Are PRP Injections Painful?


PRP injections are a treatment for chronic pain. The procedure is generally not painful, but some patients do feel mild discomfort during the injection process. There are also other side effects of PRP injections that you should be aware of before starting this treatment including redness and swelling at the injection site, as well as bruising or decreased sensation in the area where an injection was given. If you experience any of these symptoms after your first treatment, it does not necessarily mean that you will have them again with future treatments. You should consult with your physician to assess the situation and determine if you should continue with PRP injections or not.

How long does the pain last after PRP injection?

Many people experience pain relief after PRP injection. The length of time that the patient experiences this relief depend on a variety of factors such as age, health, and severity of the condition. Recent studies have shown that patients who are younger than 40 years old typically see pain relief for about 3 months. However, those who are in their 60s or older may only experience it for 1 to 2 weeks following treatment. It also depends on the type of injury, the severity of the injury, and when you have the injection. For example, if you had a severe ankle sprain with lots of swelling and inflammation it may take longer to heal than if you had a mild ankle sprain with less swelling or inflammation. If there is an open wound in close proximity to where we inject PRP then this could also lengthen healing time because it would prolong the inflammatory response which can lead to more discomfort and prolonged healing time. So even though there is no set timeline for recovery, our team has seen that most patients recover within 2-4 weeks after their first treatment. It is important to consult with your doctor if you want more information about how long the treatment will last for you personally because everyone's body reacts differently.

How to Ease Pain during PRP injections:

The best way to ease the pain is not by taking medication or going to the hospital, but rather through prevention.  

Here are a few basic things you may take to avoid discomfort during your PRP injection:

  • Make sure that you get plenty of sleep and drink lots of fluids before your appointment 
  • Avoid taking aspirin, ibuprofen, or other anti-inflammatory medications for 24 hours before treatment
  • If possible, schedule your procedure on a day when you’re feeling well. You should be feeling refreshed and strong enough so that standing up for long periods won't be difficult after the procedure. 
  • Consider wearing loose-fitting clothing because it will give more room around the area where we will inject platelets
  • Have tissues on hand in case nasal drip gets in the way while talking
  • Avoid alcohol, saquinavir, cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibitors like indinavir and ritonavir for 7 days before the procedure 
  • Eat a light meal 1-2 hours before your appointment

Cost of PRP Therapy

When medical treatment is fairly new, it may not be covered by most health insurance plans. PRP has only been made available to the public recently—though pro athletes have had it at their disposal since the 1980s. There are inadequate high-level scientific studies on the use of PRP. Early studies show potential benefits for some conditions, but more research is needed. Because it’s considered a new therapy by insurers, most clinics who provide PRP treatment, including ours, offer it as a cash-only therapy. Costs for PRP treatment are reported to be between $500 and $2,000.

The majority of patients report that the process is not painful and tolerable. They have a numbing cream applied to their skin before an injection, which makes it feel like they are being pinched by an elastic band around the area where we inject platelets. It’s also possible for you to take certain medications beforehand in order to minimize any discomfort during treatment.  After your appointment, you can expect some swelling or redness at the site of injection but these should subside within 24 hours if it's been done correctly. If you follow our instructions ahead of time and come prepared with loose-fitting clothing, then this will be one less thing on your mind when going into surgery!

User:Marine 69-71, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Do You Need a Naturopathic Doctor Specializing in PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) Therapy in Gilbert, Arizona?

Atlas Health Medical Group in Gilbert, Arizona specializes in providing Naturopathic / Functional Medicine to the East Valley including Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, San Tan, and Queen Creek. We specialize in innovative treatments such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). Common sites of injury and pain are knees, shoulders, SI joint, hips, and elbows.  At the site of injury, there is usually damage to tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.  These areas are low in vascularity and thus do not receive much blood flow making them heal slowly.   New research demonstrates Platelet Rich Plasma outperforms many standard treatments such as cortisone injections, hyaluronic acid injections, and even surgery in some select cases.  When dealing with chronic pain, sports injuries, or degenerative joints do not settle for temporary band-aid fixes when regenerative medicine options such as PRP are now available  Contact us today for your first appointment!

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