Maybe you’ve heard about all the sports stars using platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy and wondered if you might be a good candidate for it. Or maybe it’s a new term to you and you have no idea what this is.
At Roswell Pain and Weight Loss Specialists, interventional pain management specialist Dr. Damon Christian Kimes uses PRP as a non-invasive way to treat your pain. He’s here to answer all your questions about this revolutionary treatment that helps you heal faster and avoid surgery. Read on to learn about the conditions that can be treated with PRP.
What you need to know about PRP
The PRP concept is simple: The platelets in your blood contain growth factors, and growth factors promote tissue formation.
The details are more complicated than that, but the process is fairly straightforward. Dr. Kimes draws a small sample of your blood from your arm and spins it at high speed in a centrifuge to separate its components: red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, and platelets.
He then isolates a serum of platelets and plasma that he can inject back into the injured area of your body. Once inside, the platelets interact with local cells and trigger them to divide and migrate. This helps with:
- Reducing inflammation
- Repairing damaged tissue
- Regenerating new tissue
- Speeding up healing
- Minimizing or eliminating pain
Because of its regenerative properties, PRP therapy can be used in various medical applications including cosmetic procedures such as hair loss and wrinkle treatments, as well as wound healing after trauma or surgery. But Dr. Kimes focuses on orthopedic applications for our patients in Roswell, Georgia, and the neighboring communities.
5 conditions that PRP therapy can treat
1. PRP for shoulder pain
Of the many things that go wrong in your shoulder joint and cause pain and immobility, two of the most common conditions respond well to PRP therapy:
- Osteoarthritis: Also known as the wear-and-tear disease, osteoarthritis gradually deteriorates the cartilage in your joints. This results in inflammation, damaged tissues, and painful bone-on-bone contact. PRP reduces the swelling, regenerates tissues, lubricates the joint, and alleviates your pain.
- Torn rotator cuff: Common for athletes who frequently use throwing motions and anyone who misuses or overuses their shoulder regularly, more than 2 million people in the United States suffer from a torn rotator cuff every year. But PRP helps speed up healing around the tear and stop pain without a scalpel.
2. PRP for knee pain
Platelet-rich plasma therapy is showing great results for the treatment of knee pain, including osteoarthritis (just as in your shoulder). In 2008, PGA golfer Tiger Woods used it to help recover from his knee surgery and went on to have one of the best years in his career. Knee conditions that can be treated with PRP include:
- Meniscus tear: A rubbery piece of cartilage shaped like a C acts as a buffer between your shinbone and thigh bone. If you tear it, PRP may help heal it. And if you’ve had meniscus repair surgery, PRP may lower your risk of subsequent meniscus failure.
- ACL injury: Surgery is the default treatment for a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in your knee. But going under the knife also means months of rehab and healing. Studies show that PRP may be an effective alternative to ACL surgery.
3. PRP for neck pain
As the part of your spine that’s responsible for letting you to turn, twist, and bend (all while supporting a 10-pound head), your neck takes a lot of abuse, and the injuries and conditions it can suffer are many. If you have one of the following neck conditions, you may be a good PRP candidate:
- Herniated cervical disc: If one of the discs in the upper part of your spine has ruptured or herniated, studies have shown that PRP is not only a safe and effective nonsurgical treatment, but also one with long-lasting results.
- Whiplash: Common in a car crash or any accident that causes a violent snapping of the head and neck, whiplash overextends the muscles and ligaments in your neck. Although most cases of whiplash resolve on their own, the recovery period can be long and painful. PRP reduces your recovery time and your pain.
4. PRP for hip pain
Like your knee and shoulder, your hip is highly susceptible to osteoarthritis and can limit your mobility. Of course, a sedentary lifestyle creates another layer of health issues. PRP eases the pain caused by inflammation and lubricates your joints so you can move again.
5. PRP for soft tissue damage
Platelet-rich plasma therapy is not specific to any one joint or area. The beauty of this treatment is that it can be beneficial to any soft tissue that has been damaged, including your skin, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. It’s especially helpful in areas where your body doesn’t send a good blood supply, like in your joints.
The PRP procedure is quick, minimally invasive, and relatively painless. If you’re wondering whether PRP might be right for your painful injury or condition, call Roswell Pain and Weight Loss Specialists at 678-271-0565 or book an appointment online today.