Treating Arthritis Pain With PRP

PRP therapy, which stands for platelet rich plasma therapy and is sometimes called autologous conditioned plasma therapy, uses concentrated derivatives of your own blood to stimulate natural healing and regeneration of degraded tissue.

For sufferers of arthritis, PRP therapy can improve function, reduce pain, and decrease the need for invasive surgery. At STAR Ortho in Rancho Mirage and La Quinta, California, we’ve successfully used this therapy to help repair damaged cartilage as well as tendons, muscles, and ligaments. You might also be able to benefit from such conservative treatment measures.  

What is platelet rich plasma?

Platelets are one of the major components in your blood. Alone, they don’t have any healing properties – beyond helping your blood clot – but they release growth factors and other proteins that do promote healing.

Your plasma is the liquid portion of your blood. Platelet rich plasma is derived from your own blood sample. A technician filters your blood sample and spins it down in a centrifuge to concentrate the platelet count in the sample. This simultaneously concentrates the healing properties.

The platelet rich plasma is then injected into affected joints, such as your knee or hip, to improve their rate of healing. The therapy works to reduce your osteoarthritis pain, improve your joint function, and potentially slow or stop cartilage damage.

How does PRP therapy work?

The healing properties of platelet rich plasma reduce inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. It can also encourage the production of new tissue, specifically cartilage. In osteoarthritis, the gradual wearing down of cartilage is what causes much of the joint pain.

Platelet rich plasma also encourages your body to produce more synovial fluid, which smooths friction at the joint, thereby reducing pain. The growth factors in platelet rich plasma also inhibit your pain receptors to decrease pain sensations. In short, PRP therapy triggers healing from within.

Benefits of PRP therapy

PRP therapy is exciting because it’s minimally invasive and completely safe. Prior to PRP therapy, may people with arthritis could only hope to find relief with eventual joint replacements that involve invasive surgery and long rehabilitation times.

PRP can help you avoid invasive joint replacement surgeries and reduce the need to take pain medications that come with a host of possible side effects. Corticosteroid injections can relieve painful arthritic joints, but their effects are relatively short lived and you can only receive a specific number before they have a negative effect.

Because platelet rich plasma is derived from your own blood, there’s little chance you’ll have a reaction to the injections. Research generally supports the potential of the therapy to induce healing from osteoarthritis, especially in the knee joint.

PRP therapy seems most effective when you undergo a series of injections. Patients with relatively mild cartilage damage respond the best to the PRP therapy, but those with advanced arthritis still experience notable improvements.

If you have arthritis pain in your knee or other joints, ask the specialists at STAR Ortho about the potential of PRP therapy for healing your painful joints and reversing the damage of osteoarthritis. This minimally invasive treatment is changing the way arthritis is treated. Contact one of our clinics in Rancho Mirage or La Quinta, California to schedule a consultation today.

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