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PRP and Osteoarthritis: Addressing Cartilage Degeneration and Joint Function

PRP and Osteoarthritis: Addressing Cartilage Degeneration and Joint Function

If you have osteoarthritis, the protective cartilage in your knees, hips and other joints slowly deteriorates. This process causes pain and stiffness, and it also impacts joint function and mobility. Fortunately, there are ways to address this degeneration and improve quality of life. One innovative treatment we offer at NIVA Health is PRP, or platelet-rich plasma therapy. Here is more about PRP and how it could help you.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, or OA, is a common form of arthritis which affects millions of people. It occurs when the cartilage in joints breaks down. Cartilage acts as a cushion between bones, allowing for smooth, pain-free movement. When it is damaged or worn, bones rub together, causing many uncomfortable and disabling symptoms.

The most common symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Inflammation

These symptoms may worsen with physical activity or after sitting or standing for long periods of time. People with OA also may develop painful bone spurs and joint deformity.

Traditional Treatments for Osteoarthritis

Currently, there is no cure for OA. However, there are many helpful treatments which manage symptoms and improve quality of life. Each osteoarthritis care plan must be developed according to the patient’s general health and physical condition and desired therapeutic outcomes.

The most common treatments include:

  • Medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Assistive devices, such as canes, or braces
  • Weight management
  • Heat and cold therapy
  • Surgery

Platelet-rich Therapy for Arthritis Pain Treatment

While the treatments outlined above can provide relief for the symptoms of osteoarthritis, some interventions come with their own set of side effects and may not address the root cause of OA – like taking medication. In addition, surgery can address the root cause of OA, but it is invasive and hard on the body. Fortunately, there are natural alternatives which help manage symptoms without the potential risks associated with traditional treatments.

One of the most promising therapies is platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, therapy. PRP therapy for arthritis pain is composed of your own blood platelets. Before the PRP procedure, your provider will take a sample of your own blood and spin it down in a centrifuge. This lab process concentrates the blood components up to 10 times higher than before, increasing the effectiveness of the natural healing factors they release into your system. PRP injections promote tissue healing and reduce painful inflammation.

Studies show that these injections seem to improve mobility in joints damaged by osteoarthritis. While cartilage may not regenerate after PRP treatments, it does not degrade further. Patients with arthritis find that PRP decreases their pain, with virtually no side effects.

Also, when compared to traditional treatments such as corticosteroid injections or use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), platelet-rich plasma therapy has no real downtime. It poses no risk of allergic reactions or infections because it is made from the patient’s own blood. This makes PRP injections a safe and accessible option for those seeking relief from osteoarthritis pain.

What Will My PRP Treatment Plan Be Like?

In general, a medically qualified patient will receive a number of injections spaced some months apart as determined by his or her provider.

The injections usually require some local anesthetic to numb the joint.  Most patients experience little to no discomfort during the procedure.

After getting PRP injections, there may be mild soreness or stiffness in the treated joint for a couple of days only, but there is no appreciable downtime. Ask your physician when to return to strenuous exercise or job-related tasks. Staying well-hydrated and consuming a nutritious diet are important to healing as well. Your healthcare provider will tell you when you should exercise and/or go to physical therapy.

PRP Therapy for Arthritis Pain in Georgia and Florida

At NIVA Health, our professional team is devoted to your optimal health and joint function. Platelet-rich plasma therapy is just one of the many treatment options we offer.

To learn more about it, call us for a consultation at (866) 377-5872, or request a visit online here. We will be happy to explain PRP therapy and how it may help you optimize joint health and function. We have locations in the states of Florida and Georgia.

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