Frozen shoulder syndrome is a big problem for a lot of people and today I wanted to talk about the success I've been having restoring mobility and eliminating pain through the use of Neural Prolotherapy. Those of you suffering from frozen shoulder know all about the pain and restriction of motion. Historically, we have thought that movement was restricted due to joint capsule inflammation but with the work I've done with Neural Prolotherapy I'm really starting to doubt this hypothesis. Neural Prolotherapy or NPT addresses the superficial nerves that innervate the muscles and treat the chronic constrictive injuries to these nerves overlying the muscles in the area of pain. Specifically, these nerve fibers are known as C-fibers which affect the sensation of pain, itch, touch and mechanoreceptors in joints and muscles. At the end of C-fibers are receptor called TRPV1 which produces the sensation of pain. The process of NPT dissolves the TRPV1 messages and stops the pain cascade, including the inflammatory response. In NPT a sugar solution, either dextrose or mannitol is injected into the areas where the nerve endings have a lot of TRPV1 receptors. You would feel the pain as a dull, aching or deep pain, sometimes sharp or hot feeling and sometimes the area is boggy or swollen. This pain, aching and inflammation limits your shoulder movement and sometimes the movement of your head and neck as well. NPT and the dilute sugar solution completely restores motion and eliminates the pain from the TRPV1 receptors. Addressing the C-fibers of the nerves using NPT is a simple and mostly painless procedure that takes about 20-45 minutes depending on the level of restriction and area that needs to be treated.
Results: Amazing, is not really overstating the effects of NPT on frozen shoulders. Range of motion is usually restored to normal during the treatment and most leave the office without pain. Pain can return after a few days and follow-up treatments will be able to reduce the pain score to 0-1 out of 10. Range of motion is usally maintained regardless of pain score. There are no side effects of NPT, unlike the limitation of cortisone injections. Unlike cortisone injections, there is not an increase in risk of injury to the area or impact on your adrenal glands. The injections are made with a very thin, very short needle and the sugar solution is placed just under the skin where the superficial nerves run.
If you are suffering from limited range of motion due to a shoulder injury, no matter how long ago the injury was sustained or if disks in your neck are affecting the nerves, NPT can usually restore full motion and eliminate pain. Many people experience long lasting relief after 1-3 treatments and over time will occasionally want a "touch-up". So before you think of getting a cortisone shot or consider shoulder surgery, find a doctor that does Neural Prolotherapy.