One of the treatments that the FDA approved for knee arthritis is a Hyalronic Acid (HA) injection, sometimes also known as Viscosupplementation. It has been incredibly successful for knee arthritis. In fact, so successful that many physicians are starting to use it on other parts of the body, like the hip and shoulder, which the FDA does not approve of.
HA, when injected, works like the fluid that naturally surrounds your joints. This fluid can be like a lubricant for your joints, and absorb shock, allowing bones that otherwise cause arthritis pain cause much less. Over time, it is even absorbed into the joint, which can cause the body to create a more stable cartilage all on its own.
The evidence for this treatment is astounding, with a systematic review of 76 trials, all of which were randomized controller trials. The review noted that HA, when injected, can benefit function, reduce pain, and can be a reliable and effective treatment for knee osteoarthritis.
On the other hand, there is PRP therapy. Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, which is a type of blood that has 6 to 10 times more platelets than what is normally found in blood. They even contain many growth factors, such as Epidermal Growth Factor, Connective Tissue Growth Factor, and many more. These can help heal injured parts of the body by using the bodies natural healing tools.
However, PRP is not regulated by the FDA, and devices that are used to make PRP require said approval. Aside from this, multiple studies shoe that PRP can be very effective in the treatment of tendon injuries, as well as for osteoarthritis. This treatment can even help in the reduction of pain. There are even more studies being conducted on whether it can help other things, such as hair regrowth, cardiac muscle repair, and even dermatologic rejuvenation.
So should you use HA injections, or PRP?
In many studies, PRP has bee demonstrated to work just as well, if not better than HA. HA is also only FDA approved for the knee, meaning that it is not approved or covered for the use in any other joint. Also, the risk of infection and rejection is far less while using PRP, as it is a substance that comes from your own body, and contains white blood cells, which can help fight infection.
PRP also saves money in the long run, as using HA in a joint other than the knee is not FDA approved or covered by insurance. As a result, it can cost your patient 1500$ or more. This can even be on top of various other charges, such as doctors visits, and even the injection itself. PRP, on the other hand, only costs from 800 to 1200$ out of pocket.
So PRP has been demonstrated to be just as effective, if not better, than HA injections when it comes to arthritis pain. It does not pose a risk for infection or and auto-immune reaction either, and is even far cheaper than HA. So picking which one to use should be a no-brainer.
Despite what the name may imply, not all people who suffer from Tennis Elbow even play tennis. In fact, most of them aren’t. Many of them can be painters, butchers, plumbers, carpenters, and even much any career which can overuse the muscles in the forearm. This can cause the tendons elbow to become painful and inflamed.
The most common treatment for Tennis Elbow after the injury has taken place is rest, anti-inflammatory medicines, and generally physical therapy if it is needed. However, this is more of a temporary fix than a longstanding one. In many cases, if untreated, the pain will worsen, and many need things such as braces for their arm, injects of steroids, and shock wave therapy. Sometimes, although not often, they might even need surgery.
Most insurance companies are able to cover this surgery, as it is deemed medically necessary. However, it does not always end up with the best results. On occasion, surgery may even leave you in more pain than you were in before, potentially causing the need for more surgeries.
So as an alternative for surgery, perhaps try PRP, or Plasma Rich Platelet Therapy? This is a pretty simple procedure that utilizes the platelets and cells in your own body to heal your arm from the inside out. We just take out a bit of your blood, put it in a centrifuge, and extract the PRP to use on your injury. After awhile, it become good as new, without any need for surgery. It also does not need any anti-inflammatory medications, which can lower the side effects that you will see from medications and multiple surgeries.
So try it out if you would like a more holistic way of healing yourself.