Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) for Pain
Pain is one of the most common reasons people visit their doctor (skin disorders is the most common, another reason you should see Dr. Faith Coats). Unfortunately most of the conventional medical community hasn’t had a lot of success with treating the most common presentations of pain, such as back and knee pain due to osteoarthritis and other joint disorders. I’ve seen hundreds of patients that have been through the same process: over-the-counter (OTC) pain pills, prescription pain pills, physical therapy (PT), steroid injections, nerve ablation (destroying the nerves), and finally, surgery. While some do have success with surgery, it’s expensive and the recovery is long, and unfortunately many end up with not having much pain relief after. Many have said that if they could so it again they choose not to have surgery done.
So what other options are there? Enter the world of prolotherapy with platelet rich plasma (PRP). Prolotherapy is basically a therapy aimed to proliferate tissue, or make it grow more. For more info on prolotherapy go here. With PRP we’re using the bodies’ own platelets to stimulate the growth of cartilage, connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. The procedure involves drawing some of the patients blood, and after some simple steps in the lab, extracting the plasma portion of the blood that’s rich with platelets and injecting it back into the damaged tissue. The amazing results comes from the concentrated solution of platelets, rich with growth factors. PRP treatment has been around since the 80’s, first used with maxillofacial surgery.
PRP is successful at treating multiple joint conditions, such as osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease. This means PRP is used for back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, anywhere on the body there’s pain in the joints. There’s also research showing it can heal neuropathy. Such as pain and numbness from peripheral neuropathy due to diabetes, chemotherapy, drugs, aging, or and idiopathic cause (meaning we don’t know what caused the problem).
A study in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science recruited 102 people with grade 3 knee osteoarthritis. The participants were divided into 3 groups and given one, two, or three PRP injections. All three of the groups improved in their levels of pain, stiffness, and functional scores. The group that had three injections improved significantly better than the group that had one, and the authors concluded that a minimum of two injections is appropriate. From my years of administering prolotherapy injections I’d also recommend a minimum of 2 or 3 treatments.
At Innate we offer PRP at a fraction of the cost that many other clinics charge for PRP. The procedure has proven to be very effective in treatment of joint pain, and is promising for nerve and muscle pains, for years. PRP is having amazing success in skin rejuvenation and hair growth as well. Athletes have utilized PRP for years to treat injuries and keep them at the top of their game. Why shouldn’t you be able to utilize this effective treatment for your chronic and debilitating pains so you can get back to living without pain and doing the things you want to do?
— Dr. Travis Whitney
Alderman, Donna, and Robert Alexander. “Advances in Regenerative Medicine: High-Density Platelet-Rich Plasma and Stem Cell Prolotherapy For Musculoskeletal Pain.” Advances in Regenerative Medicine, Oct. 2011, pp. 49–90.
Jubert, Nayana J, et al. “Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections for Advanced Knee Osteoarthritis.” The Orthopedic Journal Of Sports Medicine, vol. 5, no. 2, 2017, doi:10.1177/2325967116689386.
Kavadar, Gulis, et al. “Effectiveness of Platelet-Rich Plasma in the Treatment of Moderate Knee Osteoarthritis: a Randomized Prospective Study.” Journal of Physical Therapy Science, vol. 27, no. 12, 2015, pp. 3863–3867.
Laves, Rubina, and Ramon Gilmat. “ A Review of Platelet-Rich Plasma: History, Biology, Mechanism of Action, and Classification.” Skin Appendage Disorder, vol. 4, 6 July 2017, pp. 18–24., doi:10.1159/000477353 .
Malahias, Michael, et al. “Platelet-Rich Plasma Guided Injections: Clinical Application in Peripheral Neuropathies.” Frontiers in Surgery, vol. 1, no. 41, 13 Oct. 2014, pp. 1–4., doi: 10.3389/fsurg.2014.00041.
Miller, Larry, et al. “Efficacy of Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections for Symptomatic Tendinopathy: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Injection Controlled Trials.” BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med, vol. 3, 25 Aug. 2017, pp. 1–11., doi:10.1136/bmjsem-2017-000237 .
Mishra, Allen. “Treatment of Tendon and Muscle Using Platelet-Rich Plasma.” Clin Sports Med, vol. 28, 2009, pp. 113–125., doi:10.1016/j.csm.2008.08.007.