Bursitis is a common condition that causes affected joints to become swollen and painful. You may develop bursitis over time from performing repetitive motions such as swinging a baseball bat, although an infection or direct trauma can also cause the condition.
Living with bursitis can be difficult, and most traditional approaches to treatment focus only on pain management and rest. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is a modern, alternative approach that can stimulate healing while providing effective relief from pain.
Living with bursitis
Bursitis is the inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs in your joints, known as bursae. These sacs act as cushions to decrease friction where your tissues might rub together when you move your joints. For example, there are bursae between your skin and bones, and between your bones and muscles.
When bursa become inflamed (such as through repetitive impact on the joint), it causes swelling, soreness, and stiffness. Pressure and movement will increase the intensity of the pain, and it can often become debilitating.
What is PRP?
PRP is blood plasma rich in grouped cells known as platelets. Platelets are known for their clotting abilities—if you cut yourself, they will group at the site of injury and form a sticky barrier that stops the bleeding. They are also rich in growth factors and hormones, making them able to stimulate growth and kick-start the healing process in both bone and tissue.
Through PRP injections, platelets can be delivered straight to the site of injury to aid tissue regeneration and help heal the affected joint. These areas often have poor blood supply, which is responsive for their slow natural healing time. PRP therapy speeds up the body’s ability to heal itself, providing long-term relief from bursitis pain.
About the treatment
PRP therapy is a straightforward and non-invasive process that has proved effective for many patients.
When you come in for your procedure, the doctor will withdraw a small amount of blood (one to two ounces). This blood is then placed into a centrifuge to separate the platelets, which are then injected directly into the affected area. This is done under a local anesthetic for your comfort and convenience—in most cases, the procedure takes only ninety minutes, meaning you do not have to take too much time out of your day. You may experience some pain after the injection, but this can be easily managed with ice and pain medication.