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PRP Therapy

Postherpetic Neuralgia Pain Relief – The Options for Recovery

If you have shingles, it’s daunting to know that you may be one of the unlucky ones who develop a long-lasting nerve pain which occurs due to the varicella-zoster virus responsible for both shingles and chicken pox. If you do, know that it can take up to a year to recover fully and even longer for some people. The pain and discomfort are caused by inflammation of the nerves beneath the skin and postherpetic neuralgia pain relief will play an important role in recovery, enabling you to live as normal a life as is possible.  This complication occurs when the nerve fibers are damaged and so, the messages from your skin to the brain become confused and therefore pain can be ongoing, chronic and at times, excruciating.

Postherpetic Neuralgia Pain TreatmentSymptoms

Although it is unclear as to why some shingles sufferers develop postherpetic neuralgia, the symptoms are certainly unpleasant as pain may be continuous. This is difficult to deal with and usually affects the areas of the body where shingles first occurred, usually on one side of the body in the trunk area but, it can also occur on the face. Symptoms include itching which may seem unbearable at times but also, a burning, stabbing pain similar to an electric shock. Even the lightest of touches can feel painful as your skin becomes ultra-sensitive. Those who are over 60-years of age appear to be particularly vulnerable.


Pain Relief

Pain relief is of the utmost importance. It’s certainly easy to feel stressed and weakened by the ongoing pain. Some people also experience feelings of depression. Unfortunately, the usual ‘over the counter’ pain medications will not be strong enough and where necessary, your doctor can prescribe amitriptyline or nortriptyline which will help to target any feelings of depression but, some anti-depressants are also useful for pain relief. Lidocaine or capsaicin skin patches may alleviate any pain experienced for up to 3 months and this will at least afford you some relief from the ongoing pain. If this is not strong enough, there is the potential for opioid drugs but of course, these will only be prescribed where absolutely necessary as there are concerns as to their addictive nature. As an alternative, electrical nerve stimulators could be used but this is a treatment that would be discussed with you if the pain is very severe.


Stem Cells as a Potential Solution

As there is no definitive cure for postherpetic neuralgia, it’s wise to consider all options. Stem cells have been used in treatments for a great many years, but these treatments have really come to the fore in recent years.  For postherpetic neuralgia, this is timely as it is traditionally very difficult to treat as it is akin to neuropathic pain. Stem cells, as primitive cells can develop into the cells needed to help regeneration. As we grow older, it is difficult to attract sufficient stem cells to the body parts that needs it, and this is why the cells are injected directly into the area that needs it and they have the potential to actually replace those damaged nerve cells. The results are highly encouraging.


Vampire Facials: A New Role for Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy?

stem cell plasma therapy works Stem cell technology has the promise to change medicine forever. From athletes looking to return quickly from tendon injuries that usually require surgery and months of recovery to celebs looking for the next big thing in anti-aging medicine. These two seemingly unrelated areas of medicine are, incredibly, treated by the same new therapy. Enter Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy. Over the past few years, more and more buzz has surrounded the technology in the celeb world as many high profile figures have had what has been dubbed “vampire facials”. The list of figures includes Kim Kardashian, Bar Rafaeli and Stephen Bar. Undergoing simple injections they claim the therapy has anti-aging effects better than botox. But is there any truth in the claims?

What is platelet rich plasma therapy?

To understand whether this stem cell technology has the potential to stop aging, it’s best to have an idea of the biology behind it. Your blood is made up of a variety of different components. The most obvious of this is red blood cells which carry oxygen to muscles and tissues that need it. But there is also plasma, which contains a number of components including platelets – a protein that usually helps the blood clot when you cut yourself and bleed. Their platelets are therefore actively released when you injure yourself and have a number of roles in the healing process.  In platelet-rich plasma therapy, platelets and growth factors (another component of plasma) are taken from the patient’s own blood. They are purified using a centrifuge and then injected back into the patient. This has been found to have regenerative properties and help healing! Using the patient’s own platelets also comes at a huge advantage in that there is no risk of rejection. This is a serious complication of other therapies like blood or organ donation but is avoided by using the patient’s own blood.


Does plasma therapy work for aging?

The big question is whether stem cell plasma therapy works as an anti-aging medication. Recent scientific work by Doctors in Verona, Italy suggests that it may. In an article published in September 2017 they found that platelet-rich plasma therapy increased reticular dermis thickness with a fibrotic aspect. In English, that means after injection the skin becomes thicker and fuller because more elastic and collagen fibers were laid down – in effect reversing the aging process on skin! Although this is one of the first studies down on the therapy it is a promising result and backs up the claims made by Kim Kardashian who is a champion of the new therapy.

Innovative Therapy for Pain on Inside of Elbow

Inflammation of the tendon (tendonitis) is the most common cause of golfers and tennis elbow (pain on inside of elbow and outside of the elbow, respectively). The reason why golfers and tennis elbow occur is due to repetitive movements where the tendons around the elbow persistently rub over the bony aspects of the joint. This occurs when performing activities such as swinging a golf club or tennis racquet, or when performing normal activities such as shaking hands, opening a door, or lifting up objects.

Pain on inside of elbow - Elbow TendonitisSigns and symptoms of elbow tendonitis    

Elbow tendonitis can be an extremely painful condition that can cause disability in patients to the point where they cannot perform their normal daily activities.

Affected individuals will complain of severe pain over the inside or outside aspects of the elbow, depending on which tendons are affected, and this can be associated with tenderness and swelling of the joint. There may also be limited mobility of the elbow with a decreased range of motion. Pain in the joint may also refer up and/or down the arm, with pain being experienced in the shoulder and/or wrist joints, respectively.

Management of elbow tendonitis

Elbow tendonitis can heal by itself with supportive measures such as resting the limb of the affected joint, applying cold compresses to the tender area, and by using an elbow support or strap. Resting the wrist joint is actually part of the protocol of golfer’s and tennis elbow treatments because when this joint is rested, the muscle and tendons in the forearm rest and can recover over a shorter period of time. Anti-inflammatory medications are used to help offer pain relief by reducing the inflammatory response in the tendons of the affected elbow.

If these conservative golfer and tennis elbow treatments are not effective, then physical therapy and even surgery may be indicated. Before surgery is warranted though, innovative therapies can be initiated.

Platelet-rich plasma and stem cell therapy

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), derived from the patient’s own blood, is a safe and effective therapy in the treatment of elbow tendonitis. The PRP is administered to the patient via an injection and this promotes tissue repair in the damaged tendon. This process involves the platelet cells stimulating the release of growth factor and stem cells from the body which is essential for tissue repair and natural healing.

Stem cells derived from the bone marrow were used in a previous study that demonstrated the usefulness of surgery followed by stem cell administration for managing severe and persistent cases of tennis elbow. The outcomes of the patients who were administered stem cells were an early return to daily activities following surgery, and a reduction in complications on their follow-up visits. Tendon repair was evident when the tissue was observed through ultrasound techniques.

Stem cells have also been derived from adipose (fat) tissue. These cells take longer to be harvested from adipose tissue, but they can be stored and used at a later stage. The stem cells collected from fat are, like PRPs, derived from the patient and does not involve the harvesting cells from embryos.

Top 5 Definitions in Amniotic Stem Cell Treatments

Stem Cell Injections, Growth Factors, Cytokines, Hyaluronic Acid – WHAT ARE THESE?

When looking at receiving amniotic stem cell treatment to avoid surgery for arthritis, tendonitis, sports injuries, or for wound care or cosmetic purposes, it helps to know what these terms mean. You don’t need to be a PhD, but at least having a basic understanding of the components of the treatment being received can’t hurt! In this video, R3 Stem Cell CEO David Greene explains what they mean.

When you’re ready for treatment, call us at (844) GET-STEM!


PRP Therapy for Bones and Joints


Platelet-rich therapy (PRP) is being used in surgeries to promote cell regeneration since 1987. The procedure involves taking the patient’s own blood, processing it in the laboratory to concentrate the platelets, and injecting the platelets into the body.



What are platelets?



Platelets are fragments of the megakaryocyte, which is a large cell in the bone marrow. Megakaryocytes differentiate and mature from stem cells, which retain the ability to renew themselves and turn into other specialized cells. In addition, platelets leave the bone marrow to circulate in the bloodstream. Platelets bring white blood cells to an injured area, facilitate blood clotting, release growth factors, and facilitate tissue regeneration.


Is PRP therapy proven to be effective?


There is much research to support that PRP therapy is effective for treating bone and joint conditions. Researchers studied 78 patients with knee osteoarthritis who received PRP injections. Compared to placebo saline injections, the study found that knees treated with PRP injections saw a reduction in stiffness and pain, and also, improved in function at the 3-month follow-up.


In a small study of patients with arthritic knees, MRI tests were used to evaluate joint damage following PRP injections. Patients receiving PRP injections had less pain after 12 months of therapy. In addition, MRIs showed that the degenerative process had not progressed in most patients who receive these treatments. The evidence also found that arthritis did not worsen, and patients had less pain than they did the previous year.


Am I a candidate for PRP therapy?


PRP does not help all patients with chronic pain, but it does work in certain situations. PRP appears to fail to treat symptoms in some people because of differences in PRP formulation and changes in certain variables, such as frequency of injections and the amount of PRP injected. PRP also does not appear to work for people with severe joint arthritis and degeneration.


How does PRP work?


When the concentrated platelet solution is injected into a damaged area, it stimulates the joint or bone causing mild PRP-2inflammation that triggers healing. As a result, new collagen forms, and as this collagen matures, it shrinks, tightens, and strengthens the body structures in the damaged area. The concentrated platelets also contain growth factors and bioactive proteins that initiate and accelerate tissue repair. These substances increase production of stem cells to stimulate connective tissue healing, bone repair and regeneration, and wound healing.


How does PRP compare to cortisone shots?


Cortisone shots offer only temporary pain relief by stopping inflammation. However, corticosteroids to not offer long-term healing like PRP. Studies show that PRP offers better tissue regeneration along with anti-inflammatory properties.


What body regions can be treated with platelet-rich platelet therapy?


PRP injections help regenerate many body areas, including the cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-back), and lumbar (low back) spine, elbows, shoulders, wrists, knees, hips, and ankles. Many orthopedic specialists use PRP therapy for sports injuries, degenerative joints, degenerative disc disease, and scoliosis.


How is platelet-rich plasma obtained?


Before a platelet-rich plasma procedure, the patient meets with the doctor for a consultation. After the decision to have PRP therapy is made, the blood is taken from the patient and placed in a special centrifuge. This device spins the blood to separate the platelets from the blood. After concentrating the platelets, the solution is injected into the damaged, injured, or degenerative body region.

An Overview of PRP Therapy: How It Works and What It Does

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy is being utilized increasingly to help enhance and encourage the healing process for those who have soft tissue and bone injuries. PRP has received increased attention from the media as it has been used to help high profile athletes who have suffered injuries mend more quickly and efficiently. It has been effective in reducing inflammation and in boosting cell proliferation, both of which are important aspects of the healing process.

Defining PRP

PRP is derived from one’s own body, coming directly from a person’s blood. It uses one kind of cell that is found in the blood, platelets. PRP is a substance that has a heavy concentration of these cells, which circulate within the blood and are an important factor in clotting. Plasma, which is also found in our blood and is aprp2
component in PRP, is involved in providing the body with key substances. Together platelets and liquid plasma, which combine to create PRP, are important in that they possess certain factors that help in the enlistment, multiplication, and specialization of cells, all of which are essential to the healing process.

PRP Therapy

PRP therapy begins with blood being drawn from the patient; it is then placed in a centrifuge where it is spun in order to separate the blood into its various components. The plasma, which is platelet rich, is collected and treated prior to being administered to the injured region.

When a patient undergoes PRP therapy they are given injections in the area of injury. When administering the treatment a healthcare professional will often utilize ultrasound guidance to ensure accuracy in treating the specific bone or soft tissue region, which may be a designated ligament or tendon.

After the patient receives the injection, there is a short period of time where they will avoid all exercise. After that, they begin an exercise program designed to physically rehabilitate the injured area.

Efficacy of PRP

There is evidence based on scientific studies focusing on animals in which therapy that uses PRP has been revealed to be effective in aiding the healing of bone and soft tissue. As an example, in calf muscle injuries in which the Achilles tendon has been damaged there has been evidence of increased numbers of cells and heightened PRP-2tendon strength. Also, increased muscle regeneration has been noted.

There have also been promising but limited studies involving humans. PRP therapy was revealed to be efficacious in a small study focusing on knee osteoarthritis. In this study PRP was shown to be more effective than hyaluronic acid treatment. In addition, there have also been positive results in treatment with PRP that focuses on rotator cuff tears and medial collateral ligament (MCL) knee injuries.

However, there is also a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that noted there was no advantage to utilizing PRP injections when compared to placebo injections of saline for the treatment of Achilles tendinosis. Still, despite the lack of of evidence as to the efficacy of PRP, it has started to take root as a treatment that can aid in the healing process due to the fact that it carries an extremely low-risk and the substance used is derived directly from the patient’s blood.

With promising results in animal models, there has been increased activity in using PRP for various conditions, including chronic and acute tendon issues and injuries to muscles and ligaments. Conditions that have responded especially well to PRP include those related to lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) and Achilles tendinosis, which affects the Achilles tendon.

As more studies are developed regarding the use of PRP and more evidence becomes available as to its effectiveness, it’s anticipated that the therapy will become more widespread. Also, studies will go a long way to helping to standardize treatment.

Cautions Regarding Treatment

Although PRP therapy involves minimal risk, there are certain cautions that should be taken when utilizing this type of approach. When undergoing treatment all anti-inflammatory medications should be stopped, as PRP is designed to aid in the reduction of inflammation and aid in healing. Also, athletes who will be involved in certain competitions need to be aware that PRP contains endogenous growth factors, which certain agencies, such as the World Anti-Doping Agency and the United States Anti-Doping Agency, forbid. This is due to the possibility that PRP might enhance one’s performance, although there is no evidence of such.

Considering PRP Therapy

There are some important points to remember concerning platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy, including that this is a substance that is extracted from the injured party’s blood, and comprised of components in their blood, specifically platelets and plasma. PRP contains a high concentration of growth factors (at least 7) and of those factors involved in cellular signaling, both of which are considered to be important in aiding the healing process.

An increasing amount of human studies are attesting to the effectiveness of PRP therapy for soft tissue injury, arthritis, tendonitis, ligament tear healing and more. Call (844) GET-STEM to find a PRP therapy treatment center today!

FAQs on PRP Therapy for Rotator Cuff Injury

What is rotator cuff injury?

Your shoulder is a ball and socket joint that connects your humerus (upper arm bone), scapula (shoulder blade), and clavicle (collarbone). The rotator cuff refers to the muscles and tendons that keep the shoulder in place, namely, the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis muscles and tendons that cover the head of the humerus.rotator cuff bursitis

The rotator cuff can be damaged from acute injury, or through progressive degeneration and overuse. The damage can range from muscle or tendon strain, to a tear of the rotator cuff tendons. Tears of the rotator cuff tendons can be partial or full-thickness.

What is the standard treatment of rotator cuff injury?

Conservative treatment options are preferred whenever possible for rotator cuff injury. If the injury is not too severe, it can be managed with a program of rest, ice therapy, compression and elevation. Analgesic medications can also be prescribed to relieve pain symptoms, as well as to reduce inflammation. Physical therapy and rehabilitation may be recommended to improve the strength and conditioning of the stabilizing muscles.

Patients suffering large or complete tears, or weakness and reduced functionality of the joint may require surgical intervention. While surgery usually results in decreased pain and improved function, significant failure rates are noted at long-term follow up consults. It is theorized that failure rates can be attributed to the poor vascularity and cellular infiltration of the tendon, leading to poor wound healing and repair.

How is PRP used in the treatment of rotator cuff injury?

Platelet-rich plasma therapy contains a high concentration of the following growth and repair factors:

  • platelet-derived growth factor
  • transforming growth factor beta
  • fibroblast growth factorShoulder pain
  • insulin-like growth factor 1
  • insulin-like growth factor 2
  • vascular endothelial growth factor
  • epidermal growth factor
  • Interleukin 8
  • keratinocyte growth factor
  • connective tissue growth factor

PRP is derived from the patient’s own blood: after drawing the necessary amount for PRP, the blood is concentrated in a centrifuge. The centrifuge splits the blood into three laters: (1) the top layer of plasma; (2) the platelets and white blood cells (also known as “the buffy coat”); and (3) the red blood cells. It is the second layer that is used for PRP.

PRP injections may be anywhere from three to eight times as concentrated as normal blood. This will be injected into the damaged area to stimulate growth and regeneration of health tissue, as well as to promote increased blood supply and tissue repair.

Should I get PRP for my rotator cuff injury?

The proponents of PRP claim that this intervention allows the body to recover within a shorter period of time compared to routine treatment. Early clinical trials have also shown that PRP can be effective in reducing pain and improving function. However, PRP still remains in its experimental stage, and there are no large-scale studies that have clearly demonstrated its effectiveness and safety. PRP should be considered an experimental procedure that can be chosen if the standard treatment options have already failed.

R3 Stem Cell’s Centers of Excellence offer PRP therapy for shoulder conditions of all types, call us today for top treatment!


Barber FA. Platelet-rich plasma for rotator cuff repair. Sports Med Arthrosc. 2013 Dec;21(4):199-205. doi: 10.1097/JSA.0b013e31828a7c6a.

Moraes VY, Lenza M, Tamaoki MJ, Faloppa F, Belloti JC. Platelet-rich therapies for musculoskeletal soft tissue injuries. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 Apr 29;4:CD010071. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD010071.pub3.

Scarpone M, Rabago D, Snell E, et al. Effectiveness of Platelet-rich Plasma Injection for Rotator CuffTendinopathy: A Prospective Open-label Study. Glob Adv Health Med. 2013 Mar;2(2):26-31. doi: 10.7453/gahmj.2012.054.

What’s the difference between PRP therapy and stem cell therapy?

In the world of regenerative medicine, both platelet rich plasma therapy and stem cell therapy are now mainstream.
They are both effective and widely used for both degenerative arthritis and soft tissue injuries to tendons and ligaments. However, there is a distinctivprp2e difference between them.

PRP therapy involves utilizing a patient’s own blood from a simple blood draw in the office. The blood is then placed into a centrifuge and spun rapidly for about 15 minutes. The result is a concentrate that includes about seven different growth factors along with a lot of platelets.

In actuality, it does not have many stem cells at all in the final result. It is then injected into the problem area such as the knee, shoulder or hip. Once injected, it does call in the body’s own stem cells for repair, but there’s not a large amount in the PRP itself.

When looking at stem cell therapy, that is the major difference. Bone marrow or adipose derived stem cell treatments contain a large amount of stem cells, along with amniotic derived stem cells as well.

Not only do these materials contain a large amount of stem cells, there are also a considerable amount of growth factors as well. What this does is elevate the healing potential along with doing a lot of the same things that PRP therapy has as well.
Because the stem cell material is more difficult to obtain, there is a significant cost differential in the procedures. While PRP therapy runs between 500 and $1100, stem cell therapy is between $2500 and $5000.

Results with both PRP therapy and stem cell therapy have been exceptional to date in small studies. This includes treatment for degenerative arthritis, rotator cuff tendinitis, if arthritis, spinal arthritis and degenerative disc disease.
There are quite a few physicians who actually administer both treatments together for adjunct of results.

R3 Stem Cell is the nation’s leading clinics for stem cell therapy, call us today to find a center close to you!

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