Arthritis damages the cartilage in your joints. Injuries cause joint inflammation and pain. Platelet-rich plasma injections help your body heal faster. PRP injections are becoming more and more common as a treatment option as studies validate the efficacy of this natural approach. A PRP injection in the knee, for example, is appropriate for most injuries and diseases of that joint. Come to our sports injury and pain management clinic to get your pain evaluation and Platelet Rich Plasma treatment. Meet our pain doctor Febin Melepura M.D. to get the relief you need in the safe, reassuring hands of the best pain management specialists in NYC.
There’s an old saying that the body is its own best healer. In the case of platelet-rich plasma (PRP), there’s some truth to that. Platelet-rich plasma is taken from your own body and then injected back into a joint like an ailing knee. The injection offers relief from painful conditions such as tendonitis and arthritis.
Platelets are the components in your blood that promote healing. The practice of platelet-rich plasma injections puts a concentration of platelets into a damaged joint to help your body heal it faster. The platelets encourage the production of healthy cells. PRP injections are especially useful for joint and tendon injuries.
A PRP injection in the knee can relieve joint pain and stiffness in people with osteoarthritis. Joint pain, inflammation and stiffness aren’t due only to arthritis, but also to torn or stretched tendons, misaligned bones, or weak muscle tone. PRP injections help heal all of these.
The Basics of the Procedure
PRP injections start with one or more vials of your own blood, typically drawn from your arm. The blood is placed into a centrifuge, which separates the platelets from the rest of the blood. This platelet-rich concoction is then mixed with your blood plasma and injected into your painful joint.
A PRP injection in the knee, elbow, ankle, or any other joint can be done in your Manhattan sports medicine office. Your physician numbs the site before injecting the plasma. In some cases, the doctor uses ultrasound or fluoroscopic technology to guide the injection. The procedure takes about an hour, although it varies according to your needs.
After the Injection
PRP injections aren’t an instant fix. If you injure the tendons around your kneecap, for example, a platelet-rich plasma injection in the knee isn’t going to have you leaping tall buildings in Midtown. Instead, the injections help speed up the recovery process as you employ other methods of healing, such as resting the joint and taking anti-inflammatory medication.
After receiving platelet-rich plasma injections, continue to care for your injury or ailment by:
- Allowing your tendons, muscles and ligaments time to heal
- Not exerting yourself or your problem joint
- Applying ice and heat in 20-minute sessions
- Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication to ease discomfort during this time
- Listening to your doctor if he recommends physical therapy to prevent you from re-injuring your joint
Side Effects and Risks
Because the plasma for the PRP injection comes from your own body, side effects are few. There are possible side effects from the injection itself, including:
- Pain at the injection site
- Tissue damage
- Nerve damage
Any injection carries a small risk of infection at the site of the puncture. Follow all of your doctor’s aftercare instructions to reduce the risk of developing an infection.
Are PRP Injections for You?
When helping you decide whether platelet-rich plasma injections are right for you, your Manhattan pain management physician considers the following:
- Your medical history
- Your lifestyle, age and overall health
- Other treatments you’ve tried, such as medication, ice, physical therapy or steroid injections
- Whether the injury is chronic – developing over a period of time, as with runner’s knee or tennis elbow – or acute – developing suddenly as the result of a single activity or incident
Platelet-rich plasma injections work best when combined with other therapies, including stem cell therapy. Before you decide on PRP injections, discuss a follow-up plan with your doctor. Whether it’s simply resting the joint or engaging in physical therapy sessions to strengthen the joint, you must dedicate yourself to a comprehensive care plan to ensure your future joint health.
Preventing Future Injury
After you have a platelet-rich plasma injection and you’ve fully recovered, the last thing you want is to find yourself in pain again. Take good care of your joints — from your neck to your knees and toes, and all points in between. Follow these tips to prevent future injuries:
- Always stretch before exercising. Warm up your muscles so that they’re flexible and less likely to overstretch or tear.
- Ease into new workouts gradually. Jumping into an intense exercise regimen after leading a sedentary lifestyle is a sure way to find yourself at a NYC pain management practice, asking for a PRP injection in the knee.
- Support your joints. From wearing proper footwear to watching your step, keeping your joints lined up and stable helps prevent injury to your muscles and tendons.
Do you have any questions about the PRP injection for back, hip, knee we offer in NYC? Would you like to schedule an appointment with the best rated platelet rich plasma doctor Febin Melepura MD of NYC pain management clinic? Please contact our office for consultation with the pain relief specialist in Midtown Manhattan.