Are you struggling with painful arthritis, damaged tendons, or orthopedic injuries? Does treating those conditions with a simple, in-office injection sound appealing? Platelet-rich plasma therapy, an advanced technique offered by Right Path Pain & Spine Center, in Davenport, FL, can help reduce those aches and pains. If you want to live your best life without being dependent on medication or resorting to surgery, this treatment may be for you.
What Is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy?
Have you ever scraped yourself and noticed yellowish liquid draining from the wound? That fluid is the part of the blood known as plasma. Plasma is filled with platelets that help the blood clot and support healing. During platelet-rich plasma therapy treatments, a patient’s plasma is injected into parts of the body that are painful or injured. This regenerative treatment can help heal damaged tendons, ligaments, and joints. It can also be used for cosmetic purposes, like preventing hair loss or rejuvenating aging skin.
How Much Does It Cost?
The cost of platelet plasma therapy treatment varies depending on the provider and the number of injections you need. This type of therapy is often not covered by insurance, and a series of treatments could cost $2,000 or more. But because this treatment can help patients avoid more costly or invasive options like surgery or long-term use of medications, many of the individuals we work with find that it’s worth every penny.
What Can This Treatment Help With?
Platelet-rich plasma therapy was originally used to treat tennis elbow, but in recent years this advanced technology has been used to address all kinds of ligament, muscle, and tendon injuries, as long as those injuries don’t involve a complete tear. These injections can reduce pain and give patients their mobility back. Platelet rich plasma therapy treatment is also sometimes used to address certain cosmetic concerns.
These injections can be used to repair tendons, ligaments, and muscle injuries. Chronic injuries like tennis elbow or acute injuries like knee sprain can all be addressed with these injections.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy can also be used to ease inflammation that can lead to stiff, painful joints. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, can be treated with these injections.
Plasma injections in the scalp can promote hair growth and prevent hair loss. Studies have shown that this treatment can effectively address androgenic alopecia, which is also referred to as male or female pattern baldness.
Some dermatologists use these injections to de-age the face by reducing wrinkles and improving overall skin tone and facial volume. Patients sometimes find that plasma treatments offer more natural results than dermal fillers, which can alter the shape of the face.
What Happens During Treatment?
Despite the sophisticated nature of these injections, this treatment can be easily performed in our office in less than an hour. We’ll start by drawing a small amount of blood that will then be placed in a centrifuge, which will spin the blood rapidly to separate its components. The plasma is then prepared and injected into the area you want to be treated. Occasionally an ultrasound or some other form of imaging may be used to pinpoint the best injection site.
What Is Required in the Way of Advance Preparation and Recovery?
We will likely ask you to stop taking blood-thinning medications like aspirin and ibuprofen before your injection. We’ll review your medications with you in advance and recommend which ones to stop taking. There’s not much of a recovery period for this treatment, although patients are encouraged to rest and refrain from washing the injection site for a couple of days.
Are These Injections Painful?
The physical sensation associated with these injections varies depending on where on the body they take place, but generally, they are not painful. A topical numbing cream can also be used to enhance your comfort.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
After evaluating your condition, we’ll recommend a customized treatment plan for you. Tendon injuries often require anywhere from one to three injections at two to four-week intervals. Joint injuries often require three injections, each of which is scheduled a week or two apart.
How Soon Will I See Improvement?
We know you’ll be eager to experience relief from your pain. But because these injections spur the body to heal on its own, it may take a few weeks for your results to fully develop. Injections into the muscles or joints often offer faster results because they have more circulation than tendons do.
How Does This Differ From Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cell therapy is another form of regenerative medicine offered by our practice that is slightly more involved. While platelet-rich plasma therapy uses just one component of the blood, stem cell therapy uses entire cells that are harvested from the patient’s body and then introduced in the area targeted for treatment.
Stem cells can renew themselves and transform into other types of cells, giving them the capability of repairing damaged tissue, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bone, and more. Stem cells are typically harvested from areas like the bone marrow in pelvic bones or abdominal fat and transferred to the damaged area. Stem cell therapy treatments take anywhere from two to four hours with minimal recovery and no hospital stay.
Which Treatment Is Best for Me?
Although platelet-rich plasma therapy and stem cell therapy are both regenerative forms of medicine, they work in slightly different ways to repair the body. Plasma treatments help an injured part of the body to heal itself, while stem cell therapy involves the placement of entirely new and adaptable cells into the injured area. For some patients, we recommend a combination of these two treatment approaches for powerful results.
What Benefits Are Associated With Plasma Treatments?
A Simple, Convenient Treatment
One of the many advantages of this treatment is that it is a simple, straightforward, and non-surgical approach to beating back pain and healing damaged tissues and tendons. This technique involves no incisions and no hospital stay, and it can be conducted in less than an hour in our office. Patients also don’t have to set aside time to recover afterward.
No Concerns About an Allergic Reaction
Because this injectable treatment uses blood drawn directly from the patient, there is no risk of an allergic reaction.
A Versatile Option
These injections can relieve pain associated with various conditions and make it easy for your body to function naturally. Sports injuries, arthritis in the joints, ligament injuries, and pain in the knee, hip, and shoulder can all be addressed with this injectable treatment.
Plasma Therapy Q&A
How Much Blood Will You Draw?
The amount of blood drawn depends on the injury that’s being treated, but it’s generally about two tablespoons: which is far less than you’d ever give in a blood donation.
Are There Any Side Effects I Should Be Concerned About?
Because these injections rely on plasma and platelets that are taken from your body, it’s unlikely that you’ll experience any side effects. One of the advantages of this treatment is that it uses the body’s blood to promote natural healing.
Will I Need to Fast Before Treatment?
Patients usually are not asked to fast before this treatment. Since you’ll be having a small amount of blood drawn, it’s a good idea to eat a good breakfast or lunch before your appointment and be well hydrated. If you are undergoing stem cell therapy or a combination of the two treatments, you may be asked to fast before your appointment.
How Does This Differ From a Cortisone Treatment?
The only thing that cortisone and plasma treatments have in common is that they are both injectables. Cortisone injections can relieve pain and inflammation in the joints and soft tissue, but they don’t address the underlying cause of the inflammation. Plasma treatments, on the other hand, promote the regeneration of tissue and therefore help address the underlying cause.
How Can I Get the Best Results?
Patients who get the best results aren’t significantly overweight, don’t smoke or abuse alcohol, and exercise regularly. They often tend to eat healthfully, stick to a consistent sleep schedule, and find ways to manage their stress.
Certain medications can also inhibit this effectiveness of this treatment. We’ll talk with you in advance about whether or not it is wise, and possible, for you to temporarily stop certain medications around the time of your treatment.
Am I a Candidate?
If you’re interested in finding out if you’re a candidate for this unique treatment, the first step is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Tom Porter, our founder and medical director. Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Dr. Porter attended medical school at Ohio State University and completed his medical residency and fellowship training at the University of South Florida.
Dr. Porter has a lifelong interest in physical fitness and physical health and wellness. He is a board-certified, highly experienced interventional pain physician who treats all painful conditions of the spine and limbs.
During your consultation, Dr. Porter will review your medical history and evaluate your areas of concern. He’ll work with you to determine if plasma therapy is the best approach for you. There are several signs you may be an especially good candidate:
You Meet Certain Health Criteria
The best patients are in good general health and don’t suffer from medical conditions like anemia, cancer, infections, or a low platelet count.
Your Condition Is Mild to Moderate
This treatment is ideal for patients who are seeking relief from mild to moderate pain or conditions. If your condition has progressed and is severe, plasma therapy may not fully relieve your symptoms.
You’re Seeking Alternative Treatment
Many of the patients who seek out plasma treatments have found that other options, like physical therapy, have not been successful. Other patients want an alternative to pain medications. If other approaches to treatment have failed you, or if you’re in search of a technique that doesn’t involve pain medication, plasma therapy could be just what you’ve been looking for.
Are You Ready to Try a New Approach to Pain Relief?
Are you looking for a simple, non-surgical approach to targeting inflamed and degenerated tissues? Our practice specializes in the latest pain therapies and relief procedures, and we can help determine if platelet-rich plasma therapy is an option for you. Call Right Path Pain & Spine Center, in Davenport, FL and schedule a consultation today.