Wear and tear on your joints is inevitable, but arthritis often speeds up that process. If you're living with arthritis in one or more of your joints, the pain and stiffness is sometimes unbearable.
While exercise, over-the-counter medications, and other home remedies help, they're simply a band-aid for the real problem.
Dr. Timothy Scott Beck and the team at Life Point Medical understand how frustrating arthritis can become. If you're looking for a long-term treatment option without having surgery, PRP is what you've been looking for.
What causes arthritic joints?
Arthritis is a chronic problem that leads to damage in your joints. There are varying forms of arthritis, each leading to different types of joint damage.
Osteoarthritis, one of the most common types of this disease, causes wear and tear on the protective tissues in your joints. The cartilage is a type of tissue that protects your bones and keeps them from rubbing together.
When you have osteoarthritis, the disease damages the cartilage, leading to inflammation and joint pain.
Rheumatoid arthritis is another common form of the disease caused by an autoimmune problem. When you're living with rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system mistakenly attacks the protective lining in your joints, causing redness, pain, and inflammation.
The facts on PRP
Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is a type of regenerative medicine. One of the best aspects of PRP therapy is that it comes from your blood.
The liquid portion of your blood, called plasma, contains multiple types of cells, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
The platelets in your blood are the first cells on the scene when you injure yourself to help clot your blood. They also have significant growth proteins essential in rebuilding your tissues at the injury.
Dr. Beck uses PRP to harness those growth proteins, injecting them into damaged joints in concentrated amounts for the best outcome. After he injects the PRP, the platelets go to work right away, rebuilding your tissues.
PRP is a simple procedure that starts with a blood draw. Dr. Beck then places your blood in a machine that spins the blood to separate the plasma and platelets from the other components of your blood.
Once this happens, Dr. Beck takes the PRP from the machine and injects it into your joint. The platelets are incredibly concentrated, meaning more growth proteins are available.
Seven significant benefits of PRP on your joints
When you're living with arthritis, you want relief in any way possible. Many treatments help but only mask the pain related to the disease. PRP, however, works to heal damage within the joint, allowing for several benefits, which include:
1. Pain reduction
You feel immediate relief from the anesthetic medication Dr. Beck injects and the PRP. After a PRP injection, the platelets heal damage and inflammation immediately. You should begin to feel less discomfort over the next few weeks as inflammation subsides.
2. Improved joint function
As the PRP continues to work within the affected joint, you slowly begin to notice improved functionality in your joint. With reduced inflammation and new tissue growth, you quickly return to normal activities.
3. Repair of damaged tissue
The growth proteins in PRP begin working right away at the damaged sites in your joint. These growth proteins stimulate new cell growth in areas like your cartilage and bone, resulting in less pain and better mobility.
4. Increase lubricating fluids
PRP works in various ways to help with arthritis, including stimulating the production of more joint fluid. The joint fluid is essential to pain reduction, as it helps your joint glide smoothly, avoiding painful friction.
5. Slows down osteoarthritis
Platelets are known for their growth proteins that stimulate new tissue growth. Osteoarthritis causes the breakdown of cartilage in your joint, which is how PRP helps slow the progression of the disease.
6. Reduces inflammation
Inflammation is your body's response to injury or illness, protecting areas from more damage. Osteoarthritis often results in severe inflammation within the damaged joint.
PRP helps to decrease inflammation by slowly repairing damage within the joint, lowering your body's inflammatory response as the joint heals.
7. Increased mobility
You notice improved mobility in the injected joint weeks to months after a PRP injection. As the platelets work to repair the tissues, there's less inflammation and pain, which allows you to move around more efficiently.
You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Beck and the team at Life Point Medical today by calling 706-782-0016 or using the online tool for a consultation at our Clayton, Georgia, office.