There are lots of reasons you might have joint pain. One of the most common reasons for joint pain is arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis, but people also have joint pain due to injury, overuse or repetitive motion injuries, or injuries to the tendons, muscles, and other structures that support joints.
At Living Waters Regenerative Medicine Center in Gulf Breeze, Florida, Dr. Deborah Viglione and her team provide cutting-edge integrative internal medicine, and for those with joint pain, those services may include platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy.
PRP has been used to aid post-surgical healing for many years, but it’s now applied in numerous other ways, including treatment for some types of joint pain.
Plasma is the liquid part of your blood, and platelets are a specialized type of cell contained in your blood that aids your body in healing. When you cut your finger, platelets help stop the bleeding. Along with platelets and plasma, your blood also contains red and white blood cells.
When you have PRP therapy, we draw a small amount of your blood and process it through a high-speed centrifuge to separate these four main components of your blood. Your PRP solution comes from concentrating a higher-than-normal amount of platelets into some of your plasma.
Your platelets’ regenerative powers come from growth factors that encourage cell renewal and tissue healing. Once your personalized PRP solution is ready, Dr. Viglione injects it precisely where you need it to aid in healing.
For example, if you have tennis elbow, she injects it into the damaged tissues of your elbow. If you have osteoarthritis in your knee, she injects it into the area of your knee joint that is inflamed.
The injections speed up the healing process by giving your damaged tissues more of what they need to heal. PRP therapy can inhibit inflammation, speed up healing, stimulate the growth of cartilage, help increase the amount of lubricating fluid in your joint, and it may help reduce your pain.
One of the additional benefits of PRP therapy is that you’re very unlikely to have any kind of reaction to it, because it’s produced by your body. There’s always some risk with an injection, but it’s very low. PRP therapy is considered quite safe.
Some other treatments for joint pain may carry unacceptable risks. For example, many people can’t take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for various reasons. Repeated corticosteroid injections can weaken the tissues that support your joints, and some surgical interventions have limited success.
Researchers are still working to understand exactly why and for whom PRP therapy works best; however, the results of clinical trials on PRP therapy have been promising. And we’ve seen excellent results among our patients. Given that it’s safe, if you have joint pain, PRP therapy may be a good approach to try.
If you’d like to learn more about PRP therapy, schedule a consultation at Living Waters Regenerative Medicine Center today. We’re always happy to answer your questions and help you determine if this therapy could be right for you.