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Platelet-Rich Plasma For Fibromyalgia

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5 Ways Platelet-Rich Plasma Is Relieving Pain in America

Few things are as life-shrinking as chronic pain. Health economists report that chronic pain costs our nation more than $635 billion each year in medical treatment and lost productivity – more than cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Painkillers have been the only relief medication in modern history. That’s changing with Platelet-Rich Plasma. It has been emerging as one of the key players in pain management.

In any life that’s exclusively ruled by pain, Platelet-Rich Plasma has the power to bring back pleasure and normalcy. It’s certainly a better option for those who’re getting by on four or five Advils a day and wondering what the long term consequences would be.

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First of all, Platelet-Rich Plasma injections are completely safe. The PRP, prepared by centrifuging the patient’s blood in a special blood tube, works in a two step way. First the injections, often guided by ultrasound, breaks up the tissues and second, the growth factors in the PRP helps rebuild the entire tissue. This produces a healing effect and reduces pain.

Here are five common types of pain that can be healed with Platelet-Rich Plasma.

1. Arthritis pain

It’s been well-proven that a few shots of Platelet-Rich Plasma can produce a huge effect for Arthritis patients. It has the potential to…

  • Inhibit inflammation and thus slowing down degeneration
  • Stimulate cartilage formation
  • Kickstart the production of lubricating fluid

These activities in the affected site ends up reducing the pain sensation.

As a long term effect, Platelet-Rich Plasma injections tend to preserve the joints in more than 70% of the cases – as reported by a landmark study in 2013. Recent studies have shown similar results too. They discovered that a two or three injection treatment over a period of 4-6 weeks with Platelet-Rich Plasma does more benefit that similar injection treatments with either Corticosteroids or Hyaluronic Acid. Moreover, the cartilage degeneration was significantly slowed even for patients in advanced stages of Osteoarthritis.

The researchers also conclude that repeating the injections after 6 months ensured better results.

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2. Neurological pain

Platelet-Rich Plasma is one heck of a wonder treatment whose healing potential seems to be expanding everyday and seems like it’s only limited by the physician’s imagination. The latest of those new discoveries is in the field of nerve regeneration and the resulting neuropathic pain. Nerve fibers consisting of neurons are very delicate structures and not much has been discovered about its operating mechanism. But recently, platelet rich plasma have been shown to promote the restoration of nerve fibers.

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In a study performed at Hasanuddin University in Indonesia, Platelet-Rich Plasma was successful in nerve regeneration for patients with leprosy peripheral neuropathy – a situation where all traditional treatments have failed. Which means PRP injections are effective in restoring sensations when it has been lost. This is remarkable news.

Then there is another study conducted in Greece the shows very encouraging mid-term results regarding PRP for treatment of Carpal tunnel syndrome.

All of this is proof that Neuropathic pain can be alleviated by Platelet-Rich Plasma. This paper by a researcher at the University of Puerto Rico analyses how Platelet-Rich Plasma has been able to eliminate neuropathic pain. He reports that PRP’s ability to promote axon regeneration is the key.

Here’s a video from a Rejuv Medical where a patient explains how she had PRP Injections for Nerve treatments and how it changed her life remarkably.

3. Chronic back pain

Chronic back pain and sciatica are mysterious conditions and physicians generally have a hard time figuring out what’s causing them. They first thing they do is to scan the lower back area for defects. When they find one, they’ll recommend surgery to correct that defect even though they have no idea if that defect is indeed the culprit of the pain. When they can’t find any defects, they end up being puzzled and sent the patient away with a bunch of Advils.

In a spine health forum, a patient explains his situation which was similar. His physician suspected the tears in L4-L5 spine segment to be the causing the pain. But there were minor tears and bulges everywhere, so the physician was confused. The patient ended up having to take 8 Advils a day. Unable to continue with that, the patient skeptically tried Platelet-Rich Plasma injections. He went from not being able to sit back in office or drive in a car (even with those medications) to stopping the medications altogether and going on a family trip overseas. Talk about a dramatic shift in life experience!

Another patient on the same forum describes how she had PRP injection for chronic pain in the cervical spine, and it’s been pain-free for two years.

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These kind of stories are supplemented by occasional clinical studies like this where the patients not only had experienced near complete pain relief but also were able to sustain those results for 2 years. This is remarkable for a degenerative disease, aka, a condition that worsens as time goes by. Here are another study conducted in China and another one by Japanese researchers.

4. Joint Pain

In addition to back and knees, almost all other joints are being treated by Platelet-Rich Plasma now. As the science of PRP evolves, the treatment is vigorously gaining popularity with more and more patients demanding it from their physicians. After all, the procedure is incredibly straightforward and is easily understood by most. The physicians hardly need to talk before the patient accepts eagerly.

Hence the doctors are now quick to prescribe Platelet-Rich Plasma for any case of chronic bursitis – in areas like fingers, elbow, toes, hip, shoulders, neck, wrist, ankle, and hip – and the results are almost always positive.

In fact, Platelet-Rich Plasma can be – and must be – prescribed for more than 50% of the musculoskeletal issues that are usually treated with surgery or steroid injections.

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5. Post surgical pain

Surgical pain relief is one of the newer areas where Platelet-Rich Plasma is gaining ground. This is primarily to take advantage of the wound-healing and bone regeneration aspects of PRP, but pain-relief is a very evident beneficial side-effect. Some medical perfusionists advice Platelet-Rich Plasma after almost all surgeries including Neurosurgery, Tumor removal surgery, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Head and Neck Surgeries, Reconstructions and Cosmetic Surgery, Orthopedic/Spinal Surgery, Hand and Foot Surgery, Bone Graft Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery and Bariatric Surgery.

By cutting short the time it takes to heal from the wounds of surgery, Platelet-Rich Plasma plays a pivotal role in assisting patients get productive as early as possible. And when done in conjunction with surgery, Platelet-Rich Plasma injections are almost always paid for by the insurance provider covering the surgery.

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The beginning of the end of orthopedic surgery?

At a time when big hospitals are racing towards a possible automation of orthopedic surgeries, there are some physicians who believe that the rise of Platelet-Rich Plasma together with the rise of stem cell technology marks the beginning of the end for 80% of the orthopedic surgeries. They say science is finally waking up to the fact that human intervention is not the most efficient way of dealing with musculoskeletal issues. Rather, it’s best to provide the necessarily biologics in the form of PRP and stem cells so that the body can invoke it’s own healing.

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I hope you agree – because today’s regenerative medical trends are certainly pushing the medical industry in that direction.

If you haven’t started offering Platelet-Rich Plasma – or would like to know some general protocols, we would love to share them with you. Just call us at (844) 377-7787 or email via hello@drprpusa.com.

Platelet-Rich Plasma For Fibromyalgia — A Closer Look
What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia translates to pain in the body. Often it’s long term, especially in the joints, muscles and tendons. Although no one knows it’s root cause, we believe it’s the result of lack of sleep, fatigue, anxiety and depression. Upon closer look, we can see the obvious links of the disease to various other degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis, repetitive use damage and problems with connective tissues. Meaning, people who have fibromyalgia experience all or any of the other degenerative disease symptoms.

Could it be that fibromyalgia is the result of overall tissue degeneration?

Probably. Now tissue degeneration can occur due to a lot of reasons. Major one being medications such as NSAIDS and narcotics that block inflammatory response and complete healing. Unfortunately, these are the first remedies that comes to most physician’s mind when they hear the term fibromyalgia. These might help in the short term but for long term we need safe regeneration of tissues.

Platelet-Rich Plasma For Fibromyaglia

Safe and Effective Way For Tissue Regeneration

We know that the primary content in connective tissues like tendons and ligaments is collagen—the substance that literally holds the body together. It’s the scaffold that provides strength and structure. So when we talk of regeneration, it’s primarily regeneration of collagen. And that’s what Platelet-Rich Plasma is good at—it stimulates the cells with growth factors the result of which is healthy production of natural collagen.

Platelet-Rich Plasma, How Does It Do What It Does?

For one, Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) contains significant concentration of platelets, which when activated releases growth factors. These growth factors are the known to trigger proliferation of tenocytes, fibroblasts, chondrocytes, osteoblasts, and other protein-rich cells. The fibroblast is the one that creates collagen. So injecting PRP into any area results in natural production of new collagen.

The basic steps for preparing platelet-rich plasma involve drawing one or two vials (20-40cc) of blood and spinning it in a centrifuge for 4 minutes. Adjustments may need depending on the patient’s hemoglobin rate. Prior to injecting the PRP, the physician can also perform local anesthesia with lidocaine or something similar. Additionally, ultrasound imagery may be needed for joints so the physician can guide the needle into the right spot.

Repeated injections are definitely helpful. And they are best done with 2-4 weeks interval in-between. And standard rates are between $600 and $800 per injection area.

Platelet-Rich Plasma For Fibromyaglia

The Results?

Although PRP doesn’t offer immediate relief like that offered by narcotics and NSAIDS, in the long run, the story about the pain is a much more pleasant one. We don’t have specific cases of dramatic recovery from fibromyalgia because it’s not easy to quantify the results. On the other hand, hundreds of pain management physicians thank PRP for many of their patient’s success. Here’s what one patient from Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine has to say:

“Dr. Gary suggested a course of PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections to reduce the pain and swelling in my knees. I began once-a-month treatments in September, 2011, and by the time I went on a vacation in December, I noticed a dramatic improvement in pain and mobility! I hardly took any over-the-counter pain medications during the trip.”

That’s just one of the hundreds of thousands of patients who’ve benefitted from PRP. But certainly it’s not a one-size-fits-all magic bullet either. Sometimes the effect is less dramatic. One major factor for this is hormone levels. Sometimes an excess of hormones like estradiol can completely block connective tissue regeneration. If that’s the case, supplements need to be taken to counter this effect. Dietary adjustment also helps.

What else is PRP good at? According to Active Life Physical Medicine & Pain Center, PLLC, which has administered PRP therapy to more than 400 patients for various tendinopathies, ligament strains, meniscal tears, degenerative joint disease, and various other non-healing painful areas, “The most widely used application for PRP, however, is in treating lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow). One study of 140 patients with elbow epicondylar pain showed a 60% improvement of pain 8 weeks after PRP injection, compared with a 16% improvement in control patients; the PRP-treated patients reported an 81% improvement at 6-month follow-up.”

Platelet-Rich Plasma For Fibromyaglia

Lack of sleep and stress affects Fibromyalgia

Back to fibromyalgia, one of the most influencing factor lies in the patient’s mind. Anxiety, depression and lack of sleep has to be improved. Because without proper sleep and proper relaxation, the body simply refuses to slip into its growth phase where growth factors are abundantly generated. The underlying stress releases cortisol hormone which can lead to proteolysis (breakdown of proteins and growth factors) and muscle wasting.

When not to use Platelet-Rich Plasma?

According to International Cellular Medicine Society (ICMS) PRP must not be administered when existing conditions of platelet dysfunction, thrombocytopenia, hemodynamic instability, or septicemia are present.

PRP Is Not Uniformly Effective

At the end of the day, the verdict is still in favor of Platelet-Rich Plasma for Fibromyalgia—a condition where our body’s own natural healing process is in dysfunction. But clinically, we have seen a variety of factors affecting the outcome. Younger, non-smoking patients with a specific condition tend to enjoy better healing response. People who’re older with much diffused problems obviously will have less benefit but there will be benefits nevertheless. Especially when it comes to bones, ligaments and joints where PRP is the first-line healing treatment. That being said, there still is a very minority of cases where patients experience zero improvement (about 0.1%).

With such dramatic odds stacked in your patient’s favor, why wouldn’t you recommend it?

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