Insight Pain Management – When it comes to treating pain, we’re all familiar with medications, surgeries, or non-invasive techniques like chiropractic care and physical therapy. But a new technique called platelet-rich plasma injections (or PRP therapy) is becoming an increasingly popular method for treating everything from cosmetic issues like wrinkles and hair loss to painful osteoarthritis and joint injuries. In pain management, PRP therapy is a process that involves extracting platelet-enriched plasma from the patient’s blood and reinjecting it into their tissues to alleviate pain, accelerate the healing process, and even recover from surgical procedures. If you think you may be a good candidate for PRP therapy, the following is a brief overview of the procedure, including five surprising benefits you can expect from this revolutionary approach to healing and managing pain.

Understanding How PRP Therapy Can Help Treat Chronic Pain

Living with chronic pain is a daily struggle for millions of people. Not only does it take a toll on quality of life, but it also consumes significant time and resources as people search for lasting relief. Fortunately, many advancements in pain management have been made in recent years, including PRP therapy that focuses on relieving pain through healing.  

What is a PRP Injection?

Although it might seem complicated, the concept of PRP therapy is actually quite simple. Plasma is a liquid in the blood that consists primarily of protein and water. Plasma allows red and white blood cells and platelets, which are the blood cells that makes blood clot and promotes healing, to travel throughout the bloodstream. To collect the plasma for this procedure, a healthcare professional draws blood and uses a device to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the rest of the blood. The plasma is then injected into the affected area(s) of the body to heal injured tendons, muscles, joints, and other conditions.

Why Should I Consider PRP Therapy for Pain Management?

If you are recovering from an injury or are struggling with chronic pain, PRP therapy is an effective non-surgical alternative that offers many surprising advantages. Patients with degenerative knee disease such as osteoarthritis, spinal disc or joint conditions, torn or sprained ligaments, common hand and elbow injuries, and a wide range of other conditions have all found PRP therapy to be beneficial in managing pain and treating the underlying causes of their symptoms. Here are five benefits to consider:  

1- PRP Therapy Accelerates Healing & Minimizes Pain With One Procedure

Unlike pain medications and other traditional methods that focus primarily on managing symptoms, PRP therapy is a healing procedure that works to treat the underlying condition. While progress is made in the healing process, patients can also expect a noticeable reduction in symptoms during treatment. Almost immediately, the platelets work to repair the injury with the assistance of stem cells. This prevents further damage to the impacted area, such as bruising or bleeding, and stimulates the healing process. For many patients, it is not uncommon to see noticeable improvements after just one injection session. When compared to other procedures such as corticosteroid injections, research also indicates that PRP therapy provides longer-lasting results. 

2- PRP Therapy Treats Pain Naturally With Minimal Risk

There is some level of risk with every procedure, but PRP therapy is a very safe alternative when compared to medications and surgical interventions. Because platelet-rich plasma comes from your own body, there is very low risk of acquiring an infection or experiencing an adverse reaction. It is important to note that you may be required to stop taking certain medications and supplements before the procedure to ensure nothing interferes with the effectiveness of the treatment. PRP therapy does not cause any major side effects, other than possible lightheadedness from drawing blood and some soreness and bruising in the area(s) of the injection. PRP therapy is also non-invasive, so you can expect fast results with no scarring or stitches. 

3- PRP Therapy Heals Chronic & Unresponsive Issues

PRP therapy is highly effective at treating unresponsive issues, such as an injury or wound that is not healing appropriately. The platelet-rich plasma from your own body aids the natural healing process, allowing the body to respond in ways it cannot with medications that are only designed to treat pain. This is also true for people dealing with chronic back pain, arthritis, inflammation, and other problem areas. 

4- PRP Therapy Works Well Alongside Other Treatments 

Although PRP therapy can be effective on its own, it may be even more beneficial when paired with physical therapy or other treatment methods. Not only can a combination of treatments help heal pain from joint, muscle, and tendon injuries, but it also can help patients rebuild stability and strength to recover faster and avoid the need for surgery.   

5- PRP Therapy Is Effective In Treating Sports Injuries

Whether you are a professional athlete or are simply an active person, it is frustrating to spend a long period of time sidelined while you’re healing from an injury. That’s why PRP injections are a safe, effective, and efficient treatment method for many common sports injuries. PRP treatments can stimulate the natural healing process to accelerate recovery and get you back to enjoying an active lifestyle. The following are just a few common injuries that can be treated successfully using PRP therapy.

  • Tennis Elbow is an irritation of the tissue that connects the forearm muscle to the elbow. It is usually caused by repetitive arm or wrist movements and heals slowly due to overuse and reduced blood supply in this part of the body. PRP injections kickstart healing while also reducing pain from this condition. 
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries occur when one or more of the tendons is torn or detached in the shoulder joint. It is often caused by repetitive arm motions like throwing a baseball or from falls. Partial tears respond well to PRP injections, which can also minimize inflammation. 
  • Plantar Fasciitis is a painful condition commonly experienced by runners and those who work on their feet. It occurs when the thick band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes (plantar fascia) becomes inflamed. Unlike steroid injections, PRP therapy can reduce pain and initiate the healing process simultaneously.

For people experiencing chronic pain or injuries that are interfering with work, daily activities, and time with loved ones, PRP therapy is becoming an increasingly popular choice. Different from medications and steroid injections that only manage symptoms, platelet-rich plasma treatments allow the body to heal itself using plasma extracted from the patient’s own blood. If you’re experiencing chronic pain and are interested in learning more about PRP therapy, contact Insight Pain Management today at (810) 275-9152 to schedule an appointment.