Intradiscal injections of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a safe, non-surgical treatment for discogenic back pain – pain originating from damaged vertebral discs. Dr. Roy Nini’s sports medicine practice is focused on pain management and interventional treatments for sports injuries and musculoskeletal conditions. Dr. Nini may incorporate intradiscal PRP into custom-tailored treatment plans for patients with discogenic pain.
About Discogenic Pain
Discogenic pain originates from a damaged disc in the spine. Discs may become damaged through degenerative disc disease (back and neck pain caused by wear and tear on spinal discs). Disc degeneration occurs with aging, but not all degenerated discs cause pain.
A disc becomes stable once it is fully degenerated and no longer contains inflammatory proteins to cause pain. For that reason, discogenic pain is rarely seen in patient over the age of 60.
Intradiscal biologic treatments are becoming an ever popular alternative to conventional options and have become very attractive in recent years. Biologic treatment options include protein-based and cell-based therapies. Protein-based therapies involve administration of biologic factors into the intervertebral disc to enhance regeneration, delay degeneration, and impede inflammation.
What Is Intradiscal PRP?
Injections of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) provide an innovative, non-operative treatment option to relieve pain by promoting musculoskeletal healing for long-lasting results. PRP is human blood plasma with a higher-than normal concentration of platelets. It is obtained by drawing a small amount of the patients’ blood and spinning it in a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the other components.
In intradiscal PRP treatments, platelet-rich plasma is injected directly into the degenerated disc that is causing pain. Injections are performed using fluoroscopy (a series of live X-rays) to guide the procedure. The entire process may take one to two hours.
Depending on the patient and various factors, two or more treatment sessions may be required to achieve optimal results with intradiscal PRP. This treatment can heal a painful disc and may be an alternative to steroid injections or surgery in some cases.
How Does Intradiscal PRP Promote Healing?
Platelets are small, disk-like cells that cause our blood to clot. They also release growth factors, cytokines, and proteins that stimulate healing of soft tissue and bone.
Growth factors are substances required to stimulate growth of living cells. They reduce inflammation, promote cell growth, and act as signals to the immune system.
Certain substances secreted by platelets affect other cells. These substances are known as cytokines. They play an essential role in cellular communication, accelerate wound and tissue healing, and activate metabolic pathways that aid in cell recovery.
Platelets also attract stem cells, a natural aid to healing. Stem cells facilitate new tissue formation and begin the healing process.
Effective Non-Surgical Treatment for Low Back Pain
As reported in an article in Orthopedics Today, a double-blind, randomized study was conducted to determine the efficacy and safety of intradiscal PRP for treating low back pain. The study involved 47 patients with degenerative disc disease, 29 of whom received a single intradiscal PRP injection, while the others received a placebo. Researchers found that the patients in the PRP group experienced significant improvements in both pain and function, with no adverse effects.
To find out if intradiscal PRP injections are the right treatment option for you, schedule a consultation with one of our doctors to see if some of the top providers of PRP Los Angeles has to offer can help you.
Schedule a Consultation
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Nini or Dr. Lee to discover how your injury, condition, or pain can be treated with cutting-edge regenerative medical techniques.