Potential Pros and Cons of PRP Injections

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Injections for pain relief are surging in popularity among individuals affected with arthritis and sports injuries. Traditionally, healthcare professionals prescribe corticosteroid injections to alleviate the symptoms of the condition. However, steroids can increase the chance of developing future joint degeneration, which leaves people to consider alternative options. 

In such circumstances, recent studies have revealed that PRP therapy, a contemporary class of regenerative medicine, shows efficient results against arthritis pain. It is a conservative treatment designed to stimulate healing and relieve long-term pain. However, before you decide whether the treatment is the right option, it is important to know how PRP therapy can benefit you and whether you might face any side effects. Scroll down to discover more about the PRP injection and the pros and cons of the therapy.

PRP Injections – An Overview

Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP injections, are part of cellular therapy. Researchers have been performing various studies on using these injections to treat pain and enhance tissue healing for various musculoskeletal conditions and also for skin rejuvenation, hair loss, and other cosmetic purposes. Adding PRP to your arthritis treatment will initiate tissue repair through healing resupine of the body, including tissue formation and new connective tissue. 

Platelet-rich plasma is prepared from your blood. A sample of blood will be drawn, and it will be processed through a centrifuge to separate the blood plasma from the blood serum. The plasma is rich in platelets that have excellent natural healing properties. They also have anti-inflammatory features that will prevent bleeding and any formation of spurs. 

Understanding the role of PRP in Arthritis

Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that occurs due to the natural or injury-induced wear and tear of the cartilage. Cartilage is a soft tissue that serves as a cushion and shock absorber between the joints, so they don’t come in contact with each other. When the cartilage is diminished, the contact between joint bones will ultimately result in pain, stiffness, and the formation of bone spurs.

Here, PRP comes into play as a newly advanced regenerative treatment in treating joint pain caused by arthritis. Research shows that administering PRP injections in the affected joints will stimulate the natural growth of cartilage due to the presence of potential growth factors in the plasma. The regeneration of cushions will ultimately reduce the friction between bones, thereby effectively decreasing the pain. In addition, the platelets secrete special proteins that ensure maintaining tissue homeostasis and regularize the inflammation caused by the injury.

Know the Pros of PRP Injections

PRP therapy is an innovative yet relatively new treatment for arthritis that still requires a lot of evidence to support its benefits. Nevertheless, many healthcare professionals and patients believe that this advanced therapy can yield the best results for various injuries. Here are some of the pros or advantages of PRP therapy to know if you are considering this treatment for your knee pain.

  • Simple and minimally invasive treatment

PRP injections are relatively simple to handle and are one of the best minimally invasive treatments. The procedure can be carried out in the doctor’s office within 30 minutes. Moreover, there will be no need for downtime after the treatment.

  • Effective reduction of inflammation

The primary benefit of using PRP injection for your arthritis is that it can aid in reducing inflammation proactively. Inflammation is a common response to any injury that can contribute to severe pain and stiffness. With such an advantage or benefit, PRP therapy relieves such symptoms associated with knee pain.

  • Versatility

Unlike corticosteroid injection and other traditional approaches, Platelet-rich plasma injections can treat injuries in ligaments and tendons along with the joints. It means it aids in the treatment and recovery of various sports injuries, including Achilles tendon tears, knee ligament sprains, and rotator cuff tears. The therapy accelerates the healing process. 

  • Strengthens the weak muscles

Another advantage of PRP injections is that they can strengthen the muscles around your knee. It will stabilize the joint, ease the pain and prevent further injuries that might worsen the condition.

  • Enduring Duration 

The effect of PRP injections in alleviating the pain of arthritis typically lasts for months, with an average span of six months. 

Understanding the Cons of PRP injections

As PRP injections are prepared from the use of the autologous blood of the patient, your body will recognize the platelets. So, there are limited or minimal adverse reactions when compared with other therapies. Here are some of the cons of the treatment. 

  • It may induce inflammatory reactions

In some individuals, injection PRP might irritate the surrounding tissues, resulting in inflammatory reactions similar to allergies. Such symptoms can be experienced within a week of the procedure and typically resolve independently within a few days.

  • It is not suitable for acute conditions

Platelet-rich plasma injections are typically used to treat chronic injuries like osteoarthritis and tendonitis. However, in the case of acute musculoskeletal conditions, rehabilitation therapy is recommended as an effective treatment than PRP injections.

  • It may cause potential nerve injury

Individuals may experience nerve injury or tissue damage because of poor preparation and injection procedure. Therefore, though this is one of the low-risk and minimally invasive treatments, it is extremely important to find an experienced and qualified healthcare professional to carry out this effective treatment.

  • It is not a permanent solution

The results of PRP injection therapy may last longer for months than weeks. However, the obtained results to ease arthritis pain are not permanent. Your healthcare professional might recommend a series of injection procedures twice yearly, according to your health status, which might get expensive.

  • Lack of approval

PRP therapy is yet to be approved by the U.S food and drug administration (FDA). Moreover, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) has raised concerns about whether the PRP is a safe and effective treatment for certain conditions. However, it has been proactively used in regenerative medicine to treat soft tissue-related traumas.

What Should One Expect After the PRP Injection Treatment?

PRP injection should be administered in the early stage when the patient is diagnosed with arthritis or when the body shows no positive response to other conventional treatments. After the procedure, your doctor will suggest rehabilitation protocols to follow. Moreover, you have to follow the prescribed medications and physiotherapy followed by performing simple exercises at home. 

The recovery period may vary depending on the condition. For instance, if you have arthritis, you can resume your activities on the same day after the procedure. On the other hand, treatment for sports injuries or ligament tears demands patients to restrict activities for at least 3 weeks before returning to their regular lifestyle.


Your body has its own ability to heal itself; however, sometimes the site and severity of the injury hinder its healing abilities to keep up with the damage. The platelets in this PRP injection can kick start the normal healing process by stimulating your body to cure the condition by itself. 

In a nutshell, PRP therapy shows promising results in the treatment of arthritis, giving rise to more and more standardized studies. However, some studies have been inconclusive. Nonetheless, in the near future, it will become an effective, affordable, and minimally invasive treatment for arthritis pain instead of expensive surgery.


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