Back pain is a common issue and it can get worse with age. Many conditions can result in lower back discomfort, but most cases are caused by issues with the “cushioned” discs that separate each spinal pair (vertebrae). Disc problems also cause sciatica, one of the most prevalent types of back pain. For many years, the inflammation around herniated or slipped discs in the lower back has been treated with injections. These injections, which were used to treat pain and swelling until recently, contained steroids or other drugs. Recently, researchers have looked into natural alternatives to these medications, such as platelet-derived plasma, or PRP. PRP carries less risk than steroids and other medicines because it is made from your own blood. While lower back pain symptoms might be reduced with steroid injections, PRP treatments can actually work to repair the damage that is causing the discomfort.
PRP THERAPY : HOW DOES IT WORK?
As its name suggests, platelets, one of the most significant “building blocks” in the blood, are highly concentrated in platelet-rich plasma. Growth factors found in platelets play an important role in healing. Additionally, they have unique proteins that signal stem cells around a wound, allowing them to move toward the treatment area. Growth factors and signaling proteins together create a healthy cell which is used to repair damaged tissue. Natural healing occurs but the issue is that they don’t always take place where we need them to or with the intensity that is required for the optimum repair. When PRP is injected directly into the lower back, these growth factors and proteins are concentrated exactly where they are needed to relieve pain and restore function.
Because of their safety and ability to potentially improve soft tissue healing, PRP injections have drawn a lot of attention as a treatment option for musculoskeletal problems in recent years. Through percutaneous PRP injection, tissue regeneration in musculoskeletal conditions is achieved. Rotator cuff tears, osteoarthritis of the knee, ulnar collateral ligament tears, lateral epicondylitis, thigh injuries, and Achilles tendinitis have all been treated effectively with PRP.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS PRP FOR HEALING?
Although platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is required to promote endogenous healing processes, the exact mechanism is still unknown. After PRP stimulates the recruitment, proliferation, and differentiation of cells involved in regeneration with a range of growth factors and proteins released by platelets, healing is thought to take place. However, platelets have antibacterial proteins and can move to wound sites. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), transforming growth factor (TGF) -1, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), fibrin growth factor (FGF), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), insulin, and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) are platelet-released growth factors that can affect tissue proliferation.
The integrity of the extracellular matrices of the degenerated plates is restored by these growth factors which are produced by the concentrated platelets in PRP. They release cytokines, bovine chemoreceptors, and bovine chemoreceptors, which are crucial characteristics of these platelets and can help regulate inflammatory responses and immunological elements of tissue healing. Also, platelets prevent anti-inflammatory cytokines from excessively recruiting white blood cells.
Avoiding surgery is one of the most significant benefits of injecting platelet-rich plasma. By optimizing the body’s natural ability for healing, it is possible to avoid the need for invasive procedures that were previously only available to patients, which often reduces the length of time required for injuries to heal.
DURING PRP THERAPY, THE FOLLOWING STEPS ARE PERFORMED
Blood collection :- A collection needle is inserted into a vein in the arm and the blood is collected in small PRP tubes.
Centrifugation :- A centrifuge is a device that spins the PRP tubes at high speed. The process physically separates red blood cells (erythrocytes), white blood cells (leukocytes), platelets (thrombocytes), and plasma (fluid).
PRP removal from PRP tubes :- About 200,000 platelets per milliliter are found in normal blood, whereas there are five times as many in platelet-rich plasma. Three to seven milliliters of the resulting platelet-rich plasma are collected in a syringe and administered immediately.
Administer a PRP injection in the desired area :- Depending on the type of injury being treated, the syringe with platelet-rich plasma is injected into the desired area.
AFTER PRP TREATMENT
It is common to feel tender and swollen in the injured site after receiving a PRP injection because the fluid it injects into the wound causes swelling. Remember that NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines), such as naproxen and ibuprofen, should not be used to relieve pain after PRP treatment as they seriously affect the treatment.
After the surgery, some patients may have severe pain, most likely because of the increased inflammatory effects that PRP therapy promotes.