Hyaluronic Acid with PRP Injections for Joint Pain – Is the Treatment Effective?
Arthritis, joint pain, and inflammation is a condition that affects people of all ages. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, by the year 2040, more than a quarter of Americans is likely to be diagnosed with some form of arthritis. Further, arthritis is one of the 10 major causes of disability all over the world.
Given the rising prevalence of arthritis and joint pain, doctors are exploring new methods of treatment, one of which is PRP injections for joint pain. Conventional treatments include physiotherapy, weight loss, exercising, and using braces to support the joint. Doctors may also prescribe medications including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs and corticosteroid injections. Unconventional treatments like hyaluronic acid (HA) and Platelet Rich Plasma have also helped patients get relief.
Hyaluronic Acid Injections Help Cushion the Joints
Medical practitioners may prescribe hyaluronic acid injections in the joints to help mobility. Also called HA viscosupplementation, this course of treatment seems to help patients that have not responded well to pain medication and other solutions. Hyaluronic acid is a compound that works similar to the lubricating synovial liquid that the body produces naturally. This liquid has a gel-like consistency and relieves joint pain by acting as a cushion. By absorbing the impact of movement, the liquid can reduce inflammation.
Like PRP Injections for Joint Pain, Hyaluronic Acid Can Delay Replacement Surgery
As studies conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information report, a single hyaluronic acid injection can help delay the need for knee replacement surgery by 1.4 years. If patients were to opt for a course of more than 5 years, they could delay the surgery by 3.6 years. In comparison, patients that received only conventional treatments had to go in for surgery in 114 days.
Similarly, by getting 3 PRP injections for joint pain at intervals of 2 weeks, patients reported a significantly lower amount of discomfort and marked improvement in mobility. Not only can PRP treatments slow down the progression of arthritis, it can repair the damage to the tissues. With PRP therapy, patients might even avoid the need for joint replacement surgery.
PRP injections for Joint Pain Work Exceedingly Well to Help Patients
PRP injections for joint pain have proved to help patients thanks to their multi-dimensional healing processes. By opting for PRP treatments for cartilage repair, patients can repair the torn and eroded cartilage that cushions the joints. In addition, the growth factors of the PRP serum can replace the worn buffering agents and synovial liquid in the joints to make movement easier.
Further, in case the joint pain is a result of damaged tendons, PRP therapy for tendon repair can help repair the tears and relieve pain. Patients with discomfort in the wrist joint because of issues like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome will find that PRP therapy for wrist pain gives them relief by healing the damaged nerves.
PRP Therapy Combines Well with Other Treatments
Given the efficacy of HA and PRP injections for joint pain, doctors are exploring the possibility of combining both treatments to give better and quicker relief to patients. While hyaluronic acid can help restore the lubrication in the joints, PRP therapy can help repair the cartilage, nerves, and tendons. Together, the two treatments when combined could help patients gain significant improvement.
Doctors at the National Center for Biotechnology Information experimented with creating blends of PRP with four different concentrations of HA. They found that by combining PRP with higher concentrations of HA, they could achieve a more effective solution for arthritis. PRP and HA boosted regenerative properties when interacting together and produced more of chondrocytes, the building blocks of cartilage.
Patients can Benefit from a Blend of HA and PRP Injections
Studies were conducted at the NCBI on a group of patients with arthritis with similar medical parameters. They chose 105 patients belonging to the age group from 40 to 70 years. These patients were divided into 3 groups. The first group received HA injections only while the second group received PRP injections for joint pain. The third group received a combined therapy of both PRP and HA.
Doctors conducted tests on the subjects before the start of the trial and at intervals of 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year. They used two forms of testing as baselines:
- Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC) for mobility
- Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for pain
Results of the Case Studies are Promising
Experts in Osteoarthritis medicine compared the results of the two groups that received only HA and only PRP injections. Here are their findings:
- The group receiving PRP therapy showed significantly higher WOMAC scores or better mobility. They also had lower VAS scores or less pain as compared to the group that received only HA.
- The group that received the combined therapy showed more effective results like less pain and higher mobility.
- The positive results lasted for up to a year after the treatment. In addition, these patients showed a far higher range of improvement within the first 1 to 3 months as compared to the other groups.
These findings are preliminary and doctors need to conduct more extensive studies to prove the efficacy of the HA+PRP therapy. However, the initial results are promising and could open new options for helping patients with arthritis.
Are you considering getting the combination treatment of HA and PRP for your joint pain issues? Feel free to contact us for more information. We also welcome your queries by phone. Call us at this number: (888)-981-9516.
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