Do you experience physical pain often or very often? You definitely aren’t alone. A 2017 study found that 34.1% of Americans report dealing with pain on a daily or monthly basis. This pain can come from lots of sources, but many Americans deal with muscle, joint, and tendon pain. Injuries to these tissues are often slow to heal, even with physical therapy and a doctor’s guiding hand.
Corticosteroid shots have frequently been the answer when it comes to relieving pain in these areas. While corticosteroid shots can help ameliorate pain, often, they don’t offer lasting relief or treat the actual source of the pain. While effective, patients must get more shots for continued relief. Instead of corticosteroids, doctors are now turning to platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy.
You don’t have to suffer through muscle, joint, or tendon pain. At No Mercy Sports Medicine, Moisés Irizarry-Román, MD, and the rest of his team will work with you to treat your chronic pain and get you on the road to good health.
PRP therapy basics
Your blood accomplishes a lot as it flows through your body, and platelets do a lot of the heavy lifting. In addition to being the components that support clotting to seal a wound, platelets also act as growth factors to help your body repair and strengthen damaged tissue.
Tendons, joints, and muscles don’t always receive enough blood after an injury. Although blood does reach them and aid in healing, it can take months or even years for these tissues to properly heal and get back to full strength. In the meantime, you have to deal with constant pain.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy aims to break this cycle by injecting a concentration of platelets directly into the damaged tissue. These injections, which contain more concentrated growth factors than normal blood, treat your pain by spurring additional healing. The faster your tissue can heal, the less time you will spend in pain.
PRP therapy treatment
During a PRP treatment, a small sample of your blood is taken from your arm. It’s then processed to separate out the platelets, which will serve as the core component of a concentrated platelet-rich plasma serum.
After applying a local anesthetic, Dr. Irizarry-Román will use an ultrasound as a guide to inject the plasma serum directly into your injured tissue. The concentrated platelets will then immediately go to work, stimulating and supporting your body’s natural ability to regrow healthy tissue.
PRP therapy effectiveness
A recent study done at St. Elisabeth Hospital in Tilburg, Netherlands, compared PRP therapy and 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 platelet-rich plasma therapy experienced less pain and had gained more movement. And over the entire year following treatment, PRP’s advantage still held up. Patients had a 64% improvement in pain and an 84% improvement in movement.
Dr. Irizarry-Román has seen patients experience terrific results after just one treatment, which usually begins to show its effectiveness after a few weeks. While one treatment is often enough, the severity of your injury may require 2-3 injections.
You can do more than just treat your pain. With PRP therapy, you can eliminate the pain by treating the cause. Dr. Irizarry-Román and his team at No Mercy Sports Medicine are ready to help you feel your best. Book an appointment online or over the phone today.