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Targeting Chronic Joint Pain: How PRP Injections Work for Specific Conditions Like Arthritis

Chronic joint pain, particularly associated with conditions such as arthritis, can severely impact daily life, limiting mobility and causing persistent discomfort.

While traditional treatments like medications and physical therapy offer relief to some extent, many individuals seek alternatives that promote healing and reduce dependency on long-term medication.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy has emerged as a promising option, especially for those suffering from arthritis and other joint-related ailments.

Understanding PRP Therapy

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy involves using a patient’s own blood to stimulate healing in damaged tissues. The blood is drawn and processed to concentrate platelets, which are rich in growth factors and proteins that aid in tissue repair and regeneration. This concentrated plasma is then injected directly into the affected joint or tissue, targeting the source of pain and inflammation.

How PRP Works for Arthritis

Arthritis involves inflammation and degeneration of joint cartilage, causing pain and stiffness. PRP injections work by delivering a high concentration of growth factors to the arthritic joint, which helps to:

  • Reduce Inflammation: PRP injections have anti-inflammatory properties that can help calm the inflammatory response within the joint, reducing pain and swelling.
  • Promote Tissue Repair: The growth factors in PRP stimulate the regeneration of damaged cartilage and other tissues within the joint, potentially slowing down the progression of arthritis.
  • Improve Joint Function: By promoting tissue repair and reducing inflammation, PRP injections can improve joint function and mobility, allowing patients to perform daily activities with less pain.

Effectiveness and Research

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections have been studied for their effectiveness in treating knee osteoarthritis (OA), focusing on pain reduction, functional improvement, global assessment, and changes in joint imaging.
A systematic review of ten trials found that intra-articular PRP injections significantly alleviated pain compared to both placebo and hyaluronic acid injections at the 6-month mark post-injection. PRP also demonstrated enhanced functional outcomes compared to control groups.

Benefits of PRP Therapy

  • Non-surgical: PRP injections are minimally invasive and typically performed as outpatient procedures, reducing the risks associated with surgery.
  • Natural Healing: Since PRP uses the patient’s own blood, there is minimal risk of allergic reactions or rejection.
  • Long-lasting Relief: Many patients experience relief from pain and improved joint function that lasts for months after PRP treatment.
Is PRP Right for You?

PRP therapy is generally considered safe and well-tolerated. It is often recommended for patients who have not responded well to conservative treatments like medications or physical therapy, or for those who wish to avoid surgery.

Before undergoing PRP therapy, it’s essential to consult with our healthcare provider who can assess your condition, discuss treatment options, and determine if PRP injections are right for you. They can also provide guidance on what to expect during and after the procedure, including potential side effects and recovery.

By harnessing the body’s natural healing abilities through concentrated growth factors, PRP injections aim to not only alleviate pain but also promote tissue repair and joint function. As ongoing research continues to validate its effectiveness, PRP therapy stands as a valuable option in the comprehensive management of joint-related ailments.

If you’re considering PRP therapy for arthritis or other joint conditions, call our office at (603) 945-1945 to schedule a consultation with our provider today to discuss whether this innovative treatment could be right for you. Embrace the possibility of a more active and pain-free lifestyle with PRP injections tailored to target your specific joint concerns.

References:

Laudy ABM, Bakker EWP, Rekers M, et al

Efficacy of platelet-rich plasma injections in osteoarthritis of the knee: a systematic review and meta-analysis British Journal of Sports Medicine 2015;49:657-672. https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/49/10/657

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