Platelet-rich plasma therapy is the full term that is represented by the acronym PRP. This type of therapy works by taking advantage of the natural healing properties of the blood to repair injured cartilage, tendons, ligaments, bones, and muscles. Many people are turning to this type of healing method to treat various orthopaedic conditions. One of the conditions is osteoarthritis. Whilst PRP is frequently used to treat arthritis of the knee, it can be used for other joints too.
How PRP Is Used to Help People with Osteoarthritis
When PRP is used to treat osteoarthritis, the objective is to lessen the arthritic pain, enhance joint functioning, and slow or stop cartilage damage. The PRP that is used is obtained from a patient’s own blood. In turn, injections of PRP consist of blood plasma with a high concentration of platelets.
The Composition of Plasma
The plasma used in PRP is the liquid element of a person’s blood. Therefore, plasma is the base for white and red blood cells and other materials that are transported in the circulation. Whilst plasma is mainly water, it is also is made up of glucose, nutrients, proteins, and antibodies.
How the Platelets in the Blood Benefit Arthritis Patients
The platelets used in PRP are components of the blood that do not have healing properties. However, they do secrete substances such as proteins and growth factors that manage the division of cells. The substances also promote tissue regeneration and encourage healing. In addition, platelets are needed for clotting. Therefore, a person who does not have enough platelets may bleed profusely if cut.
A Way to Greatly Alleviate Pain
The efficiency of PRP for arthritis is significant as this type of therapy notably alleviates arthritic symptoms. That is because PRP inhibits inflammation and slows the progression of the disease. The material in PRP is also used to lubricate the joints, which lessens any friction in these areas. Because PRP contains certain proteins, it is able to change the pain receptors in a patient and reduce painful discomfort.
Some Important Factors to Consider
Scientists note that one PRP injection may be different from another injection based on a patient’s individual characteristics and blood processing. For example, the number of platelets in each patient’s blood can vary from one person to the next. In addition, how a sample of blood is processed impacts the platelet and white blood cell concentration.
In some instances, doctors supplement PRP with substances that are believed to add to the healing properties of the injections. Because of these healing properties, patients are well-advised to consider a treatment plan.
Whilst an arthritic sufferer may try to improve joint or arthritic pain with physical therapy or even a weight loss plan, these activities usually do not fully get rid of the symptoms. Some patients opt for cortisone injections to treat arthritis discomfort, too. However, repeated injections of this type can weaken the tendons and ligaments over a duration of time. Cortisone can also have a deleterious effect on cartilage.
Therefore, given the other options, it is best to treat arthritis pain with a proven, albeit innovative solution, such as PRP.