Can PRP Therapy Help My Joint Pain?

Often, joint pain develops due to degenerative conditions. Arthritis, for instance, affects more than 50 million Americans. There’s no cure, only strategies to control pain and slow the progress of joint deterioration. 

With many medications used to treat arthritis, the pain-relieving effects diminish over time as your body becomes accustomed to the drugs. Your joints, however, may continue to fail until the point where replacement surgery is your only option. 

At Dr. Kochert Pain and Health, we recommend adding platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy to your pain management routine. PRP is a drug-free, low-risk treatment option that can reduce pain while increasing joint mobility for some patients. 

PRP works alongside virtually every conventional treatment and combines very well with other regenerative medicine techniques like stem cell therapy. Talk to Dr. Carolyn Kochert to learn more about how PRP therapy can help you. 

The role of platelets

When you cut yourself, you likely think of blood as a single thing, which you need to stop. Otherwise, you probably know that blood carries plenty of components, including platelets, which help by forming clots to stop the bleeding from that cut. 

That’s only one of the jobs that platelets perform. They contain proteins called growth factors, which help in the healing process. Platelets activate the resources in your body that facilitate healing. It’s that characteristic that forms the basis for PRP therapy. 

The need for extra platelets

Though your blood appears to be a liquid, only the plasma is, and it's a combination of water and proteins. Components like platelets as well as red and white blood cells are solids suspended within that plasma. Plasma helps carry them throughout your body to locations where their services are needed. 

Your body can only heal as fast as it can process its resources. Some joint tissue, such as cartilage, ligaments, and tendons, have little vascularization. They aren’t heavily supported by blood vessels the way muscles are, for example. That limited blood supply means limited resources for natural body repair. 

Platelet-rich plasma

PRP therapy uses a small sample of your blood, less than the amount typically needed for a blood test. This sample is immediately processed to separate blood components. The extracted platelets are then combined with a small amount of plasma, and the result -- platelet-rich plasma -- is ready for injection at the site of the joint causing your pain. 

This injection creates a boost in the supply of raw materials for your body to carry on with healing. Patients receiving PRP therapy often note a reduction in pain and improvements in joint mobility. Many factors contribute to healing, so individual results sometimes vary. 

However, PRP is a “weightless” treatment. There are no drugs involved, and it uses your own tissue, so there’s no biological incompatibility. The only risk associated with PRP is possible infection around blood extraction and injection sites. This risk is quite low in a clinical setting. 

Contact Dr. Kochert Pain and Health to find out if you’re a good candidate for PRP therapy. You can call the office directly or you can request an appointment online. PRP may reduce your dependence on the medications you’re taking now, so book your consultation today. 

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