The future of pain management involves regenerative medicine. Currently, virtually all pain management treatments involve reducing or eliminating pain with methods that do not heal the problem. While there are very effective treatments in pain management to do this, what we really want is pain reducing treatments that help alter the problem at hand, such as arthritis and soft tissue inflammation or degenerative disc disease.
Platelet rich plasma therapy, also known as PRP, represents a huge step in the regenerative medicine category. This treatment is a low risk therapy that involves simply taking a person’s own blood. The blood is placed in test tubes and spun in a centrifuge machine very fast for about 10 minutes. This separates the blood into three layers. The top layer contains concentrated platelets and growth factors.
This is the layer that is used as platelet rich plasma by pain clinics in Orlando, West Palm Beach, pain management Fort Myers and more. Out of the 30 to 60 mL taken from a person’s blood, 5 to 10 mL end up being usable as PRP. PRP is then injected into the problem area, which may include tennis elbow where there is soft tissue inflammation, arthritis which is mild to moderate, rotator cuff tendinitis, ligament injuries, Achilles problems and more.
PRP sparks up an inflammatory reaction which can initially make the area more painful than it was before, but typically only for a couple days. The platelets and growth factors then help to heal the damaged area rather than just simply masking pain. In addition, PRP is an attractant for the body’s own stem cells. As stem cells infiltrate the area, they can also provide some tissue regeneration.
Three of the major professional sports leagues have approved of the use of PRP along with the World Anti Doping Association.
Multiple professional athletes have had the procedure including Tiger Woods, Dwight Howard, Hines Ward, Troy Polamolu and quite a few others.
More and more research studies are coming out in favor of platelet rich plasma. There was a recent study out of South Florida looking at PRP for epicondylitis of the elbow including both golfers and tennis elbow. Patients did extremely well overall with the treatment, and less than 10% ended up needing surgery. Quite a few patients got rid of all their pain and most were very pleased with the outcome.
Another recent study out of the Hospital for Special Surgery looked at the injections with PRP for moderate degenerative arthritis. In this study, follow-up MRIs showed that in three out of four of the patients, no further degenerative arthritis was noticed on high-resolution MRI scans. Clinically, the injected patients had statistically significant improvements in their pain along with functional abilities.
These studies are very exciting. If platelet rich plasma can be shown in larger studies to have long-term pain reducing effects and regenerative capability for these types of conditions, it will be a total homerun. It’s a low-risk procedure and cost anywhere from $500 to $1000 per injection. This is much less than the typical regenerative medicine type product. It may be necessary to have a series of injection with one every few weeks.
Pain clinics in Florida may offer PRP treatment, and it is being shown to help a lot with various soft tissue and arthritis conditions. National Pain Institute, for one, offers platelet rich plasma at its various locations. Visit THIS PAGE to find a Florida pain management clinic close to you!