Injections to treat rotator cuff injuries typically target the small space between the bony acromion that sits on top of the shoulder and the humeral head. Rotator cuff tendons that attach to the humeral head travel through this small space, where degeneration and impingement often occurs.

See Shoulder Pain: Is it Shoulder Impingement?

Steroid injection, PRP, and prolotherapy may be reccommended to treat rotator cuff injuries.

    Steroid injection. Subacromial injections of local anesthetic and cortisone may also be used for pain control, but they do not improve healing.

    Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). This injection therapy may have a role in promoting healing of injured tendons; however, it does not improve (and may briefly worsen) a patient’s comfort.

    See PRP Therapy for Chronic Tendon Injuries


Doctors who recommend PRP and prolotherapy typically advise more than one treatment. For example, a patient may get three prolotherapy treatments spaced 2 to 4 weeks apart.

Like PRP and prolotherapy, other injection treatments, such as the injection of autologous blood, are thought to promote inflammation and healing. Different doctors will have different opinions on the efficacy of each type of injection treatment. Experts agree more research is needed in this area.

See Types of Regenerative Medicine for Sports Injuries

Patients may consider rotator cuff surgery if they do not get satisfactory symptom relief from non-surgical treatments or injections.