If you suffer from chronic pain, you can take some comfort in knowing that you aren’t alone. A 2016 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study found that one in five Americans suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain has many culprits, but a lot of Americans deal with pain that originates in their muscles, joints, and tendons. Injuries to these tissues are often slow to heal, even with physical therapy and a doctor’s guiding hand.
For a long time, corticosteroid shots have been the answer when it comes to relieving pain in these areas. While these shots provide short term pain relief, they don’t promote healing and eventually wear off, meaning that you’ll need more shots in the future. Instead, medical professionals are now turning to platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. These shots, which use the plasma found in a patient’s own blood, speed up healing while also delivering pain relief. They may provide aesthetic results for cosmetic patients as well.
Panagiota (Peggy) Demetriou, ARNP, FNP-BC and our team at Qvita Health & Wellness are proud to offer a wide range of primary care and cosmetic services. Our practice in Wesley Chapel, Florida focuses on the latest cosmetic treatments and regenerative medicine using your body’s natural healing resources to fight aging and damage.
If you’re interested in seeing if PRP therapy could work for you, come visit us. In the meantime, read on to understand more about PRP therapy and what makes it so effective.
Understanding PRP therapy
Your blood does a lot on its journey through your body, and platelets do a lot of the heavy lifting. In addition to being the component that supports clotting to seal a wound, platelets also contain hundreds of growth factors, or proteins, that aid regeneration and healing.
Tendons, joints, and, on a lesser scale, muscles, don’t get as much blood as other parts of the body and take longer to heal because of this lack of blood flow. If more platelets were able to reach these areas, they might heal faster.
PRP therapy for soft-tissue injuries
PRP therapy can treat many different soft-tissue injuries, including:
- Joint pain
- Tendinitis (including tennis elbow)
- Tendon tears
- Ligament tears or ruptures
- Muscle tears or strains
A major benefit of PRP therapy is that it helps with both healing and pain management. Your pain levels should decrease as the influx of platelets spurs new tissue growth and regeneration.
PRP therapy for cosmetic issues
PRP therapy has also been successful in some cosmetic applications. Although it can be used to reverse signs of general aging, at Qvita Health & Wellness, we use it to treat the following:
- Sun damage
- Dark circles under the eyes
Cosmetic PRP therapy works the same as it does with soft-tissue injuries: The platelets support new cell growth to add volume and elasticity to aging skin.
Your PRP therapy treatment
During a PRP treatment, a small sample of your blood is taken. It will be placed in a centrifuge to separate out the platelets, which will then be used to create a concentrated platelet-rich plasma serum.
After applying a local anesthetic, one of our team members will carefully inject the serum directly into the injured tissue. The concentrated platelet serum contains five to 10 times more growth factors than normal blood and will stimulate your body’s natural ability to repair cells and grow healthy tissue.
PRP in the field
A recent study done at a hospital in the 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 in the long run. Twenty-six weeks after treatment began, patients who received platelet-rich plasma therapy experienced less pain and had regained more movement. A year after the trial, PRP’s advantage held up – patients had a 64% improvement in pain and an 84% improvement in movement.
Are you ready to see if PRP therapy can help solve your chronic pain or cosmetic issues? The team at Qvita Health & Wellness can help. Call to book an appointment at our Wesley Chapel office today.