Are you in physical pain often or very often? If so, you’re not alone. A recent study found that 34.1 percent of Americans feel pain often or very often.
This pain can come from many sources, but it often comes from muscle, joint, and tendon problems, because these tissues are often slow to heal. For decades, corticosteroid shots have been used to treat pain in these areas. While they can provide short-term relief, they don’t promote healing. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy can solve both issues. Without drugs, PRP therapy can provide relief from pain and treat the source of it.
At OrthoWellness, Mirylsa Colón-Martínez, MD, provides this cutting-edge treatment for a variety of injuries and problems.
The science behind PRP therapy
Your blood accomplishes a lot as it flows through your body, and platelets do a lot of the heavy lifting. In addition to serving as the component that supports clotting to seal a wound, platelets also act as growth factors that help your body repair and strengthen damaged tissue.
Unfortunately, tendons, joints, and muscles don’t get as much blood as other parts of your body. Normally, this isn’t an issue. This becomes a problem, though, when these tissues get injured. When injured, these areas can be slow to heal, and you can suffer from pain for a long period of time.
With PRP therapy, platelets are taken from your own blood and then injected into the injured areas to promote healing and pain relief.
Treatment with PRP therapy
First, a member of Dr. Colón-Martínez’s team draws a sample of your blood. Then this sample is put in a centrifuge to separate out the platelets and create the plasma for your injection. Finally, using ultrasound guidance, Dr. Colón-Martínez injects the plasma into your injured tissue or joint.
The concentrated platelets, which contain 5-10 times more growth factors than normal blood, will immediately go to work once injected, stimulating and supporting your body’s natural ability to regrow healthy tissue.
PRP therapy in practice
Dr. Colón-Martínez has seen PRP therapy be effective in a variety of circumstances and conditions, including:
- Chronic tendon conditions, such as tennis elbow and Achilles tendinitis
- Acute sports injuries, such as pulled hamstrings and ligament tears
- Postsurgical treatments for shoulder rotator cuff injuries
- Osteoarthritis of the knee
If pain is a constant part of your life, Dr. Colón-Martínez may be able to incorporate PRP therapy into your custom treatment plan.
PRP therapy’s effectiveness
A recent study done at St. Elisabeth Hospital in Tilburg, Netherlands, compared PRP therapy with corticosteroid shots in patients with tennis elbow. Although the corticosteroid shots provided more immediate pain relief, PRP therapy won out. After 26 weeks, patients who received PRP therapy experienced less pain and had gained more movement. After a year, PRP’s advantage still held up. Patients had a 64% improvement in pain and an 84% improvement in movement.
Do you want to see if PRP therapy can help you? Dr. Colón-Martínez can diagnose your injury and let you know if PRP therapy is the right move. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with OrthoWellness today.