Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a revolutionary treatment method that has been around for quite a few years now. However, it has gained traction in various healthcare applications relatively recently. The following article highlights the potential benefits of PRP for knee pain relief, in particular, knee pain caused by osteoarthritis.
A Serious Health Concern
Knee pain is a prevalent problem among adult men and women alike. While sports injuries and falls are among the common causes, in most cases, it is a symptom of osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a growing health concern among the adult population. More than 30 million people in the US alone are affected by this joint disorder. That’s almost one in every four adults!
According to a survey, osteoarthritis is the second most expensive problem treated in various hospitals across the country, accounting for a total of over $16 billion spent in medical bills nationwide.
Treatment for osteoarthritis usually involves:
- Oral and topical painkillers
- Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Oral supplements, such as chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, for joint health
In other words, treatment plans mostly focus on subduing the symptoms and slowing down the progression of the disorder. Patients are often asked to improve their diet, change the lifestyle, and the likes to better manage the risk factors of osteoarthritis.
In severe cases, total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is often required. Or the patient is prescribed an injection therapy. The four main injection therapies for treating osteoarthritis include:
- Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), and
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
Of all these treatment modalities, PRP therapy is, by far, the safest and most effective.
PRP for Knee Pain Relief – Why It Works
Surgeons have used PRP for promoting cell regeneration and faster healing since the 1980s. Investigations into the use of PRP for treating bone and joint disorders, such as osteoarthritis, have been ongoing for over two decades now. However, recent research has confirmed its safety and efficacy in alleviating the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
The reason behind this is that PRP replenishes the affected joints with healing elements, providing a completely targeted action for pain relief.
In case, you are not sure, PRP injections are made from a sample of blood obtained from the patient. The sample is concentrated through centrifugation so that the number of platelets is more than 200% of the normal composition. When administered into the knee, this biocompatible substance boosts cartilage repair and promotes healthy tissue growth. It also fights inflammation, which is typically the main source of pain.
Moreover, PRP injections enhance the production of collagen while supporting bone and vessel remodeling at the same time. This not only helps reduce discomfort but also improves joint mobility and flexibility, which may have been affected by the condition.
The safety of PRP therapy further boosts the viability of this therapeutic technique for treating knee osteoarthritis. Since it is derived from the individual’s own blood, the chances of experiencing an allergic reaction or unwanted side effects with a PRP injection are next to none.