National Physical Fitness and Sports Month: Consider PRP Therapy for Back Pain

prp therapy for back pain

In the final part of our blog series honoring National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, we’re covering a lesser-known non-invasive therapy for back pain: Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy.

People who partake in physical fitness and sports often push their bodies to the limit. This dedication helps them reach their goals, but it can sometimes also leave them with unwanted pain or injuries. This wear and tear can frequently present itself as back pain.

And when pain or an injury occurs, returning to an active lifestyle is usually the first priority for those who are accustomed to it. PRP therapy, offered at MidAmerica Orthopaedics, can help alleviate back pain and restore function, expediting the recovery process to get you back to your physically active self again.

What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy?

PRP therapy involves injecting parts of your own blood to help your body heal itself.

It begins with taking a sample of your blood, which is then spun in a centrifuge to separate the platelets, plasma, and red and white blood cells. The concentrated platelets are mixed with some of the plasma, forming the “platelet rich plasma” mixture that is then injected into the site of your injury with a syringe.

At this point, your immune system responds to the injection by sending white blood cells to the damaged tissue. The white blood cells work to remove the damaged cells and prep them for healing. From here, stem cells, along with other cells, multiply to work on repairing and rebuilding the damaged tissue.            

Why Try PRP to Alleviate Back Pain?

Besides being non-invasive, PRP therapy is a natural alternative to other methods. It is literally using your own blood, so there are no chemicals or drugs being injected into your body.

While the science might sound a little new-age, PRP has actually been around for over a decade. Professional athletes have even received this form of therapy to help them get back into the game faster and stronger after an injury.

PRP may help delay or avoid surgery altogether in some cases and is an excellent option for people who are interested in alternative forms of treatment.

Additional benefits of using PRP therapy include:

  • Fast return of functionality after just one, two, or three injection treatments
  • No downtime or recovery time after treatment – you can return to your normal activity right away
  • Uses your body’s own natural healing abilities
  • May reduce or eliminate the need for anti-inflammatory or stronger medications

Who is a Good Candidate for PRP Therapy?

Mostly everyone is a good candidate for PRP therapy because of it being a natural, minimally invasive procedure. The specialists at MidAmerica Orthopaedics will discuss the potential risks and benefits of this procedure with you first to determine if it might be the best treatment option for your back pain.

In general, PRP therapy may be right for you if:

  • Physical therapy is not helping to strengthen muscles or alleviate pain
  • You have a sensitivity to anti-inflammatory medications
  • You are not finding pain relief from NSAIDs
  • Joint aspirations are not recommended or are not providing relief
  • Steroid injections are not preferred or are not providing relief

PRP Therapy Helps with More Than Just Back Pain

In addition to treating back pain, PRP injections can be used to treat a myriad of other pains and injuries. It is especially helpful for areas that typically have a slow healing time, such as ligaments and tendons. These parts of your body do not get much blood and because of this, healing is a long and hard process. PRP may help your injury heal faster, speeding up this typically slow recovery time.

Some common issues that can be treated with PRP therapy are:

  • Torn tendons
  • Tendinitis
  • Meniscus tears in your knee
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Spine, hip, and elbow injuries
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Joint pain
  • Pulled hamstring muscles

 

Talk with a Specialist Today About PRP Therapy

If you’ve been experiencing back pain or one of the injuries or pains mentioned above, PRP therapy might be right for you. Our highly-trained sports medicine specialists have extensive knowledge on PRP and other treatment options and will guide you in choosing the best methods for you and your specific needs.

To learn more about PRP therapy, make an appointment with MidAmerica’s Sports Medicine Clinic or give us a call at (708) 237-7200.

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