FAQs About PRP Injections For Arthritis

Arthritis can cause joint inflammation which can affect your quality of life since you may experience pain, stiffness, and swelling with this condition. Treatments for arthritis can include medications, physical therapy, massage, or surgery depending on its severity. If you are looking into different treatments, one therapy you might want to consider is platelet-rich plasma injections. Read on to learn more.

What are PRP Injections?

As the name suggests, platelet-rich plasma is a concentration of platelets drawn from your own blood. Platelets are a type of cell that's used by the immune system to deliver a healing response. For example, if you develop a cut on your skin, then platelets cells rush to the area to form a clot. With PRP injections, the goal is to place this restorative plasma at the site of cellular damage, like an arthritis joint, so that it can heal inflammatory responses. Some PRP injections also contain stem cells. Unlike other cells, which can only ever be one type of cell, stem cells can transform into other cells, which can make them beneficial for arthritic patients who need new bone cartilage cells.

How Do PRP Injections Help Arthritis?

A double-blind, randomized trial found that PRP injections could alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis compared to the placebo group. While PRP isn't a cure-all for arthritis, the effects of the injections lasted about six months.

If the PRP injections include stem cells, like mesenchymal stem cells, you could also see improvements in arthritis symptoms. Another study found that after patients took PRP injections with stem cells, that there was improved cartilage thickness.

How Does Therapy Work?

If you go in for PRP injections, your doctor will first draw some of your blood and place it into a centrifuge. As the centrifuge spins, the platelet cells separate from the other blood components. The platelets may be mixed with stem cells. Some stem cells can be drawn from your own blood, but some stem cells might be from donor tissue. Once the plasma and stem cells are ready, your doctor will then inject the mixture directly into the arthritic joint. Your doctor might only need to do one injection, but if your arthritis is severe, then you might require several injections from different angles. You may require a few appointments before you start seeing the results of the injections. Again, PRP injections aren't cure-alls, so if you do find success with this treatment, you may need to visit your doctor a couple of times a year to maintain the results.

Reach out to a health and medical provider in your area for more information.

For more information on PRP stem cell therapy, contact a professional near you.