PRP and Joint Pain: Get Your Questions Answered

prp, joint pain, The Wellness Institute of Dallas

One of the most exciting fields of development in medicine today explores the regenerative properties of the human body. Instead of seeking solutions to “fix” a condition or disease, regenerative medicine attempts to support your body’s own repair efforts, optimizing conditions for natural recovery.

If you’re a savvy chiropractic patient, you know already that support of natural healing is what chiropractic care is all about, so finding new ways to encourage natural healing is exciting indeed. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is one such technique.

It’s drug-free and it uses your own body tissue as a resource, making it biocompatible and safe. This safety is part of the reason for the acceptance that PRP therapy enjoys, even though it’s in the early stages of research and the precise way the technique works isn’t yet fully understood. However, if you’re experiencing joint pain due to arthritis, PRP may help reduce your discomfort and restore mobility to your life.

How arthritis affects your joints

Arthritis is a collection of diseases that causes deterioration of joints in your body, and osteoarthritis is the most common of these. While arthritis isn’t the only reason behind joint pain, it’s typically the main culprit.

In the case of osteoarthritis, the cartilage layer that coats the ends of bones at joints, providing a lubricating and cushioning layer, starts to erode. With this comes joint stiffness, reduced mobility, and pain.

It’s thought that your body is working constantly to repair this damage, but the rate of wear and tear on the joints works faster than the body’s repair efforts. Potentially, any treatment that boosts the rate of repair could, in theory, neutralize or reverse the rate of joint deterioration.

Platelet-rich plasma and healing

As your body works to repair damage naturally, its efforts are limited by the raw materials available. These raw materials take the form of stem cells, which can convert and multiply into the type of cells needed for tissue repair, and blood platelets, which carry hormones called growth factors that deliver chemical messages to stem cells, encouraging their growth.

Your circulatory system can, however, deliver only so many of these building blocks to a joint that’s experiencing deterioration and repair. PRP therapy seeks to augment the raw materials at the site of injury to increase the resources available for tissue healing.

How PRP is made

The PRP process starts with a sample of your own blood, about the same amount as drawn for blood testing. Your blood is then centrifuged to separate the platelets from other blood components.

This concentration is mixed back with blood plasma to create a serum that’s about 10 times more concentrated with platelets than your normal blood. The process takes about 30 minutes, and then this PRP serum is now ready for re-injection into your body at the site of your joint pain.

The effects of PRP therapy may take some time to emerge, particularly when compared with injections such as corticosteroids, which provide comparatively fast pain relief. However, prolonged use of corticosteroid injections can cause tissue deterioration. PRP has few risks or side effects beyond the chance for irritation around the harvest or injection sites, the same as any procedure using a needle.

Find out more about how PRP therapy may help relieve your joint pain by contacting the team at The Wellness Institute of Dallas. Call the office or schedule an appointment online using the handy booking tool. Make a move toward pain-free living today.


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