Chronic Neck and Back Pain: Can PRP Therapy Help or Hurt?
Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) therapy may just be the antidote for those who continually suffer from chronic back and neck pain and who don’t wish to undergo invasive surgery or prescription medication.
Whether you’re struggling with habitual neck and/or back pain due to a past recreational/sports/random injury, automobile accident, over-exertion/repetitive motion, poor exercise habits (or lack thereof), a slipped disc, or a degenerative disease, seeking relief can be a pain in and of itself. Regardless, the pain can be debilitating, greatly limiting one’s quality of life and even mobility. However, with the innovation of PRP therapy, there may be a way to get back in the game of life – or your favorite pastime – with long-lasting relief that gets to the source of the pain.
A Review: What is PRP?
PRP (Platelet-rich Plasma) therapy involves extracting a small amount of blood from the patient to yield a concentrated number of rich platelets, where it is then spun in a centrifuge to separate it from the red blood cells. Plasma is the clear, liquid portion of blood comprised of proteins, water, and enzymes. The platelet-rich plasma is then strategically re-injected back into the injury site to speed-up the healing process, so patients can return to a more quality-filled way of life – pain-free and thriving! PRP therapy is a simple, quick, and minimally invasive technique that leaves the patient with significantly reduced downtime, no scarring, no cutting, and reduced chances for the need for surgery or more invasive therapies.
Common Causes of Back and Neck Pain
The following incidents are usually directly related to pain in the neck:
- Sports injuries
- Minor bumps and/or twists that may have damaged any of the soft tissues/tendons that form the structural networks responsible for keeping head and torso taut and erect
- Paget’s Disease of Bone
- Slipped disc/herniated disc
The following incidents are usually directly related to pain in any area of the back:
- Structural irregularities
- Bulging disc
- Ruptured disc
- Fungal/bacterial infection
How PRP Works to Relieve Your Pain in the Neck (and Back)
The platelet-rich plasma in your blood naturally contains a high concentration of platelets, which, in turn, contain a high number of growth factors, or regenerative qualities, that possess a huge impact on the body’s physiological healing processes. There are also special proteins that stimulate stem cells in the targeted area, prompting these cells to move directly into the treatment area. Growth factors and these messaging proteins work together to generate new, healthy tissue that will be used to repair the damaged, compromised tissue. PRP injections are directly injected into the areas where patients are experiencing pain to help expedite the body’s natural healing process and restore normal, pain-free movement and functionality.
Benefits of PRP Therapy for Chronic Back and Neck Pain
If you are struggling with chronic neck and back pain due to a past or recent injury, accident, poor lifestyle habits, or other degenerative issue, PRP may help diminish your pain and restore your quality of life. Patients have reported the following benefits of PRP for their neck and back pain:
- PRP takes advantage of the blood’s natural healing process to help reduce pain and inflammation, as well as improve functionality and movement within the joints, ligaments, tendons, and other soft tissue, including muscles and bones, too.
- Because PRP is derived from patient’s own blood source, risk of infection is very low with virtually a zero chance of acquiring an allergic response.
- Results from injections take approximately 1-2 weeks to take effect and usually last 6-9 months, on average.
- While steroid injections may relieve pain symptoms, PRP injections can ultimately repair and reverse the damage causing the pain and discomfort due to the regenerative properties of the growth factors in the patient’s PRP. PRP doesn’t just cover-up the discomfort, but corrects the root causes of the pain for long-term, noninvasive relief.
Am I a Good Candidate for PRP Therapy?
Patients considering PRP therapy to treat their chronic back and neck pain should be in good overall health. Unfortunately, those who’ve had/have any of the following should NOT consider PRP therapy:
- Hepatitis C
- Blood cancers/leukemia
- Liver disorders
Keep in mind, certain medications may impede on one’s PRP success and should be discussed with your doctor prior to receiving PRP therapy. Most patients will require 1-3 sets of PRP injections 4-6 weeks apart before results can be realized and pain begins to diminish.
Is PRP Your Best Shot in the Fight Against Chronic Back and Neck Pain?
If you’ve been needlessly suffering from persistent back and/or neck pain without much relief and wish to undergo an alternative with proven results to help mitigate your bodily woes, we invite you to take the first step by giving our Southern California office a call. Our highly trained specialists will be more than happy to book your appointment with Dr. Setareh to find out if the groundbreaking PRP therapy is your answer to living a thriving, quality-filled life free of pain.