Seeking pain relief for knee problems has gotten less frustrating over the years as new therapies have entered the realm of available treatments. Instead of relying on a brace, surgery, or physical therapy, there are a couple of other minimally invasive procedures that help your body heal on its own. One of these is platelet-rich plasma therapy, and the other is stem cell therapy. No longer are these stuck in a lab; they are now widespread treatment options that you can access in most cities. However, choosing between them can be a difficult decision; when you look at the two side by side, stem cell therapy may be better for you in certain circumstances.
These Two Are Similar but Not the Same
First, both of these procedures are similar in that they take something from your body, put it through a centrifuge to refine it and retrieve certain cells or factors, and then the resulting product is re-injected into your body. They are both parts of regenerative medicine, but one is not a sub-type of the other. They use different materials – PRP uses your blood to concentrate platelets, and stem cell therapy uses bone marrow to obtain stem cells – and heal in different ways. PRP injections call on growth factors in your body to help heal the injured tissue, while stem cell therapy not only provides regenerative stem cells to the site but also recruits other stem cells in the area to help you heal.
You May Need Fewer Treatments With Stem Cell Therapy
Many people look at PRP therapy first because it tends to be a little less expensive than stem cell therapy. However, you may need fewer treatments with stem cell therapy. You will likely need more than one, but you could need as few as three, depending on your progress. That can make stem cell therapy overall cheaper for you, but that will vary depending on your health and how severe the injury is.
Consider Combining Them
Some clinics offer both, starting with stem cell therapy and then adding in PRP. This gives you the best of both, recruiting new stem cells and growth factors to go to work on the injury site. If you think this might be a good option for you, you'll have to discuss that with the doctor you see.
Stem cell therapy pain relief can last a very long time. Again, this depends on how severe the injury was and how many sessions you had for therapy. But just a few stem cell sessions could be the key to ending the pain that's bothered your knee.
Contact your doctor to learn more about knee pain stem cell therapy.