Regenerative medicine is a relatively new, very exciting field in which your body’s own healing capabilities are harnessed to fight disease and injury. This area of study is making inroads into a diverse array of health problems and chronic conditions.
New, healthy tissue is actually produced, for example, by a regenerative treatment known as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. This method has been used to treat everything from hair loss to rotator cuff injuries.
The Regenerative Health & Wellness Medical Center team specializes in providing regenerative treatments, including PRP. Dr. Jacob Holdren and Dr. Steven Foley provide relief for sufferers of a common but painful and progressive disease: arthritis.
Why platelet-rich plasma?
Your blood is made from red and white blood cells and platelets, which contain important growth factors that have a major impact on healing and regeneration.
Platelet rich plasma is sometimes referred to as “liquid gold,” because of its yellow tint. It’s your blood’s largest component, and it works to deliver proteins, nutrients, and hormones to different areas of your body that need it.
Most of us have heard of animals and their regenerative capabilities. For example, a lizard can lose a tail, but grow it back through regeneration. PRP enables this capability for humans with certain health conditions — like arthritis — and more is being learned each day about how the therapy can be applied to medical treatment.
Arthritis negatively impacts your physical and emotional wellbeing
It doesn’t matter which of your joints arthritis affects — your knees, spine, hips, or somewhere else — we know it interferes significantly with your quality of life. You may feel hopeless about your arthritis pain and wonder if it will ever improve.
The fact is, the simple wear and tear and cartilage breakdown that are the disease’s hallmarks are what happens as many of us get older. Factors like being overweight, heredity, and your history of injury also contribute to your level of arthritis risk.
Aside from pain that drives you to distraction, you might experience:
- Decreased range of motion
When combined, these symptoms make performing the simplest everyday tasks, from cooking to sitting down and getting up, very challenging.
How can platelet-rich plasma therapy be used to reduce the effects of arthritis?
We’re thrilled to be able to offer platelet-rich plasma therapy to our patients suffering from arthritis because it attacks the root causes of the condition: deteriorated tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bone.
PRP treatment goes directly to the source of your problem, because we inject your plasma into the troubled joint itself, but that’s just one benefit. There’s also:
- Reduced pain
- New cartilage creation
- Greater range of movement
- May help to repair damaged cartilage
- Long-term relief
- Reduced inflammation
- More production of body fluid that serves to lubricate joints and lessen friction
- Less sensation of pain due to how certain proteins affect pain receptors
We believe PRP treatment might even have the ability to delay or even stop your joint damage progression entirely.
Is platelet-rich plasma therapy safe?
We answer that question with a resounding “yes!”
Risks that accompany PRP therapy are so few because it’s a natural treatment derived from your own body. NSAIDS pain medication therapy (aspirin and ibuprofen), for example, can come with stomach troubles and affect your heart and blood pressure.
Other arthritis treatments are accompanied by negatives as well. Repeated corticosteroid injections have been found to actually weaken ligaments, while surgical options pose their own challenges, like lengthy recovery times and stressful rehabilitation.
None of these issues are problems with PRP treatment.
Ease of treatment
Your PRP treatment is comfortable, and only about 30 to 90 minutes long, depending on what your treatment needs are. Even better, you can go back to your normal activities immediately after treatment because it’s minimally invasive.
When you come to our office for your treatment, we take a small sample of blood from your arm and spin it in a centrifuge. When that process is complete, your doctor injects the platelet-rich plasma into your arthritic joint and it starts releasing growth factors to help you heal.
You may have a bit of tenderness or swelling at the site of the injection, but keeping the treatment area protected helps with your comfort. Unlike a corticosteroid shot, PRP therapy doesn’t free you from discomfort immediately; allow some weeks for this treatment to do its important work.
Your doctor will counsel you about follow-up treatments and your overall treatment plan.
Could PRP therapy for arthritis be right for you
Don’t suffer another day with the pain and long-term consequences of arthritis. See if PRP therapy could help you. Schedule a consultation with us by calling our Holly or Colorado Springs office or reach out to us on our website.