Chronic pain is one of the most common reasons why people seek medical help. It’s a leading cause of lost time in the workplace as well as a primary reason for long-term disability.
A strong contributor to the worldwide opioid crisis, chronic pain can be difficult to treat, particularly when there’s no effective solution for conditions causing the pain. In this case, the medical field typically turns to pain management to mask symptoms while balancing side effects caused by pain management methods.
However, there’s an emerging treatment for chronic pain that may work by helping your body repair the original causes of your chronic pain. Better still, it’s not pharmaceutically based, and side effects are minimal. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy uses your own blood and isolates factors that help your body’s natural repair mechanisms. PRP is an exciting development in the field of regenerative medicine.
When musculoskeletal problems, such as osteoarthritis or disc degeneration, are causing chronic pain, PRP therapy is rising quickly as part of the pain management solution. Your blood supplies more than oxygen and nutrients to your body. It’s also part of a communications network.
Hormones are the chemical messengers the body uses to send instructions. When you’re suffering from an injury, natural healing systems do their best to repair the damage. So even if you’re suffering from a degenerative condition such as arthritis, your body is trying to reverse this damage, but it can’t overcome the rate of decline.
Your platelets carry hormones called growth factors, which carry messages to help the repair process. It’s thought that these growth factors signal stem cells in your body to turn into the types of cells needed to repair damage. When your supply of growth factors is limited by the rates supplied normally through your blood, your body can’t work fast enough to overcome deteriorating conditions.
Your PRP injections start by using a sample of your own blood about the same size as taken for blood tests. This sample is centrifuged to concentrate the platelets to a level about 10 times that of normal blood. This concentration is then re-injected into your body at the site of chronic pain. This increased presence of platelet growth factor hormones shows a tendency to reduce pain symptoms.
Though the exact nature of how PRP therapy works its magic isn’t fully understood, many patients receiving treatments as part of their pain management plan see reduction in symptoms. In some cases, they can reduce or eliminate other pain medications, relying solely on the benefits of PRP treatment.
The safety of PRP makes it an appealing option, since there’s no risk of allergic reaction or failure of biocompatibility. It’s your own tissue being used in a drug-free way to bolster the natural resources that your body uses.
You can find out more about PRP therapy and whether it’s suitable for your chronic pain condition by contacting Dr. Nassiri and the team at Westside Pain Specialists. Use the online booking tool or call either office by phone to arrange your personal consultation.