How Does PRP Benefit Joint Function?
PRP – or platelet-rich plasma – benefits joint function by using your own body’s healing properties to reduce pain and encourage support. Patients receiving this kind of therapy may recover from injuries faster and better manage chronic joint-related conditions. They may also be able to reduce their reliance on pain medications.
What is PRP?
PRP (or platelet-rich plasma) is an isolate that is extracted from blood. We prepare PRP by taking normal blood to extract the platelet-rich plasma using a centrifuge device. Spinning the blood very rapidly separates it into its constituent components, making it easy to concentrate the plasma for treatment.
PRP for Joints
PRP is used to improve the healing of injured muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The therapy involves taking PRP and injecting it into the joints that need support. Soon after infusion, the body releases growth factors that stimulate reparative cells to travel to the affected area. Sometimes, we may use ultrasound equipment to guide PRP injections to ensure precise placement.
PRP for joints is exciting because research shows that it improves the function and reduces pain in people with chronic conditions, such as tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, tendonitis, and even arthritis. It can also enhance recovery following Achilles tendon injuries and rotator cuff tears in the shoulder.
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Benefits of PRP
The main benefit of PRP is the fact that it uses your own platelets. Unlike exogenous treatments or those that use other people’s tissue, there is no risk that your body will not accept the therapy. Reinjecting your native tissue does not activate your immune system or cause an inflammatory response. It’s a way of providing you with your own tissues’ healing action, without the risk of rejection, allowing you to avoid immune-suppression drugs.
PRP also enables you to reduce the side effects associated with managing your condition or injury. For instance, patients with chronic joint conditions, such as arthritis and tendonitis, often take opioids or anti-inflammatories to reduce the pain and immune response. But because PRP is made of your own blood, there are no off-target effects as there are when you take regular drugs, thus improving your overall quality of life.
Am I a Candidate for PRP Therapy?
Because PRP uses the body’s own tissue as the therapy, most people are suitable candidates for the procedure.
You stand to benefit the most from PRP if:
- You currently have chronic joint pain or arthritis
- You want to get more rapid relief from painful joints
- You want an alternative to surgery to reduce the pain you are experiencing
- You are having trouble managing the side effects of pain management drugs
- Other types of physical therapy and treatments have proven ineffective
- You want to avoid the use of additional medications