We can’t stop talking about PRP and all its benefits. The vast range of different fields, injuries, and issues that PRP can impact is not only profound, but continues to grow. Beyond the cosmetic benefits of PRP popularized by celebrities, PRP is also responsible for bringing both relief and aid to a variety of patients. Want to learn about Platelett-Rich Plasma (PRP) in more detail? Consider checking out our posts on The History of PRP and What is PRP? to educate yourself on one of the most revolutionary topics in the medical world.
Here are 4 non-cosmetic reasons why patients undergo PRP treatment:
A survey conducted by the CDC in 2016 shows that 54 million Americans suffer from arthritis.
According to the survey, the ailment is “the leading cause of disability” and patients spend a boggling amount of money on treatment – the “annual direct costs are at least 81 million”. With something that is that far-reaching, and often times severely felt, fast relief is key. Fortunately, PRP can help!
PRP is most often used to treat osteoarthritis, which has several different forms.
How Does PRP Help?
Osteoarthritis is caused by the breaking down of joint cartilage. This breakdown leads to abnormal bone growth formations – commonly referred to as “bone spurs.” Degeneration can lead to further issues, including inferior joint function, pain, and stiffness. The process can be gradual (often coming and going), developing over the years to cause serious problems later in life. PRP helps treat this pain and even heal some of the damaged tissues.
Patients choose to undergo PRP treatment for osteoarthritis because of its non-invasive pain relief. During the procedure, the doctor will directly inject PRP into the affected area with three goals in mind: pain reduction, improved joint function, and slowing (or even halting) cartilage damage while also healing it.
Similar to arthritis, tendonitis affects a large amount of people and exhibits similar symptoms. It is largely due to the overuse of a particular body part.
Tendonitis is inflammation to a tendon, the thick, cord-like muscle that attaches your bones to your muscles. Some of the leading causes are everyday activities such as weight lifting, gardening, or any sport. Even simply cleaning your house can cause tendonitis! Incorrect posture, sitting at a desk or in a car all day, and lack of stretching before exercise can greatly increase your chances as well.
How Does PRP Help?
Due to PRP’s healing properties and capability to produce collagen, many theorize that using the technique to treat tendonitis is just as effective as other PRP treatments. Collagen is integral in the genetic makeup of tendons and ligaments, so PRP’s regenerative ability provides an important aid to treating tendonitis. Additionally, PRP contains growth proteins that reconfigure the patient’s pain receptors while simultaneously reducing their pain sensation.
People suffering from tendonitis opt to undergo PRP treatment because it is a risk-free solution to an issue that otherwise has no cure. Using PRP to treat tendonitis works best in conjunction with other non-surgical options such as physical therapy, taping the affected area, and making lifestyle changes. Most recently, PRP has helped treat Achilles Tendonitis, Rotator Cuff Tendonitis, Tennis Elbow, and Patellar Tendonitis. More research is needed, but so far, PRP is a promising prospect for treating tendonitis that continues to show impressive results.
Herniated discs are a common ailment. 1 in 8 Americans, ages 30-50, receive treatment every year! If you’re suddenly afflicted with a sharp shooting pain in the neck, back, or arms, you may have herniated a disc in your spinal cord. This pain is caused by a tear in the outer layer of the spinal disc. Liquid then starts forcing itself out of the disc tear, putting pressure on the nearby nerve(s). Sometimes the pain will be accompanied by numbness or weakness in an arm or leg. Herniated discs are most common in the lower back (lumbar spine), but they can also manifest in your neck (cervical spine).
A herniated disc most often occurs as the result of progressive aging. As we get older, our spinal discs gradually lose their water content, making them less flexible and more susceptible to herniation.
How Does PRP Help?
The severe pain involved with a herniated discs well as the quickened healing process offered by PRP attract many patients to undergo PRP treatment. During the treatment, PRP is injected directly into the site of the herniated disc.
The herniated disc is treated much like a tissue injury, which PRP is also often used to treat. When tissues are damaged, platelets, the healing elements in your blood, are dispersed to the site of the injury. PRP is blood that has 5-10 more platelets present than normal. With this in mind, using PRP to treat herniation is thought to help speed up the healing of the disc.
Sciatica/Sciatic Nerve Issues
The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the human body. Its makeup consists of individual nerve roots. These roots branch out from the spine to the lower back and leg. This network forms the nerve.
Sciatica is a common lower back and leg issue. It can be characterized by pain that gets worse with sitting, searing/burning/tingling in affected leg, or sharp pain that makes it difficult to stand up and/or walk. The pain rarely occurs in both legs- usually only focusing on one side. It can radiate and shoot down one leg, possibly going into the foot and toes. Sciatica pain usually stems from the location of a pinched nerve and can range widely from infrequent to debilitating.
How Does PRP Help?
Sciatica affects around 10% of the population. It is most likely to develop in patients over 40-50. The risks are higher for those who sit for long periods of time.
Those living with the pain of sciatica choose to undergo PRP treatment for a natural risk-free alternative to surgery. The site of the pain is directly injected with PRP, often in conjunction with stem cells, in order to relieve pain and aiding the body in the healing process.
Relief Has Arrived!
These 4 ailments are just touching on some of the magic that PRP brings to the table. The emergence of PRP into the medical world is good news for just about anyone wishing to avoid surgery- which, we’re willing to bet, is most people.