As our lifespans extend further into the future, joint pain has become one of the most common ailments in the United States. Over a third of adults have dealt with joint pain and over 50 million people reported chronic joint pain. Fortunately, Nourished Medspa and Wellness Center in Sherman, TX, can provide relief with a potent technology: PRP Injection.
Platelet-rich Plasma, or PRP, is a powerful and completely natural way to reduce joint pain and heal your body. It has been used by doctors for over 50 years and is completely safe. But how does it work to reduce joint pain?
PRP Injection for Joint Pain: Four Situations, One Solution, Many Advantages
1. Acute Injury
Every active individual has, at one time or another, experienced joint pain due to acute injury. Whether it’s the ankle you landed on awkwardly while running outside or an achy elbow after a heated bout of tennis, joint pain is a common occurrence for athletic people. While some soreness after strenuous activity is to be expected, if you’ve been feeling pain in a joint for over a week, you may want to consider an injection of PRP.
Generally, ligaments and tendons are the most injured parts of a joint due to athletic activities or accidents. Tennis elbow and Golfer’s elbow, for instance, occur due to repeatedly exerting significant force onto a single tendon in the elbow. Soccer players and football players commonly sprain knee ligaments. Shoulder ligaments such as the rotator cuff are often at risk in throwing sports.
These injuries can be difficult to treat. Tendons and ligaments do not have much vascular tissue, meaning that blood flow to these areas is limited. This slows down healing and recovery. Doctors have often recommended surgery to repair tendons and ligaments, but PRP provides a non-invasive solution.
PRP Improves Healing
PRP does for ligaments and tendons what your body cannot. When your body detects an injury, it inflames the area to provide additional blood flow. Platelets in your blood can then travel to the area and concentrate to provide healing. But since these tissues are in hard-to-reach places, your body can’t get enough platelets into the area.
A PRP joint injection is the perfect solution to this problem. We concentrate the platelets from your blood using a double-spin centrifuge to ensure a high yield of PRP. From there, we can inject it directly into the joint and onto ligaments and tendons.
A review of dozens of clinical trials found that PRP was highly effective at treating partial ligament tears and tendonitis in a variety of cases. Several different joints were treated successfully using PRP and the results were as good or even better than using corticosteroids or simple rest and elevation. Most importantly, several of the studies in that review noted that the benefits of PRP injection lasted longer and there were fewer incidences of reinjury.
2. Long-Term Damage
Joint pain doesn’t have to be the result of an injury. In fact, more often the cause of joint pain is simply wear and tear on our bodies. Joints contain soft tissues that cushion bones in the joints from impact and allow for more fluid motion.
Bursae are sacs filled with synovial fluid that allow for smooth motion in your joints. These can become damaged and worn down over time. This is most common in the hip joints of distance runners. Pain usually flares up on impacts or when the joint moves to a certain position.
Other tissues made of cartilage, for instance the meniscus in your knee, degrade over time. Obesity exacerbates this degradation since the extra weight puts additional pressure on these soft tissues. Similarly, a long history of hard physical labor or frequent exercise may cause this cartilage to wear out faster.
PRP Stimulates New Cell Growth
Historically, the problem with treating these issues is that certain types of tissue simply don’t regenerate on their own. Cartilage actually doesn’t have its own blood supply, making it even hard to restore than ligaments or tendons. Doctors have had to resort to treating the pain symptoms through medication or, in some cases, replacing joints with prosthetics.
However, those surgical options are quite drastic and do not always result in a complete restoration of function. Some 20% of knee replacement recipients still report chronic pain afterward. PRP, however, can heal these tissues when applied directly via injection.
When platelets are concentrated, they produce growth factors that encourage healthy cells to multiply, thus producing additional healthy cells. Studies that looked at PRP’s efficacy in treating osteoarthritis showed that a single PRP injection can regenerate cartilage and improve joint function without surgery, even in older patients with long-term damage.
Although joint surgery can provide relief from joint pain in the long term, it’s not without its risks. In addition, joint surgery calls for lengthy recovery time, with most patients having to wait at least 2-3 months before they can resume physical activity.
There are some situations where surgery may be the only answer. However, you should always consider alternatives to surgery. Using PRP, we may be able to restore function and reduce pain symptoms. The biggest variable that you need to consider is time.
The longer you wait to address your joint pain, the harder it is for PRP to rescue you. Regenerative medicine needs healthy cells to work with, so the fewer there are, the less effective the injection may be. Don’t wait to take action to relieve your joint pain.
PRP Reduces Recovery Time
If you do opt for surgery, consider getting a PRP injection anyway. Interestingly, the very first use of PRP in medicine was to speed up healing after an operation. Doctors first put PRP to use in open-heart surgeries, which of course are some of the most invasive and difficult to recover from.
This thorough review of PRP use highlights trials that have demonstrated PRP’s ability to heal, both after injuries and after surgeries to repair damaged muscles and ligaments. This study also confirms that the sooner PRP is administered, the better the results.
4. Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis can cause chronic joint pain and can be very difficult to manage. In these cases, the immune system incorrectly damages tissues in your joints, causing inflammation and pain. The inflammation also causes stiffness and a reduction in the joint’s range of motion.
Traditionally, the most effective treatment for these disorders has been to address the symptoms or to resort to immunosuppressant medications. However, this last option presents an undesirable dilemma: If you suppress the immune system to relieve joint pain, the patient may become more susceptible to other infections.
Immunomodulatory Effects of PRP
Fortunately, PRP has been shown to have a positive effect on joint pain caused by autoimmune disorders. Scientists have consistently found that PRP has an immunomodulatory effect. In other words, PRP can regulate the cells in your body that trigger immune responses.
This rheumatoid arthritis study noted that PRP led to improvement for every single patient. Many of these patients had already tried other treatments such as steroid injections but to no avail. One example from this study saw a 50-year-old patient with chronic pain in her wrist achieve excellent results. Her pain was greatly reduced and it remained that way even after several months.
Best of all, none of the patients studied reported any adverse reactions or complications with their PRP injection. Let’s look at some of the advantages of choosing PRP over other options.
Advantages of Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections
Truly one of the most significant advantages of PRP is that it has been proven to be completely safe. There are dozens of published clinical trials using PRP, and none of them have reported any side effects or complications to date. We use only FDA-approved equipment to produce PRP, and there is no greater risk than there is from having your blood drawn and receiving an injection.
The reason for this safety is that the PRP we make for the treatment is derived from your own body. This is known as an autologous treatment. There is no donor material, meaning there’s no risk of rejection or infection.
Medications have side effects, surgeries have risks. PRP has neither of these disadvantages, which makes it a great option for patients who may not be able to try other treatments or who would prefer a more natural method of treatment.
PRP works fast. Most patients see improvement within a week or two after the injection. Unlike steroid injections, the most common way to treat joint pain, the effects of PRP usually last much longer. Some patients even see their condition to continue to improve for months after the injection.
The injection itself is so minimally invasive that there is no recovery time from the treatment itself. You can resume physical activity the next day. There’s no need for an extended hospital stay or for a prolonged rest period after.
Surgeries call for months of rest and rehabilitation. Even when surgeries do manage to repair damage to your body, they damage other cells in the process. By avoiding this problem, PRP relieves joint pain faster and without creating additional hurdles to clear.
Even though the cost of an injection of PRP may not be covered by insurance, it will often still be far lower than the out-of-pocket costs of surgical intervention or long-term pharmaceutical use. Most patients who opt for PRP treatment only need one or two injections in a single year.
The treatment itself can be performed in about an hour, which reduces our expenses and your costs. There’s no need for additional costly staff such as an anesthesiologist to be on hand. Avoiding the hospital generally equates to savings for you.
If financing is a concern, we do work closely with CareCredit, a financing company that offers excellent interest rates for medical treatment across a wide network of providers.
Nearly everyone is eligible to receive PRP treatment. While some patients may not be able to use other treatments due to contraindications, essentially the only limiting factor for PRP use is the patient’s own health. In order to make PRP, we need a good source of platelets. If your body does not produce enough, we may not be able to provide you with PRP treatment.
Fortunately, this is very uncommon and limited only to patients with severe liver issues or extremely rare conditions.
Choose PRP for Your Joint Pain
If you would like to know more about PRP injections and how they can relieve your joint pain, then call Nourished Medspa and Wellness Center in Sharman, TX. With one call you can set up a consultation to see if PRP is right for you. Say goodbye to your joint pain, and hello to a rejuvenated life.