenerative medicine, health conditions, and the connection between the two. All content of this post is not intended and should not be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with a health professional to discuss your particular situation. Find out if stem cells for shoulder arthritis treatment is right for you.