Natural Arthritis Treatment? Prolotherapy & PRP
Question: Dr. Dan, I'm beginning to suffer from arthritis in my hand. What natural treatments would you suggest?
When it comes to natural treatments for arthritis in areas like the hand, shoulder, knee, and back, for example, the field of regenerative medicine offers the most promising treatments. If the arthritis you’re experiencing is still in the early or moderate stages, I encourage you to seriously consider prolotherapy or platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapies.
The arthritis you’re experiencing is most likely as a result of injuries you suffered years if not decades ago. In these cases, when you fail to get complete healing for injuries from high school, college, even childhood, you disrupt your joint biomechanics.
Understanding joint biomechanics
To understand how joint biomechanics function, think of a set of Legos. When you played with tinker toys or Legos, you had to put them together in a very specific way to create stability and structure. The environment surrounding your joint is very much like that.
When you damage a joint during an injury like a sprained ankle, a strained knee, a strained back, whiplash injuries from car accidents, throwing injuries from baseball or other sports, you disrupt the biomechanical environment of your joint. Think of it like taking away Lego pieces from your Lego structure. Doing so would weaken the structure, and make it unstable and unbalanced.
This same imbalance can occur in your joint. Ten, twenty, thirty years later, a weakened biomechanical environment of your joint means it is far more stressed than it was designed to be. As you age and grow, your joint struggles to maintain and repair itself. This premature degeneration often causes tendonitis, rotator cuff tears, and, eventually, arthritis.
Prolotherapy and PRP for arthritis
The reason I recommend regenerative medicine treatments like prolotherapy and platelet-rich plasma injections to my patients is because they can restore your joint’s biomechanical environment. When you combine prolotherapy and platelet-rich plasma therapies with treatments like functional medicine, osteopathic manipulation, acupuncture, and physical therapy, you can begin to rebuild the cartilage around the joint. This comprehensive approach is very important.
Remember, both prolotherapy and PRP therapy stimulate and enhance your body’s natural response to healing damaged tissue. The prolotherapy injection results in minor tissue damage which kick starts your body’s natural healing process at the injection site. You will experience inflammation, which is your body coming in, healing the damaged ligaments and tendons, and laying down new tissue. This healing process occurred when the original injury took place, and we want to repeat it.
Preventing arthritis later in life
If you suffered injuries that you suspect were not properly healed, I would also remind you that prolotherapy and PRP can also used as preventative treatments. It is possible to avoid debilitating arthritis pain down the road by healing and restoring the damaged tissue today. Thanks to regenerative medicine, we can repair damage that occurred years if not decades ago.
Thank you for reading!
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Dr. Dan Williams is an internationally trained doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) and a certified acupuncture practitioner. Dr. Dan is based out of Indianapolis. You can find more information by visiting drdanielwilliams.com.
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