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If you are experiencing joint pain, platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections could help. Learn more about this advanced treatment option from Spine Institute of North America.
What Is PRP Treatment for Joint Pain?
As the medical and technology fields continue growing, available treatments are becoming more resourceful and innovative. Platelet rich plasma uses a patient’s natural healing properties within their blood. This treatment can repair their cartilage, ligaments, muscles, tendons and bones.
Blood plasma contains platelets that have anti-inflammatory properties to form blood clots. PRP injections consist of plasma with higher platelet concentrations than normal blood. A doctor will create a PRP concentration and inject it directly into the affected joint.
What Joint Pain Conditions Can PRP Treat?
After an injection, PRP can inhibit inflammation and slow down orthopedic conditions while stimulating new cartilage formation and joint lubrication fluid. Treatable joint pain conditions include:
- Osteoarthritis: This form of arthritis is also known as degenerative joint disease and is most common in the knee. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage within a joint breaks down and affects the underlying bone, often worsening over time.
- Tendonitis: This condition affects the tendons outside of a joint, causing inflammation and tenderness. Tendonitis can happen around the shoulders, wrists, elbows, heels and knees.
- Ligament injuries: A ligament can be strained if the tough fibrous tissue that supports a joint is stretched or twisted. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is most affected during sports with sudden stops and changes in direction.
Potential Side Effects
PRP injections are low-risk with no significant side effects. The procedure does involve a blood draw, so be sure to stay hydrated to prevent lightheadedness. The good news is that your PRP injections are made with your cells and plasma, reducing the risk of allergic reactions compared to other injections.
However, there are always potential risks in any injection procedure, including:
- Tissue damage
- Nerve injuries
Recovery Time After Treatment
Recovery after PRP injections is usually quick, with a few days of soreness before you can return to activities. PRP is not an instant fix — you will feel a gradual improvement in your joints over three to four weeks. The entire healing process can continue for three to six months.
Specific recovery instructions can vary depending on the condition being treated. Be sure to consult your doctor on the next steps in recovery.
Contact Spine Institute of North America Today
If you feel like you could benefit from PRP treatment, contact us today and receive a pain evaluation to get started.
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