Joint pain is a common issue, especially as you age. Any place in your body where two bones come together is called a joint. These structures create flexibility in your skeleton so you can move.
Each of your joints has spongy tissue that helps your bones slide against each other easily and smoothly. Unfortunately, aging can degrade this tissue, creating joints that are less flexible. As this happens, your bones can start rubbing against each other, which can lead to arthritis, a common joint condition characterized by specific symptoms, including:
- Decreased motion
- Joint deformity
But, just because you have joint pain or arthritis, you don’t have to turn to prescription medications or surgery to find relief. Bonnie S. Friehling, MD, brings a holistic approach to her practice in Columbia, Missouri. When it comes to treating chronic joint pain, she recommends regenerative treatments, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy.
PRP therapy and regenerative medicine
Platelet-rich plasma therapy focuses on using your body’s natural ability to heal injured tissue and therefore lessen or eliminate chronic pain. This type of regenerative medicine uses natural healing agents in your blood to trigger new cell growth in areas of your body with degeneration, such as your joints.
Your blood has many critical components, including platelets. Your platelets play an essential role in the healing process. Not only do they activate the clotting process if you get injured, but they also contain important growth factors that stimulate the healing process, encourage tissue regeneration, and regulate cell division.
When Dr. Friehling concentrates your blood for PRP therapy, she creates a serum that contains 5-10 times more platelets and growth factors than is found in regular blood. In this concentrated form, she can use these powerful substances to trigger the healing process in joints throughout your body.
Using PRP therapy to treat joint pain
Platelet-rich plasma therapy can repair damage in many types of tissue, including your tendons, ligaments, muscles, bones, and cartilage. When used to address degenerative conditions causing joint pain, PRP can:
- Increase mobility
- Reduce joint friction
- Eliminate inflammation and pain
Platelet-rich plasma therapy can also stimulate the generation of new cartilage, which can help slow the progression of degenerative joint diseases.
PRP treatments are easy
In addition to being a more natural treatment for joint pain, PRP treatments are also relatively simple. First, Dr. Friehling draws your blood. Then she places it in a centrifuge to separate the plasma from the other components in your blood.
Then Dr. Friehling injects the serum into your problem joint. You may have mild discomfort or swelling after your injection, but this should resolve quickly.
Because PRP therapy treats pain by healing the damaged joint, it will take a little time for you to feel results. In most cases, you’ll start experiencing results within a few weeks as new tissue starts developing in the area.
As your joint continues to heal in the months to come, you should notice less pain and inflammation in the area as well as improved movement and range of motion. You should experience maximum results within three months. Depending on your joint pain, Dr. Friehling might recommend a series of PRP treatments.
To see if PRP therapy can reduce or eliminate your joint pain, book an appointment over the phone with Bonnie S. Friehling, MD today.