Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
Many people in this country are suffering needlessly from chronic pain. Whether it be back pain, neck pain, rotator cuff injuries, headaches, sports injuries, pain from automobile accidents, often patients will suffer for years with their pain. They search for causes, see numerous specialists, and occasionally have surgery, but still go on with pain. What could be wrong? Is it really in their head?
More often than not, the pain is not in their head (unless they have head and neck issues) but is caused by damage to the soft tissue of the joints such as ligament or tendon tissue. The ligaments and tendons of our body support nearly every joint, and also send the brain information of proprioception (the position of our body in space), and nociception (pain). If a ligament or tendon is damaged, it can cause both local pain and referred pain such as sciatica, or numbness down an arm, or into the head. The ligament and tendon damage is often not seen on MRI, CT scan, nor X-ray and needs to be found on a careful physical examination by a physician who is skilled in musculoskeletal injuries. Occasionally, ultrasound may be used to diagnose the problem.
Fortunately, we have a new method to make damaged ligaments and tendons heal - Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). Our body has the ability to heal, and contains growth factors to regenerate damaged tissue. We have learned in recent years on how to harness that ability and concentrate it into a damaged area. With PRP, after a proper diagnosis has been established, a small amount of blood is extracted from the patient. The blood is then processed and the platelets and growth factors are extracted from the blood. Under appropriate guidance, it is directly and precisely injected into the damaged area. The injection will cause a scaffold to form around the damaged area, impregnated with growth factors, and will incite the healing response. After a series of treatments, the areas will heal, and the pain will end. Since PRP is regenerating joint damage, not just treating pain, the response will often be permanent, and normal activities can be resumed - then the patient can live happily ever after!!!
- Scott Greenberg, MD
Dr. Greenberg is a practicing physician at the Magaziner Center for Wellness and a long time member of ACAM. He specializes in natural approaches to family practice problems with a distinctive emphasis on nutrition, cancer, preventive medicine, anti-aging strategies and the use of PRP and prolotherapy for pain management. Dr. Greenberg personally performs about 100 PRP treatments per month and 4000 prolotherapy treatments per year. For more information on the Magaziner Center for Wellness and PRP please visit: www.drmagaziner.com.