Live Pain-Free And Treat Your Whiplash With Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
Dealing with a case of whiplash can be extremely painful and can affect your everyday tasks. The treatment option for whiplash injuries is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy. This therapy uses platelets from the patient’s own blood to initiate tissue repair and attract stem cells that promote healing. The majority of patients suffering from whiplash injuries can recover in just a few months by undergoing a combination of physical therapy and anti-inflammatories. In some cases, the ligaments may be stretched too far or the joint itself may be damaged and unable to heal without intervention. Regenerative Pain Doctors in New York can help you have a successful treatment from your whiplash.
What is Regenerative Medicine?
Regenerative medicine, also known as cellular therapy, is a cutting-edge form of treatment that harnesses the body’s natural healing process to rebuild damaged tissues. During these procedures, a pain management specialist uses cells from the patient’s own body to regenerate, replace, repair, or rejuvenate injured or aging tissues, organs, or joints. This process can involve utilizing growth factors from the patient’s own blood, exogenous broth factors, or bone marrow aspirate to promote natural healing. The doctor takes healthy tissues or bone marrow from one part of the patient’s body and injects it into the injured, diseased, or degenerated part. This non-invasive or minimally invasive treatment option can rebuild damaged tissue, alleviate pain, and heal injuries without the use of medication or surgery.
Addressing Whiplash with PRP Therapy
PRP therapy may be a beneficial treatment option for those suffering from whiplash. This therapy uses components of the patient’s own blood to promote healing and potentially alleviate discomfort in the neck area. The process involves taking a sample of the patient’s blood and using a centrifuge to separate it into platelets, plasma, and red and white blood cells. The platelets are then concentrated and mixed with some plasma to create the “platelet-rich plasma” solution. The doctor injects this solution into the patient’s damaged tissues, which triggers the immune system to respond. Special white blood cells called “macrophages” arrive at the site of the injection to clear away damaged cells and prepare the area for healing. Over time, stem cells and other cells start to multiply, repairing and rebuilding the damaged tissues. Patients may need multiple injections over time as they heal.
PRP treatment typically takes an hour and patients can go home the same day. Recovery from the injection usually occurs within one week of the procedure, and 3-4 treatments may be necessary for a full recovery. Once the joints and tendons heal, muscle tension will relax and patients can experience significant improvement. It is important to remember that pain from a whiplash injury should never be accepted as the “new normal,” and PRP therapy can be a solid solution for the 10% of patients still seeking relief.
The Benefits Of PRP
Platelet-rich plasma therapy may be beneficial for those suffering from whiplash, as it utilizes natural growth factors from the patient’s own blood to promote healing within the body. By injecting a concentrated mixture of platelets and plasma into the damaged and inflamed tissues, the body’s ability to repair and rebuild these areas is enhanced. This can lead to improved functionality and decreased discomfort in the neck region. To obtain the platelet-rich plasma, a small volume of blood is taken from a vein and spun in a high-speed centrifuge, separating it into platelets, plasma, and red and white blood cells. The platelets are then mixed with some of the plasma to create the solution that will be injected into the affected tissues. Overtime, this therapy has been shown to improve the body’s ability to heal itself.
How Does PRP Treatment Work?
The PRP is created by taking a small sample of the patient’s blood and separating the platelets from other blood components in a centrifuge. The concentrated PRP is then injected into and around the point of injury to strengthen the body’s natural healing process. The PRP process used by some providers is different and sets them apart, as it involves hand processing samples to produce PRP that is free of contaminating red and white cells. This allows for a customized concentration and volume for each individual and injury type, improving outcomes.
How Long Does PRP Treatment Take?
During the procedure, the doctor explains that they will be administering PRP treatment to the ligaments and muscles that were likely injured during the accident. Specifically, they will be targeting the supraspinous interspinous ligaments along the middle of the spine and the capsular ligaments that line the bilateral facet joints, as well as the muscles that attach to the base of the skull, neck region, and shoulder region. The doctor then administers the treatment, using custom concentrations and types of injections for each tissue and location, with the aid of image guidance to ensure accuracy. After the treatment, the doctor reassures the patient that they should experience some discomfort and stiffness for a few days but should feel better as time goes on. The patient was comfortable throughout the procedure and the doctor plans to follow up with them in 9 or 10 weeks to check on their progress.
Dr. Ilana Etelzon, a board-certified pain management doctor in NYC, specializes in non-operative and minimally invasive treatments, including regenerative therapies. She works closely with her patients to create personalized treatment plans based on their diagnosis. Schedule your appointment today by calling 718-682-3686.