PRP Treatment Frees Avid Weightlifter of Years of Shoulder Pain
Shepherd resident Jack Miller is thankful to be back to lifting weights again following his PRP treatment.
Shoulder pain was a decades-long battle for Jack Miller. This battle came to a head when Miller, who owns a mobile tool store, travels, and is an avid weightlifter, couldn’t even put on a shirt without agonizing pain.
The pain started 15 years ago when an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) revealed that Miller had a torn labrum in both shoulders. Unable to take time off work to undergo surgery, Miller focused on strengthening the muscles in his shoulders and back. While this strategy worked for a while, years later his pain returned.
“Any kind of button-up shirt or movement where I had to put my arm behind my body, I couldn’t do,” he said. The pain was also impacting the business he owns. “I own a mobile tool store and drive a truck to shops. Eventually driving my truck became difficult. Basically, any movement where you put pressure on the shoulder socket was excruciating.”
Miller talked to Non-Surgical Sports Medicine Specialist A.J. Pinney, D.O., who told him about platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatment – a non-surgical procedure that relieves pain and jump-starts the healing process.
“When Dr. Pinney first explained the rate of recovery and success of PRP, I didn’t believe it,” Miller confessed. “It seemed too good to be true, but I was willing to try it to avoid surgery.”
PRP treatment is a fairly simple procedure. The healthcare provider draws a sample of blood or bone marrow from the patient and places it in a centrifuge which spins the vile to separate and concentrate the blood platelets.
Blood is made up of liquid and solids. The liquid part (plasma) is made of water, salts, and protein. The solid part contains red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Red blood cells deliver oxygen from the lungs to the tissues and organs. White blood cells fight infection and are part of the immune system. PRP is a concentration of platelets and growth factors.
After the centrifuge separates the blood platelets, the platelets are drawn into a syringe and injected into the treatment area. This will promote and accelerate healing of the damaged tissue. The entire process is usually completed in less than 30 minutes.
“While the procedure was a little uncomfortable and the first day I was sore, I started to notice results in the first week,” Miller said. “Four weeks after the procedure I regained 50 percent of motion back in my shoulders and by eight weeks I was 100 percent back to normal with no pain.”
“The platelets extracted from the patient’s own blood are rich with growth factors and healing markers,” said Dr. Pinney. “When injected into a site of damage, they encourage damaged tissue to heal itself in an effort to decrease pain and restore joint or tendon function.”
Months after the one-time, 30-minute procedure, Miller can do everything he could before his injury. “I can lift weights with confidence that my shoulder is not going to fail me. And I’m wearing a shirt right now so that obviously went well too,” he jokes.
Miller highly recommends PRP treatment to anyone experiencing chronic pain like he was, stating that not only were the results worth it, but the team he worked with was great too. “Dr. Pinney was extremely knowledgeable. I had nothing but great experiences, and PRP was nothing short of a miracle. I would confidently suggest this to any family member.”
Those who would like more information about PRP Therapy may visit www.mymichigan.org/prp or call (866) 266-1117.