When you live with arthritis, even the simplest tasks can seem impossible. That’s because this inflammatory joint disease causes pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility, and it can worsen with time.
In the past, there were few options to effectively ease arthritis symptoms. But things have changed significantly in recent years, especially with regenerative forms of medicine, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy.
Unlike medications, which may just mask pain or lessen inflammation, regenerative medicine treatments work to activate the healing process in the body. This innovative approach helps to relieve arthritis symptoms by restoring healthy cells and tissue at the treatment site — healing the body from the inside out.
As an interventional pain management physician, Vladimir Fiks, MD, of Advanced Pain Management Center in Portland, Oregon, understands the toll arthritis and other chronic pain conditions can take on a person’s life. His commitment to providing exceptional patient care ensures you can find the best medical and interventional pain therapies available, including regenerative treatments, such as PRP therapy.
If you have arthritis, here’s how PRP therapy could help.
Getting to the source of the problem
There are numerous types of arthritis, but the most prevalent form is osteoarthritis. This common problem affects millions of people worldwide and develops when the cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones — where a joint forms — begins to break down and wear away.
Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, but it typically impacts the knees, hips, spine, and hands. In most cases, it develops slowly and continues to worsen over time, triggering symptoms that include:
- Pain during or after movement
- Swelling in the soft tissue surrounding the joint
- Stiffness, especially after inactivity
- A grating sensation, crackling, or popping during use
- Reduced flexibility and decreased range of motion
- Tenderness to the touch
It’s also common for extra bits of bone to form around the affected joint. These growths, known as bone spurs, often feel like hard lumps and can increase arthritis symptoms.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy can ease these symptoms by restoring healthy tissue to the diseased joint.
Harnessing the power of your platelets
Healing arthritis damage may sound too good to be true. However, your body has healing elements at work all the time. The most obvious example is a cut or scrape.
Whenever you hurt yourself or have a wound of some kind, your body kicks into gear to heal the damage. It usually starts with your blood clotting to stop bleeding in the area. Over the weeks to come, your system works to fight infection and trigger tissue growth and rebuilding.
Regenerative medicine treatments harness these natural abilities by using the substances in your body involved in the healing process. With PRP therapy, that specifically means the platelets found in your blood, which are the very elements that make your blood clot. But their healing power doesn’t stop there.
Platelets also release growth factors at injury sites to support the repairing and rebuilding of tissue.
How PRP therapy works
During PRP treatment, we draw a sample of your blood. Then we put the sample in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the other components in your blood. Then we take the resulting serum and inject it into your arthritic joint to activate the healing process.
This targeted approach can give your joints the boost they need to repair damage, rebuild lost tissue, and restore health in the area. And, since PRP comes from your own body, it typically comes with few risks or side effects. However, you may temporarily experience some tenderness, swelling, and discomfort at the injection site.
Remember, healing doesn’t happen overnight, especially if you have significant pain. Instead, it takes time for healthy cells to return to the area. In most cases, you can expect to see your symptoms improve within a few weeks of your PRP injection, but Dr. Fiks could also suggest a series of treatments to provide the best results.
Are you struggling with painful joints? To see if PRP therapy could help you, call 971-233-4199 or book an appointment online with Advanced Pain Management Center today.