How PRP Is Changing The Way People Deal With Pain

When pain is dominating your life, it’s tough to keep up with your everyday duties. Finding time or energy for the things you enjoy becomes difficult, if not impossible. Traditional pain relief treatments using drug therapy often carry side effects including drug resistance and dependence, and surgical solutions can be last resorts, fraught with risks and even dangerous for those with other health conditions.

These challenges have the medical profession looking to the field of regenerative medicine, ways to use the body’s own healing powers to reduce pain and restore capabilities once thought irreversible. Bone marrow transplants, a form of regenerative treatment, has been used successfully for decades. Many pain management specialists are now looking to platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy to treat pain and even reverse the effects of degenerative conditions, such as osteoarthritis.

The role of platelets

Most often thought of as the clotting factor in blood, platelets also carry substances that provide the resources and nutrients necessary to naturally heal the body. Platelets are the body’s first-responders when a soft tissue injury occurs. They’re an important part of the healing process even in chronic conditions, like arthritis, that may never fully recover.

How PRP works

Human growth factor hormones are one of the key components of platelets essential for your recovery. The theory behind platelet enrichment is that, in the case of chronic pain, natural levels of these growth factors are insufficient to keep pace with the condition causing the pain. It’s thought that by augmenting natural healing with additional growth factors, your body has a better chance to stay ahead of the condition.

PRP is made by concentrating a small sample of your own blood, a similar amount as is taken for routine lab tests. After processing in a centrifuge, the portion of separated blood holding the platelets is isolated. This serum now has a concentration of platelets up to 10 times denser than the sample. This concentration is then injected into your body at the site of the injury where your pain originates. This extra supply of platelets and their growth factors gives your natural healing systems a boost.

The benefits of PRP therapy

Compared with conventional pain management treatments, PRP therapy is drug-free, with very little associated risk. Since it originates with your own blood, there’s no issue with biocompatibility. Unlike surgery, it’s minimally invasive. You have blood drawn with a needle and reinjected with a needle.

There’s no more risk involved than with an ordinary blood test, immunization, or allergy shot. Recovery time is minimal. If you have any adverse reaction to PRP treatment, it’s likely to be a temporary soreness at the injection site, likely to subside in a few hours. PRP therapy can be effective whether your pain condition is chronic or acute.

Conditions treated with PRP

Studies into how PRP works precisely are still underway, so the potential of this therapy is still largely untapped. However, PRP injections are shown to produce pain relief results in many patients with the following conditions:

There’s also some evidence that PRP may be helpful with hair loss and back pain. Since treatments are low-risk with little potential for side effects, PRP therapy can be another step before last-resort treatments.

If you’re suffering from soft tissue pain, call or click to arrange an appointment with Westside Pain Specialists to discuss whether PRP treatments are right for you.

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