Introduction to Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy for Joint and Back Pain
Platelet rich plasma therapy (PRP) is a new and innovative treatment that naturally heals injured joints and tissue by using the body’s own healing process. PRP therapy can be used in patients suffering from joint and knee pain, lower back pain, rotator cuff tears and other orthopedic type injuries. Many clinical studies have shown the benefit from using platelet rich plasma for the non-surgical treatment of these conditions.
Joint pain, particularly in the knees and shoulders as well as back pain constitute the large majority of patients who present to their doctor’s office with a complaint of pain. Many of these patients proceed to have surgery, all too often with less than optimal outcomes. Many of these patients still have the same pain they had prior to surgery, or worse, more pain. They are in chronic pain and are frustrated that no one can help them. They are amazed that surgery did not fix them. Platelet rich plasma therapy offers these patients with joint and back pain relief by healing damaged knee or shoulder joint tendons, ligaments and cartilage. Patients with back pain benefit by PRP repairing damaged ligaments and muscles.
Patients with persistent back pain frequently feel that surgery was the only option that they have. Unfortunately all too many patients fall into the trap that surgery is the only answer to their pain problem and were convinced that surgery would “cure” their pain. The most unfortunate thing is that surgery was most likely not appropriate for them in the first place. Surgery will, more frequently than not, fail to relieve spine pain. That is because in the majority of the time, back and neck pain are not due to a spinal problem. The problem most likely due to soft tissue pain: muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia (the cover tissue of muscles).
Platelet rich plasma offers patients an effective therapy to relieve their pain without surgery or narcotics. This incredible therapy was never taught in medical school. Basically platelet rich plasma therapy (PRP) uses your body’s own natural healing process to repair damage tissues.
To make PRP, two ounces of your own blood is taken and processed to extract out PRP. In whole blood, PRP is only one percent volume of the blood. With platelet rich plasma processing, we can concentrate platelets by 500-600%. This concentrated platelet rich plasma can then be injected directly into the area with damaged tissue. This may be in the knee or shoulder joint, lower back, neck or into injured tendons or ligaments.
In patients who have bone fractures, PRP dramatically accelerates bone healing and pain relief. Platelet rich plasma therapy is a remarkable treatment. It clearly helps patient to avoid surgery, has no recovery time and uses the body’s own healing mechanism to get natural, stronger healing.
This therapy has been widely used by pro athletes, including players in the NFL such as Super Bowl player Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Major League Baseball superstar and Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has received PRP therapy. Perhaps most famously, pro golfer Tiger Woods received this therapy for his knee pain.