As the median age of the American population rises, so do chronic pain conditions. Wear-and-tear diseases like osteoarthritis add painful biomechanical breakdowns in active and healthy people who maintain good health into later years. Managing these conditions is often difficult, particularly when there’s a high reliance on pain relief medications.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a surging clinical treatment that provides huge potential with very little risk. The team at 360 Orthopedics recommend this regenerative medicine process to many of their patients who can benefit from anti-inflammatory and healing properties that PRP offers. Today, we’re offering this primer on why PRP is becoming so popular.
You likely recognize platelets as the blood component that clots wounds. That’s an important part of their function, but there are also other, invisible processes taking place behind your scab. Platelets carry growth factor hormones, chemical messengers that help to guide the healing process. In a minor injury like a cut or scrape, platelets arrive through the bloodstream in sufficient quantities to contribute to complete healing.
When you have a chronic pain condition, the raw materials of healing may not be plentiful enough to heal a degenerative condition. After all, your bloodstream is largely a closed system with a limited capacity for delivering fresh nutrients to your entire body.
The theory behind PRP is that, if extra platelets could be delivered to the site of an injury, healing could proceed at a faster rate. While PRP may not be able to overcome the rate of degeneration in diseases like arthritis, it can slow the progress of joint deterioration, including relief from inflammation and pain.
PRP is an autologous treatment, meaning that it’s derived from your own body. There’s no chance of allergic reaction or tissue rejection, since PRP comes from a small sample of your own blood, in a similar quantity to that taken for a blood sample.
Processed in a centrifuge, platelets settle between the heavier red blood cells and the lighter plasma. Extracted from the separated blood and mixed with a small amount of plasma, your PRP serum is ready for injection back into your body near the site of your injury or pain source. Your body now has a greater supply of healing factors right where they’re needed, without waiting for additional resources through the bloodstream.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of PRP therapy is its drug-free nature. In an appointment lasting about an hour, you have blood drawn, PRP created, and then reinjected into your body. You can return to whatever you were doing prior to your appointment without downtime. There are no drug side effects or interactions to worry about.
The health benefits you receive come from your own body, through natural healing processes. PRP injections carry no more risk than things like blood tests or allergy shots. There’s little discomfort or pain. If you have any soreness, it’s typically handled by over-the-counter medications.
PRP has plenty of applications, from arthritis treatment to tendonitis. Consult with the PRP experts at 360 Orthopedics about how you might benefit. Choose the closest of our three locations and reach out online or by phone to schedule your appointment today.