Degenerative arthritis, wear-and-tear arthritis — these are the other names for osteoarthritis (OA), which affects more than 32.5 million adults in the United States, and this number is growing. Whatever we call it, OA can be a tricky problem to treat since it typically only gets worse and rarely better.
As musculoskeletal experts, the team here at Valliant Life Medical has devoted much of our practice to solving degenerative riddles like osteoarthritis — or, at the very least, restoring pain-free movement in our patients.
Checking both of these boxes in many ways is regenerative medicine, more specifically, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections.
Here, we explore three benefits of using PRP to fight back against osteoarthritis.
1. Delivers much-needed resources
One of the bigger challenges with OA is that the protective cartilage inside your joints breaks down. As a result, there are fragments inside your joints, and your bones rub together, all of which can lead to pain and inflammation. The problem here is that your cartilage doesn't have great vasculature, which means it can’t access the resources it needs to fight back against wear and tear.
With PRP, our goal is to introduce those resources. PRP injections contain a concentrate of your own platelets, which are cell fragments in your blood that are responsible for clotting. After your platelets stop the bleeding, they release powerful growth factors that initiate a wound-healing cascade, and it’s this action that we’re looking to duplicate inside your arthritic joints.
When we inject the PRP into your joints, it releases growth factors that call upon other resources and anti-inflammatory agents to help rebuild your joint and control the discomfort.
2. Delivers your own body’s resources
Another benefit of PRP injections is that we’re using resources that already exist in your body. First, we draw a sample of your blood, and then we place it into a centrifuge that separates out your platelets. Then, we mix the concentrated platelets with a small amount of your plasma and inject the solution directly into your damaged tissues.
Since the platelets are your own, your body readily accepts the injections.
3. Provides a multi-pronged approach to help you avoid surgery
Our goal with treatments like PRP is to help you avoid surgical solutions, like joint replacement surgery. Through regenerative medicine, physical therapy, and chiropractic care, we can make great strides in preserving your joint health for as long as possible.
First, we help the tissues inside your joint to rebuild with our PRP injections. Next, we strengthen the supporting tissues around your joints through targeted exercises. Lastly, we ensure that healing resources continue to flow freely in your body through spinal adjustments.
Each of these steps can go a long way toward supporting joints affected by OA and, together, they can be a powerful combination that helps you avoid joint replacement down the road.
If you’d like to explore whether PRP injections can help with your osteoarthritis, please contact our office in Fort Worth, Texas, to set up a consultation.