Are you suffering from the effects of an injury or chronic pain like osteoarthritis? It can be disheartening to go through the motions trying to find a solution, only to be let down time and time again. The good news is PRP injections may be able to give your body the boost it needs. At Renew Health in Tempe and Goodyear, AZ, we offer this treatment as a way to help our patients heal their bodies from the inside out.
How Long Do PRP Injections Last?
In Most Cases, About Six Months
PRP injections use the platelets derived from your own blood to encourage healing in a specific area. Depending on your condition, your first treatments may be a series of injections spaced about four to six weeks apart. This can help jump-start the healing process and see if this treatment is going to work for you. After these first treatments, you can move on to maintenance injections.
Depending on your injury, we may have some suggestions when it comes to how often you should get follow-up treatments. Sticking to a schedule may help your results, but ultimately the choice is yours.
Why Stick to the Recommendation?
Coming in every six months is usually enough to maintain a better comfort level. Some patients may come in more often, while others may choose to schedule themselves only when they feel like it.
When it comes to our recommendation for you, we can take a look at how your body is responding to treatment, how severe your condition is, and how much improvement you’ve noticed. This will help us make an educated decision on how often we’d suggest you come in for treatment.
Chronic or Acute Injury Can Also Affect Your Timeline
While PRP can be very helpful for chronic pain, that isn’t all it’s good for. It can treat a wide variety of acute injuries as well. Whether you’re seeking out treatment for a chronic or acute injury will also have an effect on the treatment timeline.
When you set up an appointment, we can take a look at your condition as well as any other factors that may affect treatment. After this, we’ll be able to give you a more specific answer when it comes to how long you can expect results to last.
How Does PRP Work?
There are three steps to the treatment process each time a patient comes in for PRP therapy. First, you’ll have a few vials of blood drawn from your arm, which can then be processed in a machine known as a centrifuge.
The centrifuge uses fast rotation to force your blood to divide into layers. This process is what creates PRP, also known as platelet-rich plasma. Once the PRP has formed, we can draw it up and re-introduce it to your body. PRP is full of helpful nutrients and regenerative abilities. Your body should respond to the injection by bumping up its production of reparative cells in the area targeted by the PRP injection.
How Long Does Treatment Take?
You can expect to be in and out after around an hour. Since there’s no downtime associated with this treatment you’ll be able to get back to your daily life right away.
How Long Has PRP Been in Use?
PRP has been used for decades. It was first given its name in the 70s, when it was discovered that platelet-rich plasma had a higher platelet count than can be found in circulating blood. Soon after, people began to tap into the anti-inflammatory and regenerative abilities PRP injections had to offer.
The use of PRP therapy by athletes began to draw even more attention to this versatile treatment option. Not only can it be used alone, but it can be paired with many other treatments. It’s used during some surgeries, and its ability to mend tissue has even led to it being used for cosmetic facials.
What Are PRP Injections Used For?
Chronic Back and Neck Pain
Pain in the neck and back are both very common ailments. Work, age, and injury can all contribute to this pain, which can often progress with time. If you’ve tried and failed to find relief for your neck and back pain, PRP may be able to offer some healing and relief. Rather than using injections that contain steroids to treat the pain, PRP therapy can provide a natural alternative.
Some even better news is that while PRP can help reduce inflammation, it can also repair tissue, which may help resolve the actual source of your pain. How well PRP will work for neck and back issues will partly depend on what’s causing your pain, so during a consultation we can let you know if PRP has a shot of helping your comfort levels.
Why It Works
Platelets are one of the crucial building blocks found within our blood, and they have a lot of growth factors that help our body heal. In addition, PRP contains proteins that will call in surrounding stem cells and prompt them to heal injuries in the area.
This leads to new tissue replacing old, damaged tissue. The process is a natural one, but it doesn’t always happen as fast or as effectively as needed for comfort. PRP takes a natural process and concentrates it on a particular area, boosting its healing abilities.
Many patients who suffer from knee osteoarthritis don’t realize that there are alternative treatments available to help them. PRP may be able to help by repairing some of the damaged tissue around your knee joint, as it offers some soothing anti-inflammatory comfort.
This may help some patients either avoid, delay, or recover faster from knee surgery. Since PRP doesn’t cover up your symptoms, you’ll know it’s working when you can feel the difference. The goal with PRP knee injections is to not only improve comfort but hopefully your range of motion as well.
Repetitive Use Injuries
If you repeat a motion consistently, especially one that puts a tendon or muscle under strain, you could be at risk for a repetitive use injury. Repetitive use injuries can include things like:
- Carpal tunnel
- Tennis elbow
How It Can Help
These injuries can range from inconvenient to incapacitating. For example, if you work on a computer, something like tendonitis may drastically impact your ability to comfortably type. If you enjoy sports or do it for a living, a strain to your shoulder or arm could bench you for a long time.
PRP can speed up the healing process, and can even help restart the healing process for old injuries that never fully recovered.
It Can Help Some Types of Headaches
The high concentration of platelets found in PRP can help resolve some underlying issues that may contribute to chronic headaches or migraines. This can provide relief and hope for patients who are at their wit’s end trying to resolve stubborn headaches without any relief. While headaches can be caused seemingly at random, or by factors such as stress, in many cases there is an underlying cause that can be difficult to pinpoint.
The fact that headaches are often a secondary symptom is why PRP can help. As it puts its healing properties to work, PRP may help reduce the frequency or severity of headaches, and in the best cases may resolve recurring headaches altogether. How effective PRP is in treating headaches will depend on what’s causing them, but PRP may be able to help if your headaches are caused by tissue damage or inflammation.
Ligament and Tendon Injuries
Injuries sustained to your ligaments or tendons are common and can be acute or repetitive injuries. The problem is, just because they’re common doesn’t mean they heal easily. Tendons and ligaments both play a crucial role in connecting either bone to muscles, or bones to each other. Some common injuries are to the elbow and knee, but shoulders can fall victim as well.
Areas with plenty of blood flow tend to heal quickly, which is the problem when it comes to soft tissue injuries. There’s a limited amount of blood flow throughout tendons and ligaments, which makes them slow healers. PRP therapy cuts out the middle man and delivers platelet-rich plasma right to the injured area, which can boost up that healing process.
1. Does Age Affect Treatment?
Aging bodies start to lose some regenerative ability. Age can make healing a longer, less effective process. PRP can be helpful for older patients to heal more effectively. It may take a little longer to see results, but PRP can still help support your healing journey.
2. Is PRP Really Safe?
We will only use PRP from your own blood to treat you, so there’s no patient that’s going to be treated with someone else’s PRP. Since the injection is made from your own blood, your body isn’t having anything new or foreign introduced to it, just a strengthened and concentrated version of the platelets already found naturally.
This means there isn’t much for your body to react to, but we are still more than happy to go over any questions or concerns you have about the process during a consultation. We will go over your health as well to ensure that your safety is our first priority, and that PRP is the right call for you.
3. Are PRP Injections Different From Cortisone Injections?
Yes, cortisone injections are synthetic corticosteroids, so they aren’t completely natural products. They are used to reduce pain and inflammation, but they don’t have the ability to help the body heal. They certainly can be helpful for people suffering from chronic pain, but they aren’t a good fit for everyone.
PRP, on the other hand, can help reduce inflammation and promote healing at the same time. PRP may be a good alternative for you if you are concerned about using steroids, or if you are hoping to improve your symptoms by treating the underlying cause of your pain.
4. Can I Combine PRP With My Current Treatments?
In most cases, yes. PRP tends to combine well with other treatments and shouldn’t interfere with them, but to be safe we still may go over any medication or treatment you’re currently receiving to make sure that it can safely combine with PRP therapy.
5. Am I a Good Candidate?
If you are healthy enough to have your blood drawn, you may be a good candidate for PRP therapy. During a consultation, we can answer your questions and we’ll ask some of our own as well, to check over whether or not PRP is the treatment that has the best shot at helping you. Our goal is to help your body feel its best, and our passion is finding the right fit for our patients.
Stop By for a Consultation
To learn more about PRP and how it could help you, reach out to our team at Renew Health in Tempe and Goodyear, AZ, to set up your consultation!