Platelet-rich plasma, better known as PRP, has shown great promise in relieving arthritis pain and even staving off the degeneration of cartilage associated with arthritis. This is great news for arthritis patients visiting Metro Pain Centers in New Jersey and New York. PRP injections are an alternative treatment that will not only reduce a patient's reliance on pain medication, but also stave off the effects of arthritis in many patients.
What is PRP?
Platelet-rich plasma is a concentration made from your own blood. A sample is run through a centrifuge to separate the platelets, which are the cells in blood that are central to healing soft tissue injuries. The PRP concentration is injected into the site of an arthritic joint. The regenerative power of blood platelets in arthritic joints can accomplish the following:
Reduce inflammation. Slow progression of osteoarthritis. Spur the formulation of new cartilage. Lubricate joints to ease friction and pain where cartilage has degenerated. Alter pain receptors to further reduce arthritis pain in some cases.
The Science Behind PRP
In 2013, the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine reported promising results from PRP injections for patients with osteoarthritis in the knees. Patients were given MRIs to assess the level of joint damage in their knees. Each patient was then given a single PRP injection in each arthritic knee. Results were monitored for a year and then patients were given a follow-up MRI. The results:
Most patients reported that they had less pain than prior to the PRP injection. Most patients' knees showed no signs of further degeneration.
The second finding is especially remarkable. Patients can lose between 4 and 6 percent of cartilage each year that arthritis progresses. The medical community is very excited about PRP, because most of the patients who underwent the treatment showed no decline in their knee function!
Another study by the Centers for Disease Control in 2013 found that patients who received one or two PRP injections experienced reduced pain and increased knee function after three months. Patients given a placebo saline injection saw their arthritis symptoms worsen.
Some studies have reported that a number of patients had no reaction at all to PRP therapy. However, it's been noted that those studies may have used a different platelet preparation method or a lesser concentration of platelets. Metro Pain uses a high concentration of platelets in our PRP therapies to maximize the effects of the treatment.
Platelet-rich plasma treatments are a quick, minimally invasive procedure at Metro Pain. A blood sample, approximately the size of a regular blood draw, is taken and run through a centrifuge. The platelets are separated out and used to form the PRP. The doctor then injects the
PRP into the arthritic joint. The entire process takes about an hour from start to finish. There is no downtime required to recover from the injection, and you can resume normal activities immediately.
Benefits of PRP Therapy
Minimally invasive. Low risk. Reduces reliance on medication and thus, reduces any medication side effects. Stops the progression of arthritis. Delays or eliminates the need for surgery.
It takes a little bit of time before you will start to notice the healing effects of PRP therapy. Anywhere from six weeks to 12 weeks after the injection, you should start to see arthritis pain symptoms reduce and joint mobility improve. Some patients require only one PRP treatment to experience the results they want; others may require as many as three treatments. PRP promotes long-lasting healing using the regenerative properties of your own blood platelets. There is very little risk of complications from the procedure, because the platelets come from your own body.
If you suffer from arthritis symptoms and you want to try a natural treatment that will let you ditch the pills, contact Metro Pain Centers to learn more. You can use the Request Appointment feature on this page to schedule your first appointment.