Written by: Dr. Jenn
Can PRP (platelet rich plasma) help chronic pain?
Maybe or maybe not. It really depends on what is causing the pain. After you a lived a certain amount of time, you are almost guaranteed to have some kind of chronic pain. Whether it is your back, your joints, a specific muscle or, like in my case, your neck. When I was 19, I was in a severe car accident that caused major trauma to my cervical spine (neck area). For 17 years, I have had minor achy pain in my neck, limited range of motion and regular headaches from this accident. When I looked in the mirror, one trapezius muscle was noticeable and one was severely atrophied. In the beginning it wasn’t too bad, but the older I got the more limited I became. It was a few months ago when I picked something up that I do everyday, but felt a pain in my neck that I couldn’t get rid of for any length of time.
I started laying down with a heating pad on my neck every night, taking NSAIDS regularly and stopped all workouts. Not only was the chronic pain affecting my daily life physically, my patience was wearing thin because of the constant stress my body was under. I wanted to get my life back without the use of narcotics or other drugs that would temporarily give me relief. I have been treating many different conditions with PRP over the past year…everything from erectile dysfunction to spasticity so I figured I would try it in my neck. The treatment itself was not the worst but not the most comfortable thing I have ever done. When you skin your knee, that burning sensation is from the platelets activating and doing their job, which is the same burn you get when you inject them. It was uncomfortable but tolerable. I felt like I had a large bruise on my neck for a day, then the feeling began to dissipate. I went about my life, with not very high expectations.
About a week went by when I noticed I didn’t need my ibuprofen. A couple more days went by and I noticed I could look down at my feet without any pain. Today I am doing fun activies again, don’t have to have ibuprofen on me at all times and have my patience back. I tried the PRP injections on a whim, and, also because there is no possible side effects from the treatment. i literally had nothing to lose, the worst thing that could have happened was no change whatsoever. I am stunned and excited about the changes I have had. Can PRP fix everything? Absolutely not. There is still no miracle cure for all that ails us, but it is worth finding out if it can help whatever is affecting you. It has truly changed my life, maybe it can change yours.
Jennifer Guthrie M.D
“We Make House Calls”