Arthritis is a devastating disease affecting almost one in two people after the age of 60 and is the leading cause of disability in the United States. In fact, one in three cases of disability are related to arthritis. In the past, we were only able to manage the pain of arthritis, but not the underlying progression of the disease. Today, we have a totally new way of treating the disease by addressing the underlying deficiencies and restoring the normal balance between damage and repair to the joint. This is a comprehensive approach through diet, exercise, nutrition, bracing, and specific injections to reduce some of the destructive chemical imbalance of the joint as well as stimulate the reparative process. One such treatment is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP).
WHAT IS PRP?
As the name implies, this is a process which uses plasma from your own blood to concentrate the healing growth factors and plasma proteins. Numerous growth factors are found within the granules of each of your platelets. These are released during an injury such as a cut on your skin and the platelets form the scab you see on your skin. Once they are activated by this event, a healing cascade occurs to slowly and carefully release the right amount of growth factors in the right order to help heal the wound over time. This is also true of the yellow plasma fluid you sometimes see around a healing wound. The plasma has large proteins which help clean up the area and prevent infections as well as aide in the tissue healing. The natural cascade of events are regulated by internal and intelligent signaling within your body orchestrating the healing process. We can use this same natural healing cascade to help nurse your damaged joints back to health through a simple process within about 30 minutes. However, is PRP a better choice than traditional treatments for arthritis. One recent study says “yes!”
IS PRP BETTER THAN COMMONLY USED TREATMENTS?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has superior results in reducing pain and restoring function compared to the standard treatments for arthritis such as corticosteroids (cortisone) or hyaluronic acid (chicken fat) injections for knee arthritis. A recent study in the European journal called Orthopede (Orthopade. 2019 Jan 8. doi: 10.1007/s00132-018-03659-5.) revealed that PRP injections provided the longest term pain relief of all three injections given for osteoarthritis of the knee. Researchers in China randomized 120 patients into three groups. Group A had 3 hyaluronic injections to their knee. Group B had one steroid injection and Group C had 3 PRP injections. Patients were followed for one year with standard questionnaires such as the Western Ontario and McMaster University (WOMAC) and Visual Analog Scales (VAS) to determine if they improved physical function as well as reducing pain. The study found that at 3 months after the injections, there were no differences in the scores between any group. However, at one year, only the PRP group had continued reduction of pain scores. The researchers concluded that “long term efficacy of PRP is superior to hyaluronic acid and steroid injections.”
So, in plain english, what does this study show? Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) may be the best injection choice for longer term pain relief for arthritis of the knee. All of the common injections we provide to the knee help reduce pain for a short period, but only PRP provides lasting pain relief at one year.
CELLULAR HEALING CUSTOMIZED PRP
Dr. Loniewski at Cellular Healing has been studying ways to improve PRP since 2005, and he has performed well over 4,000 of these procedures with most, but not all, patients noticing improvement. The key to successful treatment with PRP is not only understanding who is the best candidate for this treatment, but also understanding what type of PRP is the best for what condition. Just like antibiotic treatment, not all infections and patients respond the same to antibiotic such as penicillin. You have to match the right patient and condition to the right antibiotic. Dr. Loniewski uses the same principle using a variety of PRP preparations to help optimize your results. He also uses a special double spin technique aided by temperature changes to increase specific growth factors while reducing harmful byproducts. The result is a far superior PRP treatment with longer lasting pain relief in a greater percentage of patients.
If you would like to find out more about platelet rich plasma, attend one of our free seminars by registering HERE or book an appointment by clicking HERE. You can also call us anytime at 810-299-8552. Remember….”These are your cells for your healing!”