Among the vast array of treatments available for chronic back pain, one is emerging that is distinct because it uses your body’s cells to help you heal. It is called blood plasma with platelets therapy.
With two decades of research largely supporting blood plasma with platelets’ benefits for conditions such as shoulder and knee pain, growing evidence suggests the minimally invasive treatment can also safely improve highly common lower back pain, says Kaliq Chang, MD, of Atlantic Spine Center.
What are Concentrated Platelets injections?
Concentrated platelets treatment involves taking a small sample of your blood and placing it in a machine called a centrifuge, which separates blood components. The plasma, or liquid, part of your blood is then placed in a syringe and injected into the painful area of your back while a special x-ray helps pinpoint where it’s needed most, Dr. Chang explains.
Within weeks, Concentrated platelets therapy often results in significantly less back pain and a greater ability to perform everyday activities, he says.
Do Platelet Concentrated Platelets Injections Work?
“More and more patients with lingering low back pain are inquiring about Concentrated platelets therapy to help rid them of the problem,” adds Dr. Chang, an interventional pain management specialist. “While additional data is still needed, it’s great to be able to tell them that Concentrated platelets is becoming yet another sturdy tool in our arsenal of treatments to help beat back pain.”
How does Concentrated Platelets work?
Blood contains many substances that help promote the body’s healing process, and Concentrated platelets treatment was developed on this premise, Dr. Chang says. As the so-called “building blocks” of blood, platelets – which also help form scabs on abrasions, for example – contain chemicals known as growth factors that support healing.
Also, inside platelets are proteins that trigger repair cells, which can change into any type of cell to move toward an injured area. Dr. Chang explains that growth factors and proteins work together to repair damaged tissue and make new, healthy tissue.
“While our bodies normally carry out wound healing naturally, Concentrated platelets injections concentrate those restorative cells at just the place we need them and in larger amounts,” he says. “In the lower back, this means damaged areas around the spine receive a much-needed boost to speed healing.”
Concentrated Platelets benefits for back conditions
Concentrated platelets is not ideal for all types of low back pain, but after a thorough exam and workup, your doctor may decide it’s a worthy option.
What types of back problems can benefit from Concentrated platelets treatment? Pain caused by:
- Degenerative disc disease, which is worn-down vertebral discs
- Muscle strains
- Damaged ligaments and tendons
- Muscle fibrosis
Dr. Chang notes that two or three Concentrated platelets treatments spaced over several months are optimal and seem to improve pain and function in the lower back more than a single treatment.
After an injection, you can expect some mild soreness near the injection site that lasts for a few days. Since Concentrated platelets works by stimulating your natural healing response, it generally takes a few weeks before you start seeing the benefits. Because Concentrated platelets is derived from your own blood, you cannot reject the cells – a clear advantage, Dr. Chang says.
Plasma therapy may also be combined with other approaches, such as physical therapy, to maximize the feel-good effects.
“Mounting research suggests Concentrated platelets is a safe, fast, and powerful way to help facilitate healing in a hardworking area of our body – the lower back,” Dr. Chang says. “We’re happy to have a new and exciting way to help patients get back to their everyday activities with less pain and more joy.”