Bending, twisting, stretching, walking, and even talking are just some of the functions of your body that your joints are an integral part of. A vital part of the skeletal system, your joints — intersections of bone, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and other musculoskeletal tissue — come in numerous shapes and sizes as well as several varieties, including fibrous, synovial, and cartilaginous.
Though your joints are involved in so many basic things you do, it’s likely you don’t often think about them. That is, until you’re dealing with pain or experiencing problems with moving them properly.
Joint pain is all too common, and osteoarthritis is one of the most common reasons for it. There are a variety of ways to treat this problem, but platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections are a minimally invasive and popular method for managing joint pain that allows your body to help heal itself. Let’s explore how it can help you by examining osteoarthritis and joint pain, what PRP injections actually do, and what the treatment is like.
If you live in the Fort Worth, Texas area, and you’re struggling with joint pain and associated problems, Dr. Joseph Daniels and his skilled medical staff at Southwest Orthopedic Associates can help you find relief.
Arthritis is the term for a range of joint pain and inflammation, and osteoarthritis is among the most common. This type of arthritis is a degenerative joint problem that occurs over a long period of time, and often affects people as they get older. There are two types of this joint condition:
Osteoarthritis slowly breaks down the tendons, ligaments and cartilage in joints, and while wear-and-tear on joints is often responsible for this condition, several things can raise your risks, including the metabolic and inflammatory factors in diabetes and high cholesterol.
Common signs of osteoarthritis include pain, stiffness, tenderness, loss of flexibility, swelling, and a grating sensation where the cartilage and other joint tissue have worn down.
Your blood is responsible for carrying nutrients and a lot of important materials throughout your body. Platelets (thrombocytes) are a very small component of blood that aids in clotting. PRP therapy works by using your own blood platelets to help damaged areas like your joints heal and grow healthy new cells.
This method can help treat various conditions, such as postsurgical repair, acute injuries, tendon injuries, and hair loss. A 2015 study shows the effectiveness of PRP injections over traditional treatments like hyaluronic acid injections. In fact, it’s a treatment commonly used among athletes to speed up healing.
The process of a PRP injection begins with drawing blood to get the platelets for the treatment. We place your blood sample in a centrifuge, a device that separates the plasma from the other components of your blood. We then transfer the platelet-rich result into the device used to administer the therapy, and inject it into the injured area.
Because you’re getting treated with materials from your own body, side effects are not common, but you should avoid washing the treated area for at least two days. Soreness and bruising is normal, but any other signs, like sharp pains, should be reported to your doctor.
Osteoarthritis can make life for your joints more difficult, but PRP therapy can help, and we’re here to offer it, and other options, for pain relief as well as for healing injuries. If you’re ready to try PRP therapy for osteoarthritis or other joint conditions, make an appointment with Dr. Daniels and Southwest Orthopedic Associates today.