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Understanding the Healing Power of Your Platelets

PRP therapy — platelet-rich plasma — uses your own blood to stimulate your body’s healing properties, restore function, and reduce pain, especially in joints such as your hips, back, and knees. The treatment may sound like oFrankenscience, but it’s been effective for professional athletes, including Tiger Woods.

At Arthritis & Osteoporosis Clinic, Dr. William Brelsford and his team offer this revolutionary therapy to help resolve pain and get you back to doing the things you love. If other treatments for your chronic pain haven’t provided enough relief, consider PRP as a treatment option.

What is PRP?

Your blood consists of plasma (the liquid), red and white blood cells, and platelets. Platelets are responsible for clotting and healing. PRP is your blood, but with a concentrated number of platelets. The concentrated platelets mean a concentration of healing factors, too.

PRP is created by taking a small sample of blood from your arm. We isolate the platelets and place the compound into a centrifuge, which spins the blood at a very high rate to further concentrate the platelet count. PRP has a concentration of platelets that’s 5-10 times greater than a normal blood sample. 

How does PRP help with healing?

The great increase in growth factors available in PRP helps speed up the healing process in painful areas of your body. The growth factors help your body restore, repair, and regenerate healthy tissue. PRP is usually injected into points of pain, such as the Achilles tendon, knee, or hip.

At first, you may feel increased pain in the affected area. But in just a matter of weeks, you feel relief from the pain. Dr. Brelsford can help you understand what to expect from your treatment, and your treatment plan depends on the area being treated and the extent of the damage there. Some people get relief with just one injection, while others need a series of PRP injections.

What type of pain can be treated with PRP?

PRP is especially effective for pain affecting the joints. This pain may be due to cartilage degeneration, such as osteoarthritis, or because of inflammation, due to bursitis or tendinitis.

Tennis elbow, Achilles tendinitis, patellar tendinitis (runner’s knee), and hip bursitis respond well to PRP. So do many cases of chronic lower back pain and osteoarthritis of the knee. If you have a severely pulled muscle, such as a hamstring, PRP may help you heal faster, too.

Why consider PRP therapy?

PRP therapy is far less invasive than classic joint replacement that requires surgery and weeks, or months, of healing. You experience no major blood loss, incisions, or anesthesia. And if other therapies, such as oral medications and steroid injections, are ineffective in relieving your chronic pain, PRP therapy may be for you. PRP therapy treatments aren’t rejected by your body, either, because the platelet-rich plasma is derived from your own blood.

How effective is PRP therapy?

PRP therapy can be incredibly effective, especially when included as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. This plan may include rest, strengthening and stretching exercises, as well as a limited continuation of anti-inflammatory medications.

At Arthritis & Osteoporosis Clinic, we want to help men and women in Tyler, Texas live the most pain-free life possible. Call our office at 903-596-8858 today to find out your options, including PRP, or request an appointment online.

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