Anyone with arthritis knows firsthand how stiff and painful joints can interfere with the ability to perform even the smallest tasks. Arthritis is caused when cartilage — which is a tough, flexible tissue that covers the ends of bones — wears aways. Normally, cartilage cushions joints and allows for smooth movement, but as cartilage deteriorates, friction and inflammation can increase and lead to arthritis symptoms, such as pain, reduced movement, and joint dysfunction.
In the past, treatments for arthritis largely involved managing symptoms instead of addressing the cause. At Advanced Pain Management Center in Portland, Oregon, Vladimir Fiks, MD, and our team take a very different approach. We use regenerative medicine to help patients heal from the inside out.
How regenerative medicine works
Many medications, such as pain relievers, only mask the signs of arthritis. But regenerative medicine harnesses the powerful growth factors in your own body to heal damaged tissues. One kind of regenerative medicine is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, and it relies on the unique abilities of platelets in your blood.
Your blood contains numerous substances, including platelets, red and white cells, water, salt, and antibodies. Platelets are best-known for helping your blood clot to stop bleeding if you get cut. However, platelets also play a big role in healing, tissue regeneration, and cell division.
With PRP therapy, some of these platelets are extracted from your body and then injected into injured areas to trigger the healing process on a cellular level. This innovative approach can naturally generate new tissue and repair damaged tissue to help restore function and reduce pain from arthritis and other issues.
Treating joint pain with PRP therapy
There are several kinds of arthritis, but they all involve the protective layer of cartilage covering your bones where they come together in a joint. As cartilage breaks down, you may experience discomfort, stiffness, and joint dysfunction. That’s where the healing benefits of PRP therapy can help.
To administer PRP therapy, Dr. Fiks draws some of your blood. Then he places it in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the rest of your blood’s components. Then, Dr. Fiks injects the platelet serum directly into the area of your body causing you pain, such as your knee joint.
Once in place, these platelets get to work, healing damaged tissue and increasing the number of reparative cells in the area. In addition to treating joint problems, Dr. Fiks also recommends PRP therapy for pain-related issues involving injured muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
What to expect from PRP therapy
We perform PRP treatments during routine office visits, and you can go home immediately after your appointment.
It’s important to note that regenerative medicine techniques, such as PRP therapy, heal damage on a cellular level, so you shouldn’t expect to see immediate results. In fact, you can even develop minor or slightly worsening symptoms, such as discomfort or swelling, for a short period of time after your injection. This is completely normal and indicates the healing process is underway.
Over the following weeks, you can expect:
- Less inflammation
- Reduced pain
- Increased lubrication in the joint
- Slowed progression of tissue deterioration
For best results, Dr. Fiks might recommend a series of injections.
If you have arthritis symptoms, PRP therapy may be able to help you. To learn more, book an appointment over the phone with Advanced Pain Management Center today.