Regenerative Medicine Therapies
Regenerative Medicine includes Prolotherapy, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Stem Cell Injections which use your body’s own natural healing response without using harmful medications.
At Southwest Ohio Health Partners, we specialize in Regenerative Medicine. This includes Prolotherapy, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Stem Cell Injections often done using ultrasound or fluoroscopic guidance.
Prolotherapy is the injection of a substance (i.e. dextrose) which promotes growth of normal cells. Pain and dysfunction is often caused by weakened tendons, ligaments and soft tissues. These weakened structures can be healed and strengthened by a series of injections of this substance (i.e. dextrose) into them. These injections invoke the body’s natural healing response to strengthen the tissues and structures without causing the harmful effects that steroids cause. In effect, the pain decreases or completely goes away and the function of the joint/structure improves. It is used widely in athletes and chronic pain patients. Pain from athletic injuries, motor vehicle accidents, whiplash injuries, headaches, sprains/strains, chronic neck/back/joint pain and overuse injuries (among others) are all treated with Prolotherapy.
PRP injections are used for the treatment of chronic pain and musculoskeletal dysfunction. Tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis/tendonosis, rotator cuff tears, meniscal tears, osteoarthritis, chronic low back and neck pain are just a few of the issues being treated with PRP injections. The goal is regeneration of degenerated connective tissue and healing of the structure as a whole.
Blood platelets are responsible for bringing white blood cells to the injured area to clean up the remains of dead and injured cells. Most importantly to this discussion, blood platelets release growth factors that are directly responsible for tissue regeneration. These substances are called cytokines and include platelet derived growth factor, epithelial growth factor, and other important growth factors. PRP treatment is the therapeutic equivalent of three or four prolotherapy/regenerative injection therapy treatments using dextrose. One of the attractive aspects of this treatment is the use of a person’s own blood to eliminate the risk of the transmission of disease. The same lab that has developed the preparation kit for production of PRP has also developed a method to collect a person’s own stem cells which eliminates the need for embryonic, umbilical or placental stem cells.
Stem cell injection therapies are always performed with stem cells taken from the actual patient getting the injection. This procedure is more invasive as it requires acquiring stem cells from the patient’s own bone marrow.
Nutritional Therapy and Exercise & Diet Counseling is also available.
Learn more about Prolotherapy & PRP
Post Treatment Questions
- It is important to re-emphasize that NSAIDs or aspirin should not be used for post injection pain control as these medications will inhibit the necessary inflammatory phase. However, do not stop your therapeutic aspirin unless your prescribing doctor says it is ok to stop.
- The patient may have significant pain for up to 3 weeks, although the pain usually improves after 3 days.
- The patient may keep the injected part relatively immobilized for comfort for the first 2 days. After 2 days the affected part should be moved through its full range of motion along with gentle negative eccentric exercise. Increase activity as tolerated after 2 weeks.
- Heat application is preferred for the healing process. However, some ice application sessions of 15 minutes in length may be used, but only if absolutely needed for pain control. Not using ice is preferable for this pro-inflammatory process.
Re-Evaluate In 4-6 Weeks
Re-evaluate patient’s pain levels, functionality and consider using a written functional assessment tool such as a “quick DASH score.”
- Be aware that tissue changes on imaging may lag for 3–6 months behind clinical improvement.
- If patient is still very sore at 2 weeks, your doctor may consider re-injecting at 6 weeks.
- If the patient was over most of the soreness by 2 weeks, consider repeating therapy at 4-6 weeks if treatment goals have not been met.
- These PRP grafts can be repeated as early as 2 weeks, although 4–8 weeks is a more usual timeframe.
- If the patient is >80% improved or has met goal activity level, then the therapy is considered successful and complete.
- If the patient is <80% improved or goal activity level has not been met, repeat PRP graft placement every 4–6 weeks until success met or a maximum of 4 grafts placed.
Articles on Platelet Rich Plasma: Post PRP Instructions
Treatment of Tendon and Muscle Using Platelet-Rich Plasma by Allan Mishra M.D., James Woodall M.D. and Amy Viera PA-C
Is recovery from Prolotherapy and PRP the same time?
Recovery from both are roughly the same time.
Do I need to go to Physical Therapy after the treatment?
Your doctor will discuss complementary care consultation and post treatment options with you.