PRP Is a Game Changer for Patients with Chronic Joint Pain

PRP, Tendonitis, Healing, Regenerative Medicine

Although surgeons have used platelet-rich plasma (PRP) for quite a few years to help heal wounds, it also shows promise in treating joint pain. For more than two decades, sports medicine physicians have been using PRP to help athletic stars, including Tiger Woods and Rafael Nadal, heal from soft tissue injuries. Now more physicians are using it to help reduce chronic joint pain.

PRP as a treatment for joint pain is welcome news to millions of baby boomers who want to maintain an active lifestyle but are beginning to experience wear and tear on their knees, elbows, and other joints. There’s a cumulative effect of those hours of hitting serves and pivoting on the court or those thousands of golf swings: You can suffer joint damage and soft tissue injuries to your tendons, muscles, and/or ligaments as well as osteoarthritis.

To ease joint pain, PRP is currently being used for shoulder pain from rotator cuff injuries, Achilles tendon injuries, knee osteoarthritis, patellar tendinosis (jumper’s knee), and tendon injuries, such as tennis or golfer’s elbow.

PRP: What it is and how it works

PRP is all natural. It’s made from platelets and plasma from your own blood and contains healing components to help repair damaged tissue around your joint and reduce the pain. Plasma is the liquid portion of your blood. Platelets help your blood clot, and they also contain growth factors that play an important role in your body’s healing.

To develop your PRP, your blood sample goes into a machine called a centrifuge which spins the blood and separates the components. The PRP, containing a mega number of platelets mixed into a small amount of the plasma, is injected into your body near your painful joint.

The theory behind the use of PRP for joint pain is that a concentrated number of platelets with healing growth factors send an abundance of nutrients to your damaged tissue over a period of several days to help reduce inflammation, help the injury heal faster, and ease pain. Dr. Landrum uses an advanced version of PRP called platelet lysate which releases most of the platelets at the same time for faster results.

Why PRP can be a game changer

Chronic pain has significant physical and psychological effects on your life. For instance, it’s difficult to sleep when you’re in pain, but getting enough sleep is critical to your health. And long-term pain can lead to depression, which can bring a cascade of changes to your once-active life.

Many patients try traditional treatments, such as physical therapy and painkillers, for chronic pain. But you may have done your work in physical therapy, and yet still suffer with pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription pain relievers all have side effects, and when they’re used for long periods of time, can damage bodily organs. They’re not a permanent solution. So when these traditional treatments haven’t worked, physicians and patients look to alternative treatments that may help lessen discomfort.

PRP is a gamechanger for those who say PRP has worked for them. Relief from chronic pain enables you to resume activities that bring you joy.

Preparing for a PRP injection

When you come in to see Dr. Landrum, he discusses your complete medical history so that he can determine whether you’re a good candidate for PRP. If you qualify, he’ll give you instructions to follow before your PRP injection.

You’ll need to stop taking anti-inflammatory medication a week or more before a PRP procedure. If you’re on cortisone, you’ll need to wait longer. Tobacco retards healing, so if you use tobacco, you’ll need to refrain from using it for as long as possible before and after receiving PRP.

If you’re seeking relief from chronic joint pain and traditional therapies haven’t worked, call one of our offices. Or you can book an appointment online with Cutting Edge Integrative Pain Centers to learn more about how PRP may help you.

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