Joint pain is a common occurrence, especially as we get older. Whether you’re one of the 15 million Americans suffering from arthritis, you have an injury, or you have fibromyalgia, you know how debilitating joint pain can be. Thankfully, there’s a revolutionary way to treat joint pain in the growing field of regenerative medicine. This treatment is called platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
At our practice, Dr. Jeremy Woodson, a highly sought-after orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, offers PRP injections to treat joint pain. His goal is to help our patients feel better and overcome painful and limiting musculoskeletal problems.
Learn more about how PRP injections are changing the way we treat joint pain below.
If you think back to science class, you may remember our blood is made of four main ingredients: red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, and platelets. The platelets are best known for their clotting abilities, but they also contain powerful growth factors that encourage healing.
You’re probably very familiar with platelets without even realizing it. That’s because each time you cut your finger or get injured, platelets immediately swoop in to stop the bleeding. With their primary job completed, the platelets then release growth factors, which act as a call to action, signaling your body to send in additional resources, like stem cells. Together, they tackle inflammation and begin repairing your cut or other injury, as well as rebuilding tissue, from the inside out.
PRP therapy works in the same way. We use the healing power of platelets to tackle the inflammation in your joints. As the inflammation decreases, your joint pain should also subside.
The joints that aid in motion are called articulating joints. They’re especially vulnerable to pain, which can come on the heels of an injury, general wear and tear, or degenerative diseases like arthritis. Sometimes, the problem doesn’t lie in the bones of the joint, but instead in the soft tissues like muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.
We can repair the soft tissues, but one reason PRP therapy is a game-changer is because it helps the body rebuild cartilage, which isn’t renewed by the body. By rebuilding this valuable substance, you’ll have smoother function in your joints.
PRP comes from your own body. We draw some of your blood and place it in a centrifuge to isolate your platelets. This allows us to create a concentrate that’s 5-10 times more powerful than your normal blood. We mix this concentrate with a small amount of your plasma and use ultrasound imaging for guidance as we inject the PRP into your painful joint. Then, your platelets get to work by calling in more growth factors and stem cells to help rebuild healthier tissue.
To learn more about how PRP injections can help relieve your joint pain, call us at 405-230-9540 or request an appointment with Dr. Woodson online.