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What is PRP Injection Therapy?
Prior to the development of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, providers used cortisone injections to relieve moderate to severe muscle/joint inflammation and some pain. With the inception of PRP therapy and treatment, pain sufferers now have more options. With PRP we can alleviate inflammation and pain as well as aid the damaged tissue’s healing process. The goal of PRP therapy is to relieve pain through natural healing.
PRP injection therapy is rapidly emerging as one of the best treatments for arthritis and other degenerative conditions. PRP is used to treat conditions such as:
- osteoarthritis of the knee, shoulder, hip, spine
- rotator cuff tears
- ACL injuries
- back and neck injuries
- ligament sprains
- plantar fasciitis
- muscle injuries
PRP Injections for Pain vs Cortisone Injections
There are differences between the two. Both therapies provide patients with some level of pain relief.
Corticosteroids have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and are often recommended for patients suffering from joint pain. Cortisone is commonly injected into the damaged or painful bursa, tendon or joint. Cortisone masks pain and does not repair the injured tendon/joint. Repeated used may cause deterioration of the cartilage within the joint. Other risks include joint infection, nerve damage, thinning of the skin and soft tissue around the injection site and in severe cases, death of the nearby bone. With corticosteroids being as powerful as they are, the injections must be limited due to potentially harmful side effects. Cortisone injections do provide instant pain relief.
PRP injections have healing properties that encourage cellular growth and tissue regeneration. The patient’s own blood is used to treat the injured joints. Our blood contains proteins that promote and manage the body’s healing process. Risks, or complications, from the therapy are much less prevalent than with cortisone injections. Pains are relieved side-effect free. Surgeries can be avoided. PRP provides a gradual, natural healing process. PRP injections may be better for not only alleviating joint/muscle pain but healing it as well. PRP has been shown to have a more favorable response compared to steroid therapy.
What Are the Benefits of PRP Therapy?
PRP is a subset of stem cell therapy. The goals of PRP therapy include:
- Decreased pain to return to function and activity
- Minimal downtime
- No scars
- No complications, since you are using your own blood
- Resist injury recurrence
- Stabilized, resistant further joint and tissue degeneration
- Accelerate the healing process
- No surgery
Contraindications to PRP therapy:
- Active infection
- Immunocompromised status
- Blood clotting disorders and INR > 2.5
- Pain in prosthetic joint or infection
Get PRP Treatment Today
PRP injections are an out of pocket expense. Some insurance companies may provide partial reimbursement for PRP injections that have been pre-authorized. More and more people are taking PRP injections as a nonsurgical, natural alternative. With surgery, you have to consider non-monetary factors like downtime, long-term side effects, and infection.
PRP’s success is attributed to its fundamental healing. PRP has been shown to facilitate angiogenesis, hemostasis, osteogenesis and bone growth. PRP treatments are now one of the most in-demand treatments available in healthcare.