Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections have been emerging as a treatment for joint pain and osteoarthritis for some years. But many orthopedists engaging in early clinical trials have found that photo-activating PRP prior to injection reduces pain even further and accelerates the positive response to injections.
This was demonstrated in a recent study of 102 patients in Australia. The patients reported a variety of severe joint pains including at the knee, hip, shoulder, elbow and other joint pains. Their own PRP was photo-activated prior to injection into the affected areas. In this PRP procedure the doctor drew the patients’ blood, centrifuged it to separate the PRP from the red blood cells and then photo-activated the PRP for 10 minutes before injection back into the patients’ joint or in close proximity. Photo-activation appears to increase the activity of peripheral blood white blood cells, stem cells and platelets (mechanism not determined). An independent audit subsequently showed that 80% of patients aged 40-70 years old in this study experienced decreased pain and were satisfied with the results.
The process appears to reduce inflammation, resulting in improved natural analgesia, by causing the local anti-inflammatory processes to function better. Further study is needed to determine the duration of effectiveness and the comparative effectiveness of this intervention at specific anatomical locations prior to wholesale recommendation or personal consideration of this invasive procedure.
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