Platelet-Rich Plasma For Pain Management

Pain Management Services

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections are an amazing regenerative therapy used in pain management to relieve pain, promote healing, and improve overall function. After an initial consultation and a physician’s determination that PRP is a viable and applicable option, the process begins with a sample of the patient’s blood. The sample is centrifuged, which separates it into platelets, plasma, and red and white blood cells. These platelets are then concentrated and mixed with the plasma, thus creating “platelet-rich plasma.” This mixture is injected into the injured cartilage, tendon, or any area of need. The immune system reacts, and special white blood cells called macrophages rush in, taking away the damaged cells. Over time, stem cells and other cells start to multiply and repair damaged tissue. Once the injection is completed, patients can go home immediately, only needing to return for more injections through the healing process. 

There are several key advantages of PRP for pain management that make it such an effective and beneficial treatment for pain. First and foremost is the aforementioned ease and immediate relief provided by the injection. Before the patient even leaves the office, there is a marked difference in their pain level and degree of functionality. The quickness of this relief and the absence of associated side effects are essential components of the relative benefits of PRP injections when compared to other, more invasive treatments. 

Another distinct benefit of PRP therapy, particularly over other regenerative medicines, is that it entails using the patient’s blood, effectively minimizing the risk of adverse reactions or rejection by the immune system. This, in conjunction with the generally less invasive nature of the treatment, makes PRP especially suitable for candidates who may want to hold off on larger, more invasive, options such as surgery. 

The high satisfaction rate of patients who opt for PRP therapy speaks volumes of its efficacy, and the research supports this sentiment. Studies report significant pain reductions in patients who underwent PRP injections across various areas of the body, notably the knees and lower back. Patients saw remarkable increases in terms of pain relief and functional improvement, with no difference in the risk for adverse effects when compared to alternative methods and therapies. 

Bearing this in mind, PRP therapy has countless benefits for patients suffering from pain in their ligaments, muscles, etc. These range from the immediacy of its relief to its safety and lack of side effects. The high satisfaction rates of patients, coupled with a strong and ever-growing base of support from research make PRP therapy a treatment that is at the forefront of modern regenerative medicine and one that will play a major role in improving the lives of many for years to come.

Author: Benjamin Klass, MS

References: 

Tang JZ, Nie MJ, Zhao JZ, Zhang GC, Zhang Q, Wang B. Platelet-rich plasma versus hyaluronic acid in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: a meta-analysis. J Orthop Surg Res. 2020 Sep 11;15(1):403. doi: 10.1186/s13018-020-01919-9. PMID: 32912243; PMCID: PMC7488405.

Xuan Z, Yu W, Dou Y, Wang T. Efficacy of Platelet-rich Plasma for Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. J Neurol Surg A Cent Eur Neurosurg. 2020 Nov;81(6):529-534. doi: 10.1055/s-0040-1709170. Epub 2020 May 21. PMID: 32438421.

Chen P, Huang L, Ma Y, Zhang D, Zhang X, Zhou J, Ruan A, Wang Q. Intra-articular platelet-rich plasma injection for knee osteoarthritis: a summary of meta-analyses. J Orthop Surg Res. 2019 Nov 27;14(1):385. doi: 10.1186/s13018-019-1363-y. PMID: 31775816; PMCID: PMC6880602.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How Does PRP Help With Pain?

PRP therapy may provide relief when traditional remedies such as steroid injections or oral pain relievers have failed. PRP’s growth factors help activate your body’s natural healing mechanism to repair damaged tissues and restore normal functions – creating pain relief as the inflammation decreases and restores function back to its original place. As inflammation subsides, pain relief begins, and you can move without tightness caused by internal pressure or swelling. PRP therapy offers hope to patients for whom other methods have yet to work effectively enough.

How Does PRP Stimulate Healing?

PRP therapy utilizes plasma and an elevated concentration of platelets from an individual’s blood, then injects this liquid directly into an injured area to introduce this high concentration of healing agents, such as growth factors and cytokines, that will aid healing at its source.

Can PRP Help Nerve Pain?

Research indicates that PRP helps repair and regenerate injured nerve tissue, reducing nerve pain and increasing sensation. Some studies even report notable relief within two weeks of starting therapy!

Can PRP Reverse Nerve Damage?

PRP Therapy, also known as Platelet-rich Plasma, is an organic healing remedy that works without medication to alleviate pain and promote recovery of damaged nerves associated with neuropathies.

Can PRP Help With Chronic Pain?

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy has become an increasingly popular solution for chronic pain sufferers. At Pain Doctors NY, our expert pain management physicians utilize PRP therapy as part of an overall pain management solution plan and often apply this therapy in cases relating to arthritis and tendonitis pain conditions.

Why No Caffeine After PRP?

Coffee or any form of caffeine consumption following PRP treatment should be avoided to allow healing in its most complete sense to proceed in its proper environment. Caffeine has been shown to affect blood flow and pressure in an adverse manner, which may derail healing efforts at treatment sites.

What Is the Success Rate of PRP Injections?

PRP treatment success rates depend upon the condition being addressed and an individual’s healthcare history, but studies have demonstrated an up to 90% success rate with such therapies.

Can PRP Cause Blood Clots?

PRP injections carry minimal risk for blood clot formation; just like any injection, any dangers to blood circulation due to PRP are minimal. It should not interfere with normal functions in any significant way and cause no issues with the process either way.

Can PRP Regenerate Discs?

PRP may help restore degenerating discs via multiple growth factor combinations that act synergistically to regain the integrity of the cellular matrix.

What Are the Benefits of PRP Therapy?

PRP therapy has proven itself safe, reliable and effective at relieving pain. Furthermore, advanced PRP treatments use platelets rich in growth factors, which reduce pain while aiding in repairing damaged tissue.

How Long Does It Take for Pain to Go away After PRP?

Soreness and some swelling typically last three to seven days before movement, and comfort at the joint gradually improves over two weeks. If your tendon, ligament, or muscle was treated using PRP therapy instead, however, soreness might last even longer – more like seven-10 days.

Does PRP Work for Arthritis?

Recent evidence demonstrates the benefits of platelet-rich plasma injections into knee joints to treat mild to moderate osteoarthritis (OA), specifically pain reduction, decreased stiffness, and improved function. This therapy may offer benefits in relieving symptoms caused by osteoarthritis as it allows you to take control of symptoms more effectively than ever.

Can PRP Help Lower Back Pain?

PRP injections could provide much-needed relief if your lower back discomfort is due to degenerative disc disease or issues arising in either of your facet or sacroiliac joints in the spine, facet syndrome or spondylolisthesis – and depending on how well-balanced you are overall, this could also aid with spondylolisthesis treatment options as a potential treatment choice. Your overall health status also determines whether this course of treatment would work.

Does PRP Help With Bone on Bone?

Osteoarthritis, commonly referred to as wear-and-tear disease, gradually wears away at your joints’ cartilage over time, leading to inflammation, damaged tissues and painful bone-on-bone contact. PRP therapy reduces swelling while regenerating tissues, lubricating your joints, and relieving pain.

Can you walk after PRP knee injection?

Rest for 24-48 hours following injections, but do not stay immobilized in bed. Light movement and range of motion are recommended following your shots – crutches/walker for lower extremity joints may help, or use crutch/walker and shoulder sling if required for shoulders; gradually increase activities until the discomfort subsides.

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