Arthritis, the No. 1 cause of disability among American adults, takes many forms, all leading to deterioration of the joints that give you mobility. The degenerative process can move fast or slow, outstripping your body’s ability to repair the damage. Once, joint replacement surgery was the only option beyond pain management. But more and more arthritis sufferers are finding relief in a form of regenerative medicine called Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP).
The benefits along with the absence of serious side effects make PRP worth a try for many of those with pain and limited mobility stemming from arthritic conditions. The key to PRP therapy lies in the growth factors, proteins that stimulate your cells to regenerate themselves.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy for arthritis
While platelets are perhaps best known as the clotting factor in your blood, they also carry human growth hormones, which aid healing processes throughout your body. Created from a small sample of your own blood, PRP is easy to acquire, prepare, and re-inject, and since it’s your own blood, there’s no risk of incompatibility.
Following treatment, many patients experience pain relief, improved flexibility, and less stiffness.
How the procedure works
A vial of your blood is drawn and then placed into a machine that spins it at high speeds to separate the growth factor-rich platelets from the other components. Your provider prepares a solution of these platelets — up to 10 times as concentrated as in regular blood — for injection into the designated treatment areas.
Pain management with PRP
The benefits of PRP aren’t limited to treating arthritis. This revolutionary therapy can provide relief for other types of pain, too. Whether acute or chronic — lasting more than 12 weeks — pain can have a major impact on your ability to function.
Treatment with PRP can reduce or eliminate the need for pain medication. Common pain management tools like nerve blocks and steroid injections can provide temporary relief. However, PRP therapy addresses the problem at the source by promoting tissue healing and improving rehabilitation. The concentrated PRP injection increases blood flow to the damaged area and floods it with components that stimulate your tissues to heal themselves. This helps expedite the healing process and soothe pain.
While your PRP regimen may include up to five injections within a six-month period, many patients experience significant relief after just the first or second treatment.
PRP can treat various types of pain, including:
- Hip and knee pain
- Back and neck pain
- Facial pain
- Sprains, pulled muscles, and even minor fractures
PRP may be the key if your current pain or arthritis treatment is falling short. To learn more, call our Apple Medical Centers office to schedule an appointment, or submit your request online.