Of the more than 54 million people in the United States who suffer from some form of arthritis, more than 43% report physical limitations due to joint pain and inflammation.
Timothy Scott Beck, MD of Life Point Medical in Clayton, GA, Dr., wants to ensure that patients can move without pain, which is why they choose to approach a problem like arthritis from a regenerative angle.
Traditionally, we’ve treated arthritis by treating the symptoms. Still, thanks to new regenerative therapies, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, we’re able to help your joints heal and rebuild themselves using your body’s powerful resources.
Here’s a look at how PRP therapy is helping our patients make their way back into an active world again.
Arthritis is a catch-all term for more than 100 different diseases that can cause pain and inflammation in your joints. Far and away, the most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, a degenerative and progressive condition in which the cartilage in your joints begins to break down. Your cartilage is a slippery substance that’s designed to allow the bones inside your joint to glide together easily. However, when the cartilage starts to deteriorate, your bones are left unprotected, and they can rub together, causing pain and inflammation.
Treating this type of arthritis can be difficult as your cartilage doesn’t contain the resources necessary to repair itself, primarily because it doesn't have a good supply of blood. This means that we’ve been historically left to treat osteoarthritis symptomatically, starting with non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications.
Although these medications can offer short-term relief, they do little for the long-term health of your joints, which is where PRP therapy comes in.
PRP: Healing from within
Platelet-rich plasma therapy is a technique in which we harness the power of your platelets and redirect them into your damaged connective tissues to encourage healing and repair.
Your blood contains four primary ingredients:
- Red blood cells
- White blood cells
The primary role of your platelets is to clot your blood. Once accomplished, however, the role of platelets in healing is far from over as they release growth factors that call upon other healing resources to come in and help make the necessary repairs.
When it comes to arthritic joints, these growth factors are believed to:
- help reduce pain and inflammation
- stimulate new cartilage growth
- increase lubrication within the joint
Ultimately, our goal is to slow the progression of your arthritis, restoring your active life.
Harvesting your platelets
Another significant aspect of PRP therapy is that we use our body’s resources. We draw some of your blood for your PRP therapy and then separate the platelets in a special centrifuge. Once isolated, we mix this platelet concentrate back in with your plasma and inject the mixture directly into your arthritic joints.
We typically recommend a series of PRP treatments, which we space apart to allow time for your body to go to work to rebuild and regenerate from within. Throughout your treatments, you should realize gradual results.
Suppose you’d like to break free from the limitations caused by joint pain. Just call our office, or use our online outreach form.