Degenerative disc disease is an age-related disease of the spine (sometimes caused by osteoarthritis) which can cause the vertebrae in your back to break down. This condition can lead to back pain, disc herniation, vertebrae fractures, and weakness.
Unfortunately, degenerative disc disease can't be cured, so you'll need to find the right treatments to slow its progression. While some people may be able to find relief with anti-inflammatories, others may need steroid injections or even spinal surgery.
If you are still looking for more conservative methods to treat this condition, you may want to consider PRP injections. Read on to learn more.
What are PRP Injections?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a part of your blood; the plasma is the colorless fluid, and platelets contain proteins and growth factors that play a big role in healing. When PRP is injected into an area of the body that is damaged, it helps to repair and generate tissue. A doctor can inject PRP into areas of your spine that are inflamed and damaged to encourage healing and pain relief.
What is a PRP Injection Session Like?
The PRP actually comes from your own blood. You'll donate some blood which the doctor will then place in a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins and separates the plasma and platelets out. Your doctor will then use a guided x-ray (fluoroscopy) to determine the exact location for the injection. The doctor will inject the PRP into the disc or joint that is the source of your pain. PRP injections aren't painful since you will have a local anesthetic in place, but you may be sore afterward and need over-the-counter pain relievers. While some people may be fine after one session, other people may need multiple sessions to get the relief they desire.
Are There Any Studies Showing That PRP Therapy Works?
More research needs to be conducted, but NCBI says that so far PRP therapy has shown to be a safe and effective way to treat discogenic pain, a common side effect of degenerative disc disease. Another study found that PRP therapy has been beneficial for people with osteoarthritis so if your degenerative disc disease is caused by that condition, then PRP could be a good fit for your needs. PRP therapy could help you reduce stiffness and restore function in your spinal flexibility.
Reach out to a doctor in your area to learn more about PRP therapy, or if you have questions about PRP injections,