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Painful joints are an unfortunately all-too-common condition, affecting nearly 1 out of 4 American adults.
Relief is possible for those that suffer from joint or ligament pain. Two specific therapies that can help are known as prolotherapy and PRP therapy. In this article, we’ll explore both. We’ll go over the differences between prolotherapy vs. PRP therapy for relief of joint or muscle pain.
Prolotherapy Vs. PRP Therapy
These two regenerative therapies do share a few similarities. Each function as a way to reduce pain while simultaneously rebuilding new connective tissue. This is where they each fall under the regenerative category of medicine.
The body’s musculoskeletal system gets targeted during treatment through injections in different parts of the body.
How each procedure gets completed, however, differs.
What is Prolotherapy?
First, let’s go over a quick prolotherapy guide. Prolotherapy is short for proliferative therapy. One of the first regenerative therapy options on the market, prolotherapy promotes inflammation in order to kickstart the healing process of injured ligaments and tendons.
During the procedure, an irritative agent gets injected into the area. This irritative agent essentially works by “tricking” the body into producing collagen alongside an inflammatory response. This ultimately stabilizes the joints, allowing them to do their job as normal.
The irritative agent used is usually a dextrose-based solution. Dextrose is a form of sugar which is naturally irritating to the body and causes inflammation. Encouraging regrowth of tissue is the main goal of prolotherapy.
What is PRP Therapy?
PRP is short for platelet rich plasma. In this form of therapy, injections include a patient’s own blood to promote healing and rebuild tissue.
The process itself consists of four parts:
- Blood gets drawn
- Blood sample gets spun in a centrifuge
- Separated platelets and plasma get reintroduced
- PRP gets injected into your body
The centrifuge steps is arguably one of the most crucial steps in the process. This is where components of your blood separate into four layers: red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. Upon separation your doctor will then recombine platelets with the plasma before injecting it back into the injured area.
In general, prolotherapy is used more often to treat pain resulting from injuries in the hips, knees, back, and shoulders. PRP therapy is used for more specific injuries such as tendonitis, achilles tendinosis, arthritis, and plantar fasciitis.
A commonality between both is that they each provide non-surgical pain relief through regenerative treatment. PRP treatments generally take less injections, while prolotherapy can take up to six injections spread out over the course of a couple months.
Prolotherapy Tips For Healing
The main difference between prolotherapy vs. PRP therapy is the injection substance used to promote healing in the body. Both provide an excellent alternative to surgery or pain medication.
Suffering from chronic pain can be debilitating. These two therapies provide a way for the body to use its own healing powers to speed up the healing process.
If you’re looking for more way to stay healthy and pain free, be sure to check out our Health & Fitness section for more!