How PRP is Alleviating Joint Pain and Restoring Mobility to Aging Baby Boomers
Jan 01, 2023
One in four American adults suffer from achy stiff joints, and these numbers are expected to rise due to the aging baby boomer population.
Joint pain appears as a consequence of aging, but with time, all of us experience some degree of degeneration and overuse in our joints.
Unfortunately, many medications for managing joint pain come with the risk of developing side effects, especially when used for long periods. Anti-inflammatories can cause ulcers. Narcotics can cause dependence, and steroids suppress your immune system.
Are you looking for a side-effects-free alternative? Below, we asked our providers at Florida Pain Management Institute, located in Delray Beach, Florida, to explain how platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can make use of the body’s own healing mechanisms to heal joints.
The regenerative power contained in your platelets
Platelets are disc-shaped cells that are responsible for blood clotting. These cells rush to the scene when you suffer an injury and prevent you from bleeding out.
But that’s not their only role. Platelets are also rich in growth factors. These are proteins that regulate cell division, encourage regeneration of the damaged tissue, and promote healing. Growth factors also send out the call for stem cells to help even more with the growth of new healthy cells and tissues.
Stem cells are unspecialized cells that can turn themselves into any type of cell when needed.
What do PRP treatments look like and how are they used?
PRP treatments aren’t new. In fact, the first PRP treatment was conducted in 1972 during surgical procedures.
For achy joints, PRP treatments are non-invasive. They involve taking a few vials of your blood, spinning the blood in a centrifuge, and separating the platelets and growth factors from the rest of the blood components. Our experts then inject the platelet-rich plasma into the problem area.
PRP treatments can be used for repairing joints, ligaments, cartilage, muscles, and bones. Also, because the solution injected is made from your own blood, you don’t have to worry about any adverse effects.
To notice the full effects of PRP, you may need to wait about 8-12 weeks, though this timeline varies from patient to patient.
Find out if you’re a good candidate for PRP
If you’re an active boomer but have painful joints that are making it difficult to keep up with your lifestyle, contact us to schedule an appointment. Our staff will examine your joints and let you know whether you’re a good candidate for PRP. Good candidates for the treatment don’t have a history of cancer or blood clotting disorders.