Chronic pain due to arthritis or other joint issues can be debilitating. The pain can cause you to cancel plans with family and friends, stop playing with your children or grandchildren, and make it difficult to concentrate on tasks at home and at work. With the problems that have been found with pain medications for chronic pain, many patients are seeking out alternatives in pain management. Two of these alternatives are PRP and stem cell therapies.
What is PRP, and How Does It Work?
PRP stands for platelet rich plasma. The platelets in the blood contain certain protein markers and other elements that help relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and sometimes even reverse damage done to cartilage and tissues. The doctor will draw your blood in much the same way as a nurse would do for routine blood work. The blood is then placed in a centrifuge to separate and concentrate the platelets, which are then suspended in your plasma and injected into the site of your pain. Most patients get some relief within a few days.
What About Stem Cells?
Stem cells are another way to treat chronic pain. Stem cells also have the ability to repair damage in cartilage and the surrounding tissues. They relieve inflammation and, in some instances, reverse or stop the damage from arthritis and other joint conditions. The relief from pain is just a bonus to this treatment. Stem cells are usually obtained from fat or bone marrow from the patient, extracted, and then injected into the painful joint.
Many doctors are now combining PRP and stem cell therapies into one treatment. PRP has been found to give the stem cells direction and make them more effective. If you are interested in learning more about these and other treatments for joint pain, contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.