If you live with the wear-and-tear pains of osteoarthritis, you’re far from alone. More people have osteoarthritis than any other type of arthritis. But a multifaceted treatment approach can help you get relief from your joint pain, inflammation, and stiffness while slowing down its progression. One option you may want to consider as part of your care plan is platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, therapy.
Our expert team at Johnson Medical Center in Venice, Florida, often recommends PRP therapy because of its effectiveness at combining the best of medical science and technology with the innovation of integrative medicine. Read on to learn how this treatment can help manage the effects of osteoarthritis.
How PRP therapy works
During PRP therapy, one of our providers takes a small sample of your blood and sends it through a centrifuge which separates out the platelet-rich plasma. The PRP is then injected into your targeted treatment area during a quick, in-office appointment. If you have knee pain related to osteoarthritis, for example, the PRP would be injected very near your knee joints.
Local anesthetics and small needles help ensure only minimal discomfort. Once you’ve received your injections, the proteins in the PRP promote healing and regeneration of new, healthier tissue. As a result, you can expect to experience less damage, inflammation, pain, and stiffness.
PRP effectiveness for osteoarthritis
We consider PRP therapy highly effective for reducing arthritis pain and research has begun to confirm this. A study published in Therapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease reviewed findings about PRP therapy for osteoarthritis and concluded that while standardization is needed, the treatment has shown promise in clinical trials for improving pain within 6-8 months.
The researchers found that this therapy has seemed to work more effectively than hyaluronic acid for some patients. Because each patient is unique, working with a qualified provider who can customize your treatment helps maximize your results.
Natural benefits of PRP therapy
One reason our team and patients appreciate PRP therapy is that rather than masking your pain the way certain oral medications do, it strengthens natural responses in your body. Put another way, PRP aims to address and resolve underlying problems rather than merely treating the symptoms. And because it’s natural and uses your own blood, side effects are virtually nonexistent.
While some people find PRP therapy alone to be quite helpful, many others benefit from PRP therapy as part of an overall plan that can include conventional treatments as well. You may end up needing less oral medication thanks to PRP therapy, and have a lower risk of complications related to the progression of osteoarthritis, such as fractures.