Interferential Current Therapy (ICT): Does It Work?

Interferential Current Therapy (ICT) is a non-invasive therapy that uses electrical muscle stimulation to relieve pain and enhance healing. It is used for a variety of conditions but especially for chronic pain and post-surgical pain. We’ll discuss everything you need to know about ICT and whether it could be an effective treatment for you.

What Is ICT?

Interferential current therapy is a treatment modality where two medium-frequency currents are directed into damaged tissue. The frequencies are set up so that the paths of the currents cross and literally “interfere” with each other. 

Since the body essentially functions using a series of electrical signals across the cells, electrical stimulation can boost the healing response of the body. ICT can promote healing by increasing the hormones and chemicals that facilitate healing. 

ICT can also block pain signals as electrical stimulation can influence the nerves. This is one mechanism by which it can relieve pain, reduce swelling or edema of the damaged tissue, and promote healing of injured muscles. 

How does ICT act? ICT gets delivered via electrodes. While the physics may be a bit complicated, here’s an example. If one electrode delivers at 4000 Hz and its companion at 3900 Hz, the resultant beat frequency would be 100 Hz. 

Usually, the frequency required to contract muscles is between 1 and 100 Hz. Different frequencies produce different contraction responses. A larger frequency at 100 Hz can stimulate the pain gates and close them to painful impulses. 

Without pain, the chemicals that respond to it and cause edema are reduced. This reduces local swelling within damaged tissues and promotes the dilation of blood vessels. The duration of each session with interferential current is somewhere between 10-20 minutes.

Here are the different frequencies used to achieve various effects:

  • 100-150 Hz constant or 90-100 Hz rhythmic frequency is used for pain relief
  • 0-10 Hz rhythmic or 10- 50 Hz rhythmic frequency is used for muscle stimulation
  • 0-100 Hz rhythmic frequency is used for vasodilation as it relaxes the walls of the blood vessels and improves circulation

Earlier models used two electrodes. Modern units have four electrodes that can deliver a rapid series of currents to achieve the same effect in a single sweep. They usually offer frequencies of 1-150 Hz, with a choice of up to 250 Hz or more in others. 

Understanding How ICT Works To Relieve Pain 

ICT is applied with the individual in a comfortable position. Before starting, the skin is cleaned and prepped. Vacuum electrodes or pad electrodes are then placed on the area that is being treated. Two pairs of electrodes are positioned so that the crossing point of the two currents is over the treatment site. Below is a list of the estimated frequency for various tissues:

  • Smooth Muscle: 0-10 Hz
  • Sympathetic Nerves: 1-5 Hz
  • Parasympathetic Nerves: 10-150 Hz
  • Motor Nerves: 10-50 Hz
  • Sensory Nerves: 90-100 Hz
  • Nociceptive Or Pain Fibers: 90-150 Hz

ICT works in four ways. They are listed below:

  • Pain Relief: By stimulating the pain gates at frequencies of 90-150 Hz, the pain sensations are blocked or hidden. At lower frequencies, the opioid receptors can also be activated. Once activated, a person becomes numb to the pain as they cannot perceive the pain. 

Both these pathways can provide significant pain relief. ICT can be used for joint pain, back pain, sciatica, and radicular pain. 

  • Muscle Stimulation: Motor nerves in the muscles can be stimulated at various frequencies. Depending on the desired effect, the stimulation can be changed. At 1 Hz, muscle twitches are possible and tetany or contraction of the muscles can be achieved at 50 Hz. 

However, if you do a sweep at 10-25 Hz, it is possible to increase blood flow, reduce edema, and stimulate the muscles. 

  • Increased Blood Flow: The effect of blood vessel dilation is most likely achieved with one of two mechanisms: muscle contraction or the effect on the sympathetic nerves. 

The first mechanism is the effect of muscle contraction, where ICT contracts the muscles which cause the blood supply to increase in response to the metabolic demand of the muscle. The other mechanism is the effect on the sympathetic nerves which causes the vessels to dilate. 

The role of the sympathetic nervous system is to increase blood supply via vasodilation. ICT stimulates the sympathetic nerves, increasing blood flow. At present, the 10-20 or 10-25Hz frequency sweep has the desired effect of increasing blood supply. 

  • Reduction Of Edema: By blocking pain sensation, the inflammatory chemicals that increase with pain can be suppressed. These chemicals are less painful, so the edema or swelling due to inflammation is reduced. ICT also promotes the resorption of edema fluid, although the exact mechanism is not clear. 
  • Interferential Current Vs. TENS

Interferential current is different from TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation). Firstly, interferential current modulates at a much higher frequency at about 4000 Hz compared to TENS at 125 Hz. 

At higher frequencies, the resistance of the skin decreases, so there is a better penetration depth and larger volume of tissue treated. As a result, interferential current therapy can relieve deep seated pain within the tissues as well. ICT also improves circulation which facilitates healing, something that is not possible with TENS.

Clinical Conditions That Can Be Treated With ICT 

ICT can be used for various clinical conditions that cause chronic pain. Here are some of the clinical conditions in different areas of the body that can be targeted with interferential current therapy:


ICT can be used in the neck to treat conditions such as cervical spondylosis, disc herniation, and spinal canal stenosis. All of these conditions can cause severe and chronic pain that is often not relieved with analgesic medications. ICT can suppress pain and block nerve conduction so the perception of pain in the neck is less. 


Disc herniation and spinal canal stenosis are chronic conditions that affect the spine and the back, leading to back pain. Chronic lower back pain that arises due to a nerve impingement, degenerative disc disease, or a herniated disc can also be treated with ICT. 


Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are conditions that can affect the knee. Interferential current therapy can be used to treat the pain and also reduce the edema surrounding the affected knee joint. 


Conditions such as a frozen shoulder can be treated with multiple sessions of ICT. If there is an injury to a muscle or ligament in the shoulder, ICT can also effectively treat these conditions as well. 


Pain from nerve conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, neuralgia, or post-herpetic lesions, can also be treated with interferential current therapy. 

Potential Side Effects Of ICT 

While ICT is effective, there are some potential side effects, especially if an individual is new to interferential current therapy. Not everyone may experience these side effects but they are a possibility. Some of the side effects of ICT are listed below: 

  • Skin irritation
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Decreased concentration
  • Drowsiness
  • Altered heart rate

When Is ICT Not Recommended?

Interferential current therapy is mostly safe and without any major side effects. However, there are certain individuals for whom it is not recommended: 

  • ICT is not recommended for pregnant women as the electrical current may harm the baby.
  • ICT is contraindicated for children, especially in areas of epiphyseal growth.
  • ICT may not be used on individuals with an implanted medical device like a pacemaker as it can cause cardiac arrhythmia.
  • ICT may not be used on those with severe dermatitis or where the skin barrier has been broken as this can cause a burn or infection.
  • ICT therapy may not be used on individuals with a bleeding condition or those on blood thinners.
  • ICT may not be recommended for cancer patients.
  • ICT is not recommended for those with epilepsy as it could trigger a seizure.

Neuragenex Can Help You Live A Pain-Free Life

You don’t have to put up with pain – it is possible to live a pain-free life. Neuragenex offers ICT as a non-pharmaceutical, non-opioid, non-drug, nonsurgical, non-invasive, and non-chiropractic treatment for pain. 

If your doctor has not offered interferential current therapy for your pain, then it may be time to ask about your treatment options. 

High Dose PRP for Low Back Pain

More often than not, when a patient is suffering from some sort of pain, it can be directly tied to some irritation in the back. Whether the pain is high or low, it is likely that many can claim to have experienced it at one point or another. Low back pain is extremely common and manifests mostly in people who are obese or have suffered injury throughout their lifetime. However, low back pain can be a result of many different conditions besides injury and these conditions can require years of therapy and management. While most pain experienced is mild and manageable, many patients experience pain that is debilitating and precludes them from completing any normal, day-to-day activities. Although there are several different causes for low back pain, patients should understand that the pain is manageable through various treatment options.

When patients know and understand the conditions and causes of their low back pain, they are more likely to find a treatment that works and makes sense to them. While the most common treatment methods are sought out at home, some may consider drastic surgical options. For patients who seek a nonsurgical treatment and a treatment without addictive or risky medications, Orthagenex offers the treatment of high dose platelet rich plasma, High Dose PRP. However, before we cover the ins and outs related to high dose platelet rich plasma, we will review some of the aspects of low back pain so that patients could more easily pinpoint their condition.

When faced with the effects of lower back pain, patients will often resort to massaging the lower back without realizing that their pain is likely the result of nerves firing and not muscles being overworked. People often assume the pain is a result of muscle fatigue because the affected area is often the same area, they would feel pain in after heavy-lifting. While heavy lifting over an extended period of time could result in back pain, the pain is often a symptom of a deeper problem. Without confirmation of a condition, it would come to no surprise that patients experience frustration after massaging the affected area to no relief. The first thing that patients with lower back pain need to understand is that most lower back pain is a result of the nerves in their lower back being agitated. The first step in seeking effective treatment is learning what is wrong with our bodies. Once we know and understand what our bodies are communicating to us, we can assess the situation, seek effective treatment, and overcome our bodies’ obstacles with confidence.

Some of the most common causes for lower back pain might not be readily apparent to patients and may take a proper diagnosis from a medical professional before starting the recommended treatment. As mentioned previously, most people will experience lower back pain in their lives, and it will likely become an issue for which most would seek medical attention. At the same time, some patients who seek medical attention might have experienced an acute injury that spurred them into action. However, the types of patients who seek medical attention for lower back pain will often be divided into subsets before doctors recommend them for a particular treatment. So, like medical professionals, when considering the causes of lower back pain, we must also consider these various subsets of patients who are categorized by the conditions they face that would be considered risk factors.

The first, most prominent qualifier for the cause of lower back pain is age. Lower back pain is most common with patients who are over the age of thirty and the likelihood increases from then on. This is not to say that patients under thirty cannot or will not experience back pain, but it is more likely that a patient who is experiencing back pain will be over the age of thirty. Unfortunately, age is a risk factor for most conditions including lower back pain and this is due to the wearing down of disks that sit along the vertebrae of the human spine. Over time, these soft and flexible disks that can absorb the impact and stretching required from physical activity, become more brittle and unable to support the weight placed upon the vertebrae of the spine. In addition to the wearing down of these discs, it is often the case that low back pain is a result of a herniated disc– a condition wherein the disc ruptures.

The issue of accomplishing physical tasks is further exacerbated by the weight of an individual. The extra and unnecessary weight of an individual will strongly contribute to the pain experienced in the lower back. Because we ask our spine to handle hundreds of tasks which can often be strenuous every day, adding extra weight to the spine would further increase the pain experienced by patients with lower back pain. Dr. Lee and his associates in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health explain that “[f]irst, as weight increases, a load is placed on the joint carrying the weight, and compression of the intervertebral disc may be induced due to axial loading on the lumbar spine, one of the major joints carrying the weight, and this may lead to injury. Second, weight gain can cause spinal malalignment, especially lumbar lordosis, leading to LBP [low back pain]. Third, the increase in adipose tissue as the body weight increases secretes cytokines such as tumor necrosis alpha and interleukin 6, which contribute to the development of pain via the alteration of neurophysiological properties of peripheral nociceptors and central neurons” (2021). With these complications related to weight in mind, patients will likely consider the lifestyle choices they have made and will make to manage their low back pain.

Weight is often a result of an individual’s occupation or lifestyle. Unfortunately, those who live or work in an environment that is more sedentary and requires the patient to sit for several hours at a time have a much higher chance of being overweight and experiencing greater low back pain. Patients who live or work in such environments may be surprised to learn that their environment can cause lower back pain because it is not requiring them to do any strenuous exercise or activities. Contributing factors for low back pain, while surprising, are no less serious and vary from the aforementioned qualifiers to osteoarthritis and even depression or anxiety.

With these conditions and qualifiers in mind as causes for low back pain, we must also consider a condition that is directly tied to the nerves along the lower back; sciatica. Sciatica, being a condition that results from the pinching of the sciatic nerve, may also be directly tied to the disks along the vertebrae that compress the nerve. So, if the nerve is compressed by the disks, the disks along the spine are also wearing out over time, and a patient suffers from any of the former qualifiers, one can begin to understand that low back pain is a condition that is complex and multifaceted. At the outset in search of treatment, patients should understand that their low back pain is likely a result of more than one contributing factor. Because of the enumeration of conditions that contribute to low back pain, patients will often feel discouraged and assume that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to their back pain. While most patients may know of and utilize temporary pain-relievers, all would rather have effective, safe, and lasting treatment without risking surgery.

For a more safe and effective form of low back pain treatment, patients and doctors are more frequently turning to platelet rich plasma (PRP) Dr. Akeda and her associates in the Journal of Pain Research who research the efficacy of PRP for low back pain first explain that, “[p]latelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an autologous blood concentrate that contains a natural concentration of autologous growth factors and cytokines and is currently widely used in the clinical setting for tissue regeneration and repair. PRP has great potential to stimulate cell proliferation and metabolic activity of IVD [in vitro diagnosis] cells in vitro” (2019). The more physicians research and apply PRP for treatment purposes, the more they find promising results.

The study continues to claim that, “[s]everal animal studies have shown that the injection of PRP into degenerated IVDs is effective in restoring structural changes (IVD height) and improving the matrix integrity of degenerated IVDs as evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and histology. The results of this basic research have shown the great possibility that PRP has significant biological effects for tissue repair to counteract IVD degeneration”. These several studies, while showing promising results in animals can also be applied to use in human research when it comes to low back pain treatment.

The research article concludes that, “[c]linical studies for evaluating the effects of the injection of PRP into degenerated IVDs for patients with discogenic LBP have been reviewed. Although there was only one double-blind randomized controlled trial, all the studies reported that PRP was safe and effective in reducing back pain. While the clinical evidence of tissue repair of IVDs by PRP treatment is currently lacking, there is a great possibility that the application of PRP has the potential to lead to a feasible intradiscal therapy for the treatment of degenerative disc diseases. Further large-scale studies may be required to confirm the clinical evidence of PRP for the treatment of discogenic LBP” While these results are certainly promising, patients might wonder if PRP is the best treatment when compared to other similar types of treatment.

Dr. Xuan and his associates in the Journal of Neurological Surgery, first explain that, “PRP is an autologous blood derivative containing high concentrations of activated growth factors and cytokines (e.g., platelet-derived growth factor, transforming growth factor, fibroblast growth factor, insulinlike growth factor 1, and epidermal growth factor). These elements serve as important humoral mediators to induce an anti-inflammatory effect and natural healing cascade by promoting cell proliferation, migration and differentiation, protein transcription, extracellular matrix regeneration, angiogenesis, and collagen synthesis” (2020). All of these elements mentioned by Dr. Xuan and his associates not only prove to make PRP an effective treatment, but a safe treatment when compared to its competitors.

The doctors continued their study and found that, “Our meta-analysis concluded that PRP injection resulted in significantly improved pain relief (as evidenced by the meta-analysis of pain scores within 8 weeks and > 50% pain relief at 3 months) and patient satisfaction for patients with low back pain. In addition, one included RCT revealed that PRP injection was able to result in sustained and more reduction in pain visual analog scores and lumbar functional improvements at the end of 6 months than local anesthetic using a corticosteroid. These results indicated autologous PRP served as the superior treatment option for longer duration efficacy for low back pain compared with corticosteroids”. Not only do patients have the added benefit of longer duration away from pain, but they will also avoided unwanted complications from corticosteroid injections. In conclusion, Dr. Xuan found that, “PRP injection showed an important ability to provide pain relief and patient satisfaction for those with low back pain”.

Regardless of a patient’s history with low back pain, whether it is a result of an acute injury, or whether they have tried every treatment in the book, Orthagenex High Dose PRP, platelet rich plasma, proves to be the standard for treatment. When patients are treated with high dose PRP, they will experience a higher quantity and quality of these growth factors that promote cellular regeneration and tissue regrowth. When high dose PRP is administered to patients, there is a high likelihood that they will see results immediately because Orthagenex High Dose PRP facilitates the body’s ability to treat itself in a concentrated form. With this treatment, patients don’t need to worry about where the relief will be or whether they will return to a higher quality of life and activity. The treatment is here with Orthagenex High Dose PRP, the most advanced platelet rich plasma treatment available today.

High Dose PRP for Herniated Disc

When it comes to back pain, the fact is that there are many conditions that could contribute. Most patients with back pain will be able to point to a specific incident of acute injury or be able to accurately explain the chronic condition contributing to the pain, but for many patients back pain can be elusive and difficult to understand. One such condition that many do not understand is what’s known as a herniated, slipped, bulged, or ruptured disc. All of these terms refer to the same or similar condition and instance that brought the condition about but for the purposes of this article, we will be referring to the condition as a herniated disc. Understanding the occurrence and pathogenesis of a herniated disc is a patient’s first step in seeking proper diagnosis and treatment for the pain.

For patients with a herniated disc, the pain can seem insurmountable and preclude any necessary physical activities. It has often been reported that the symptoms include general back pain and weakness but what some patients may not know is that a herniated disc can also affect arms and legs in the same way. One may wonder how a herniated disc in the spine could affect these other areas, however it is essential that they do. If patients are unable or unwilling to understand how a herniated disc can contribute to arm/leg weakness and pain, they may attribute these symptoms to other conditions that can lead to misdiagnosis and potentially improper treatment.

The first thing to understand about any level of pain is that it is all directly tied to our central nervous system that runs along the spine. Pain nerves (or fibers) that run along the central nervous system also extend to the lengths of our legs and arms, what is also known as our peripheral nervous system. It is for this reason that many patients who suffer from diabetes also experience peripheral neuropathy– a condition that contributes to lasting hand and feet numbness and pain. It is common for one injury to spur other issues and pain conditions across the body. A similar condition that originates in the spine and extends to other areas of the body is sciatica. Patients with sciatica will typically feel pain along their hip or leg not knowing that the pain is a result of a pinched nerve in their spine. Because of improper understanding of the condition, a herniated disc sits alongside these conditions as one that is typically misdiagnosed and inadequately treated. So, what exactly is a herniated disc and why does it affect these outlying areas.

Dr. Wai Weng Yoon of the Spinal Surgery Unit in Leicester, UK, surmises the condition of a herniated disc as, “a localized displacement of disc material beyond the normal margins of the intervertebral disc space” (2021). Simply put, a herniated disc occurs when the cushion of disc that sits between the vertebrae to provide flexibility and protection ruptures. This rupture pushes part of the disc outside of its typical circumference.

Dr. Yoon continues to explain that “[t]he pain pathway originates in impingement [pinching] of the nerve root by the herniated disc, which may in turn lead to nerve damage both by mechanical and chemical pathways. Mechanically, compression of the nerve likely leads to localized ischemia [blood flow blockage] and nerve damage”. If there is one condition to which patients could look for similar understanding, it is the previously mentioned condition of sciatica. When a patient understands the central nervous system and how conditions along the spine contribute to other areas of pain in the body, they will more frequently and accurately diagnose these conditions and seek proper treatment.

One of the most promising treatments for pain, including pain from a herniated disc, is the treatment of platelet rich plasma. Many patients have not heard of platelet rich plasma and are understandably wary of any treatment that might be novel, perhaps fearing that it is not tried and true. But for platelet rich plasma, the evidence for its treatment capability is clear. In a study examining the effects of platelet rich plasma as an intradiscal (spinal disc) treatment, Dr. Tuakli-Wosorno and his associates concluded that, “[p]articipants who received intradiscal PRP showed significant improvements in FRI [Functional Rating Index], NRS [Numeric Rating Scale] Best Pain, and NASS [North American Spine Society] patient satisfaction scores over 8 weeks compared with controls. Those who received PRP maintained significant improvements in FRI scores through at least 1 year of follow-up” (2016). Even with these results, patients might maintain a healthy skepticism surrounding platelet rich plasma as a treatment for herniated discs. In this case it may be necessary for patients to examine which treatment options are available and how they compare with platelet rich plasma.

In a more recent study examining the efficacy of platelet rich plasma against steroid injections, doctors Zhen Xu and her associates determined that their intentions were, “ . . . aimed at comparing the efficacy and safety aspects between ultrasound-guided transforaminal injections of PRP and steroid in patients who suffer from radicular pain due to lumbar disc herniation” (2021). The study included, “a total of 124 patients who suffer from radicular pain due to lumbar disc herniation. Patients were assessed by the visual analogue scale (VAS), pressure pain thresholds (PPTs), Oswestry disability index (ODI), and the physical function (PF) and bodily pain (BP) domains of the 36-item short form health survey (SF-36) before operation and 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months after operation”. While it was eventually concluded that PRP has a similar level of efficacy when compared to steroid injections, the physicians ultimately determined that, “. . . ultrasound-guided transforaminal PRP injections yield similar effect as transforaminal steroid injections in treating lumbar disc herniation with radicular pain and that it may be a safer alternative in comparison”. With all this in mind, patients may still be apprehensive to seek platelet rich plasma as a treatment for their herniated disc. Understanding how platelet rich plasma treats this condition may help assuage some of this hesitation.

Before concluding that PRP is comparable to steroid injections and likely safer, doctors Zhen Xu and her associates explained the development and efficacy of platelet rich plasma: “In recent years, PRP has been widely used in treating musculoskeletal diseases due to its anti-inflammatory properties and ability in promoting the processes of endogenous healing by delivering a high concentration of growth factors and cytokines. These growth factors, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), transforming growth factor β-1 (TGFβ-1), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), are contained within the α-granules of platelets. Within 10 minutes after PRP injection, the platelets aggregate and clot at the targeted site with almost 95% of the α-granules load being secreted within 1 hour. Studies have shown that these growth factors are effective in promoting proliferation, angiogenesis, and synthesis of extracellular matrix proteins. Therefore, the key rationale behind the application of PRP is to increase the concentration of platelets at the targeted sites so that cytokines and GFs may be released. This will consequently allow the regulation of inflammation and immunological responses of tissue healing”. Because platelet rich plasma facilitates and aggregates these growth factors along a herniated disc, it is one of the most requested forms of treatment available today. It is also popular because it is a solution provided by the patient’s own blood.

In an evaluation of PRP conducted by the China-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin University, researchers explain that “[p]latelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a platelet concentrate extracted from autologous blood by centrifugation, which is a kind of bioactive substance” (2022). Patients might wonder how this works and whether it is safe– especially when hearing Dr. Wang refer to it as a “bioactive substance”. It is likely that many would be unwilling to apply a “bioactive substance” to treat a herniated disc. However, as is always the case, further evaluation and a deeper understanding of platelet rich plasma will help patients understand its legitimacy as a treatment for a herniated disc. With the advancement of medical technology, Orthagenex is now able to assist the body in treating herniated disc pain through high dose platelet rich plasma.

From autologous blood (a patient’s own blood), Orthagenex is able to take platelets in a concentrated form. When blood is taken from us and put in a centrifuge, it is spun around quickly to separate red blood cells from white blood cells as well as concentrate the number of platelets together. These concentrated platelets, once extracted and applied to a herniated disc, act as a supplemental regrowth. With Orthagenex High Dose PRP, patients with herniated discs will have options and hope through high dose platelet rich plasma. Orthagenex offers the treatment, education, and follow-up that patients need to return to and maintain a renewed level of confidence and understanding in their condition. Without the worry of invasive procedures or unpredictable medications, patients can have hope and confidence in their ability to find how treatments like High Dose PRP, platelet rich plasma, work for them.

High Dose PRP, Platelet Rich Plasma, as a Treatment for Epicondylitis

Differing locations and levels of pain throughout the body can be perplexing to the average person who is experiencing or learning about their pain. One minute, a patient might be experiencing pain in one location of their body and the next their pain has vanished or relocated. Typically, Orthagenex works to help patients treat chronic conditions by non-invasive means. However, there are some conditions that can be both chronic long-term issues that present routinely as short-term repeat episodes of inflammation and pain. Epicondylitis, both lateral and medial, is one such condition that perplexes patients who suffer from it. However, regardless of a patient’s history or constancy with the condition, Orthagenex understands that effective pain relief can be difficult to find– especially when the condition needing treatment is not easily understood. So, what is lateral/medial epicondylitis and how can Orthagenex help?

In 2013, Dr. Ahmad and his associates in The Bone & Joint Journal conducted an extensive study on the nature of epicondylitis and first determined that, “[l]ateral epicondylitis, or ’tennis elbow’, is a common condition that usually affects patients between 35 and 55 years of age. It is generally self-limiting, but in some patients, it may continue to cause persistent symptoms, which can be refractory [stubborn] to treatment” (Ahmad, 2013). Because of the condition’s sporadic influence on a patient and symptoms that prevent regular treatment, patients are often left frustrated and confused. However, learning more about the condition and its vagaries can help.

Dr Ahmad continued to pursue the elusive condition and its effects on patients and determined that epicondylitis, “ . . . affects between 1% and 3% of the population, mainly those aged from 35 to 55 years, with an equal gender distribution. It is generally self-limiting, and most cases require no more than treatment with simple analgesia . . . Although popularly associated with tennis, lateral epicondylitis may develop from a variety of activities that involve excessive and repetitive use of the forearm extensors,18 such as typing, playing the piano and various types of manual work. When affected, any movement that puts force on the extended wrist may be painful, as it increases the load on the diseased common extensor tendon”. When understanding that epicondylitis can result from activities as innocuous as playing the piano, patients can begin to understand why the condition is so sporadic in nature; they may not realize the various activities they perform every day could trigger and inflame the condition.

However, as Ahmad previously mentioned, epicondylitis is commonly referred to as “tennis elbow” and this is for a very good reason. Dr. Ahmad, in a summary of the relation between tennis and epicondylitis concluded that, “racquet sports may cause the condition due to a combination of factors: 1) incorrect technique (snapping the wrist in a backhand play, incorrect positioning of the feet, and hitting the ball late or with a bent elbow all result in power generation from the forearm extensors rather than core muscles or the rotator cuff); 2) extended duration of play; 3) frequency of play; 4) size of the racquet handle (affecting the lever arm of the force applied through the forearm); and 5) racquet weight”. While it is likely and obvious that many patients who suffer from “tennis elbow” are involved in some form of racquet sport, there are of course other contributing factors.

Dr. Ahmad in studying the origin of epicondylitis also concludes that, “[w]ork-related lateral epicondylitis may be linked to handling tools heavier than 1 kg, loads heavier than 20 kg more than ten times per day, and repetitive movements for more than two hours”. In general, it may be assumed that anyone who does repetitive motion with their arms and/or lifts heavy loads regularly may experience some level of pain from epicondylitis. With this being the case, it is no surprise that many who suffer from the condition will ask what they can to decrease the pain and increase mobility in their arms.

While many seek treatment for epicondylitis, others maintain that the condition– in its ephemeral nature– will eventually dissipate. In 2019, Dr. Lenoir and his associates in the journal of Orthopaedics & Traumatology: Surgery & Research determined that, “LE usually resolves spontaneously without treatment within 1–2 years. Very few studies have compared outcomes with and without treatment. As a result, whether a favourable outcome should be ascribed to the treatments used or to the natural history of the disorder is unclear . . . Overall, the available data suggest that LE often resolves spontaneously. Therefore, considerable circumspection is in order before embarking on a course of treatment, regardless of the modality chosen. Studies comparing specific types of treatment versus placebo are needed”. However, while patients often experience the pain of epicondylitis spontaneously resolve without treatment, many will experience the pain for extended periods of time and won’t necessarily appreciate being told to wait until the pain subsides. For patients who want to be proactive in treating their epicondylitis, there is a recommended treatment offered by Orthagenex.

In Dr. Ahmad’s same study mentioned previously in The Bone & Joint Journal, he and his associates found that, “[p]latelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a concentrate of platelets derived from the patient’s own blood and is known to contain a high content of growth factors that have the potential to enhance the healing process of the tendon [related to epicondylitis]. A blood sample is taken and centrifuged to extract the plasma content, and the blood is then re-injected around the lateral epicondyle. A number of RCTs have shown that PRP is superior to autologous blood and bupivacaine injections” (2013). With an understanding of the procedure and hope that it could be an effective treatment for epicondylitis, patients may wonder how Orthagenex uses high dose PRP treatments and what studies prove that it is an effective treatment.

In separate trials focusing on the efficacy of platelet rich plasma versus other methods in treating epicondylitis, Dr. Ahmad explains that, “[t]wo cohort studies showed that PRP improved clinical satisfaction scores. One case-control study showed that PRP yielded a significantly greater improvement in symptoms compared with bupivacaine [a local anesthetic]. Two randomized controlled trials compared the effect of injections of PRP and blood. Only 1 of the studies noted a significant difference at the 6-week time point. Three randomized controlled trials compared corticosteroids with PRP. Two of the smaller trials, which had follow-up periods of 6 weeks and 3 months, showed no significant difference between treatment groups. The largest randomized controlled trial found that PRP had significant benefit compared with corticosteroids with regard to pain and Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand scores at 1- and 2-year time points” (2013). As we can clearly see, patients undergoing high dose PRP treatments with Orthagenex have a high likelihood of treating the pain symptoms of epicondylitis. Dr. Ahmad concludes that these clinical trials are “. . . limited but evolving evidence for the use of PRP in lateral epicondylitis”.

As the use of High Dose PRP treatment has increased, the trials and understanding of the treatment has only provided further advocacy for its recommendation in treating epicondylitis. In a more recent 2019 study, Dr. Boden determined that, “ME and LE [Medial and Lateral Epicondylitis] are common conditions that affect between 1% and 3% of the population, mainly in persons aged 35 to 55 years . . . Although a multitude of treatment options are available, there is currently no clear gold-standard treatment for patients with chronic pain. With the aging population, successful, less invasive treatment modalities are essential” With the necessity for less invasive treatment options, Dr. Boden determined that, “PRP . . . procedures are effective, minimally invasive, nonsurgical options for treating recalcitrant [again, stubborn] ME or LE. “. . . showed a clinically and statistically significant improvement in pain and function”. As our understanding of this condition continues to evolve, Orthagenex offers the premier solution for patients with epicondylitis through high dose PRP treatment.

Patients who undergo these high dose PRP treatments for their epicondylitis pain will not only experience a safe and effective way to mitigate the pain but become further educated in the nature of their condition. The more a patient understands the nature of their pain condition, even a condition as unpredictable as epicondylitis, the more they will come to understand how Orthagenex High Dose PRP treatments may work for them. Improving one’s understanding of painful conditions not only educates patients to help them seek effective treatments like high dose PRP but gives them the confidence they need to make informed and productive decisions. Throughout this process, Orthagenex is here to help– all with the aim of improving a patient’s quality of life and reducing irritating pain.

High Dose PRP for Knee Pain

At times, when patients with knee pain are at their most vulnerable, it can seem next-to-impossible to believe in a treatment that can help. What’s worse, when patients experience knee pain on a daily basis, hope in alleviating the pain seems to disappear rapidly. As patients live with the effect of knee pain, accomplishing most physical tasks might seem insurmountable. However, knee pain is treatable and depending on the patient’s level of comfort with the treatment options, the treatment can be effective. Patients who do not wish to undergo invasive surgeries or potentially harmful side-effects from various prescriptions might become apprehensive when learning that most treatments for knee pain are not without side-effects. However, there is at least one treatment that is both effective and safe– platelet rich plasma (PRP).

Along with concerns over the side-effects and efficacy of treatments, when patients are exploring these treatment options with their doctors, they should also recognize the level of pain is likely based on their history of knee pain– or pathogenesis. While maintaining the objective of seeking effective treatment, it is likely that many will not consider the development of their knee pain, contributing risk factors, or what they can do on their own to treat the pain. When a patient does not do the research into their knee pain or understand the conditions that caused their pain, they are less likely to give their doctors a clear picture of their day-to-day conditions. The more accurate a patient understands and can describe their condition, the more likely they are to be given proper treatment.

While patients and their doctors determine the most suitable treatment for their condition, there are many factors that patients should consider– considerations we wish to engender into the minds of patients so that they can choose a treatment and an associated plan that is best for them. With an aim to educate and inform the increasing populace who suffers from chronic knee pain, it is only appropriate that patients be informed on the developments, successes, and failures associated with chronic knee pain treatment. In the end, while it is likely patients will experience frustration in their quest for treatment, treatment for knee pain does exist and it exists with Orthagenex High Dose PRP treatment.

To begin, let us differentiate and categorize the two most common types of knee pain. When it comes to knee pain, there must be a clear distinction of which patients are made aware. When a patient knows the origin and conditions associated with their knee pain, they will be more able to effectively find a treatment for themselves. Knee pain can either derive from chronic or acute conditions. Acute knee pain heals relatively quickly and refers specifically to pain that has lasted less than six months and is usually the result of an injury. The most common cause of chronic knee pain is osteoarthritis. Once patients understand osteoarthritis as a contributing factor to knee pain, they can begin to understand how other risk factors can contribute and combine to aggravate knee pain. But first, what is osteoarthritis?

Dr. Dragan Primorac highlights the importance of paying attention to osteoarthritis (OA) by stating that, “[i]t is estimated that the prevalence of knee osteoarthritis (OA) among adults 60 years of age or older is approximately 10% in men and 13% in women, making knee OA one of the leading causes of disability in elderly population. Today, we know that osteoarthritis is not a disease characterized by loss of cartilage due to mechanical loading only, but a condition that affects all of the tissues in the joint, causing detectable changes in tissue architecture, its metabolism and function” (2020). With such a high populace suffering from knee osteoarthritis, its related pain, and deformations, physicians like Dr. Primorac are scrambling daily for a solution and effective treatment upon which their patients can rely.

Osteoarthritis, a condition that affects nearly 40 million in the United States, is a condition that often manifests in the fingers and toes of patients who have been diagnosed with it, but patients who suffer from OA can expect to experience its symptoms in most joints throughout the body and this is especially true for the joints in the knee. OA manifests itself with symptoms of bone spurs, stiffness, and pain specifically targeting the joints. OA, is the most common form of arthritis because it affects most people.

One may question how that is possible and how so many people can experience arthritis, the answer is simple; everyone ages. Over time the internal and external anatomical structure of our body’s breakdown and the risk for osteoarthritis increases as the body ages. Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective pads of cartilage are worn down and the bones grind against each other and cause this pain. Unfortunately, everyone is at risk for osteoarthritis. However, patients who have experienced injuries to their knees or other joints are more likely to experience arthritis at an older age and OA is further exacerbated by other risk factors– such as obesity.

Dr. Lianzhi Chen and her associates summarize the experience of patients and their pathogenesis of knee pain by claiming that, “[o]besity-related osteoarthritis (OA) is a complex, multifactorial condition that can cause significant impact on patients’ quality of life” (2020). Dr. Chen recognizes, along with most physicians working to mitigate knee pain with their patients, that obesity is an intrinsic contribution to osteoarthritic knee pain.

In a further summary on the impact of a heavy load and OA on knee pain, Dr. Chen states that, “[m]oderate dynamic mechanical loading is one of the most important mechanical factors for maintaining joint homeostasis. The integrity of articular cartilage is maintained under moderate loading conditions during routine daily activities. However, when receiving abnormal excessive mechanical loading, disruption of cartilage homeostasis and deformation of normal joint morphology occurs, further inducing and accelerating the progression of OA”. While it may seem to be common sense to many that knee pain would increase with the increase of a patient’s weight, many do not consider– as Dr. Chen states– that obesity can accelerate the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis.

Not only does excess weight increase knee pain but it can literally deform the knee joint itself, further complicating the pain and necessitating more drastic treatment intervention. When patients are seeking treatment that is both effective and lasting, they are often met with disappointment and frustration. For doctors presented with these emotions from their patients, the former is frustrating and the latter is understandable. For too long, patients and doctors have looked for a treatment that assuages the pain while being safe and without side-effects. For many, a treatment of this nature might seem impossible or at least out of reach. With Orthagenex, treatment exists for knee pain– a treatment that promises efficacy, safety, and results.

In a study evaluating the efficacy of platelet rich plasma asa treatment for knee pain, Dr. Araya and her associates found that, “[i]n all groups, PRP increased the load-sharing ratio on PRP-injected knees, with pure PRP eliciting the largest effect among the 3 kinds of PRP (P < .05). Structural changes in the synovial tissue were significantly inhibited in the pure-PRP group compared with the control group after both 5 and 14 days (P < .001 and P = .025, respectively), whereas no significant difference was found between the control, LP-PRP, and LR-PRP groups. An inhibitory effect on cartilage degeneration was observed only in the pure-PRP group on day 14. Pure PRP also significantly inhibited expression of CGRP-positive nerve fibers in the infrapatellar fat pad compared with the other groups (P < .05)” (2020). In short, the research suggests that, “[i]n an MIA-induced arthritis model, pure PRP injection was the most effective treatment for reduction of pain-related behavior and inhibition of synovial inflammation and pain sensitization . . . PRP formulations should be optimized for each specific disease. This study shows the superiority of pure PRP for treatment of arthritis and joint pain”. In light of this positive news, patients might still be skeptical and wonder how this form of treatment stacks up against other non-invasive forms of treatment for knee pain.

In a more specific study analyzing the difference between PRP and hyaluronic acid injections to treat knee pain, Dr. Chen and his associates explain that, “a common conservative treatment, intra-articular injection of hyaluronic acid (HA) can regulate vascular permeability, lubricate the joints, reduce joint loading, and promote wound healing” (2020). In contrast, these medical professionals also found that, “[i]n recent years, there has been increasing attention focused on the intra-articular injection of platelet-rich plasma (PRP). PRP is a concentrate of platelets derived from whole blood by centrifugation that contains a large quantity of proteins and growth factors, including platelet-derived factors and transforming growth factor β. It is believed to support various important physiological functions such as anti-inflammation, analgesia, pro-proliferation of chondrocytes, and cartilage repair”. With this description in mind, patients can begin to see why and how PRP injections could very easily facilitate the regrowth and repair of cartilage damaged through years of osteoarthritis and/or acute injury.

In the end, Dr. Chaen and his associates concluded that, “[c]ompared with HA, PRP offers more advantages in the conservative treatment of knee osteoarthritis, including reduced long-term pain and improved knee joint function. PRP has no evident additional risk and can be widely used as a conservative treatment for knee osteoarthritis”. Orthagenex High Dose PRP treatment guarantees that patients are not forever locked to knee pain, even if that knee pain has been exacerbated with osteoarthritis or obesity. When patients experience high dose PRP injections, they will also be given a full nutrient deficiency rejuvenation to guarantee that a patient’s immune system is working for them to treat the chronic knee pain.

With Orthagenex, patients can be sure that they will have an experience that relieves pain, restores health, and magnifies quality of life without medications, surgeries, or invasive procedures. Orthagenex High Dose PRP, platelet rich plasma, facilitates the body’s natural ability to heal itself and repair damaged joints in the knee. For platelet rich plasma, the research is clear, and patients no longer need to worry about whether or not they need to go another day experiencing knee pain.

High Dose PRP for Facial Rejuvenation

Typically, the purpose of our treatment programs is to mitigate orthopedic injury without surgery and reduce pain from chronic and acute conditions. When a patient thinks of Orthagenex, they will typically think of its premier method of treatment– high dose platelet rich plasma. Patients would be correct to assume that the nature of high dose platelet rich plasma treatments with Orthagenex are typically used for injury repair but what they may not know is that it can also be used for facial rejuvenation.

A 2020 study evaluating the efficacy of platelet rich plasma for facial rejuvenation was conducted by Dr. Eitan Mijiritsky found that, “[g]rowth factors (GFs) play a vital role in cell proliferation, migration, differentiation and angiogenesis. Autologous platelet concentrates (APCs) which contain high levels of GFs make them especially suitable for periodontal regeneration and facial rejuvenation. The main generations of APCs presented are platelet-rich plasma (PRP), platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) and concentrated growth factor (CGF) techniques”. When Orthagenex refers to high dose platelet rich plasma, it is referring specifically to a high dose of these growth factors that are found in the platelets.

For one who might be wholly unfamiliar with the concept of platelet rich plasma, a study conducted by the China-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin University found that, “[p]latelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a platelet concentrate extracted from autologous blood by centrifugation, which is a kind of bioactive substance” (Wang 2022). Patients might wonder how this works and whether it is safe– especially when hearing Dr. Wang refer to it as a “bioactive substance”. Further evaluation and a deeper understanding of platelet rich plasma will help patients understand its legitimacy as a method for regrowth and facial rejuvenation. With the advancement of medical technology, we are now able to assist the body in rejuvenating itself through high dose platelet rich plasma. From autologous blood (a patient’s own blood), we are able to take platelets in a concentrated form. When blood is taken from us and put in a centrifuge, it is spun around quickly to separate red blood cells from white blood cells as well as concentrate the number of platelets together. These concentrated platelets with a high concentration of growth factors, once extracted and applied to the face, act as a rejuvenating substance.

Returning to Dr. Mijiritsky’s study for a more in-depth review on how PRP can relate to both healing wounds and facial rejuvenation, the study found that, “PRP plays a vital role in wound healing. The wound-healing process can be divided into three stages: biochemical activation, cellular activation and cellular response. First, there is a conversion of the mechanical injury into biochemical signals. This cascade is triggered by the Hageman factor in the serum. As a result of the disruption of microcirculation, the plasma comes into contact with tissue proteins and the basement membrane, activating the Hageman factor and platelets. The clotting cascade enables fibrin to facilitate homeostasis, and it activates thrombin. Thrombin, calcium chloride and ADP trigger the activation of platelets, leading to the release of alpha granules from platelets, with the subsequent secretion of a large variety of growth and differentiation factors.

The complement cascade also includes the release of substances that are important for wound repair. During this process, bradykinin is produced, which causes vasodilatation and the activation of plasminogen to produce plasmin, which degrades the fibrin. The fibrin degradation causes monocyte migration and vasodilatation. The third stage is the cellular response. In this stage, GFs are released from platelets. These GFs signal the local epithelial and mesenchymal cells to migrate, divide and enhance the synthesis of the collagen matrix. The platelet count in PRP is 338% of the platelet count of the whole blood. PRP enhances bone deposition and the quality of bone regeneration during bone augmentation as GFs from autologous blood are delivered to the treatment site. Moreover, platelet and GF concentrations in PRP are, on average, 3‒5 times higher in PRP than in peripheral blood”. In short, we can conclude that while platelet rich plasma plays a vital role in treating and repairing wounds, its same growth factors also contribute to enhancement of collagen and bones.

Another study evaluating the nature of platelet rich plasma for facial rejuvenation was conducted by dermatologist Elizabeth Schoenberg and her associates. In this study, the researchers determined both the relevancy of PRP for facial rejuvenation and the types of ailments it could treat: “With aging, the skin loses some of its ability to repair and regenerate. Because PRP contains important growth factors for healing, it has been studied for cutaneous [skin] rejuvenation. Studies have evaluated the use of topical and intradermal PRP used alone and in conjunction with resurfacing treatments. In one study, 12 women underwent three monthly treatments of intradermal PRP to the forehead, crow’s feet areas, cheeks, and nasolabial folds. The efficacy, as defined by reduction in wrinkles” (2020).

While this study conducted by Schoenberg and her colleagues concludes that (as of 2020) the research for skin rejuvenation is limited they also conclude that, “. . . there is some early evidence to suggest that PRP may be useful for rejuvenation”. So, while patients can count on Orthagenex to provide platelet rich plasma for treating wounds and relieving pain from chronic conditions, they can also turn to Orthagenex for facial rejuvenation procedures with high dose PRP. Once patients are familiar and comfortable with the concepts and methods of treatment with Orthagenex’s high dose platelet rich plasma, they will begin to see how it is a treatment that could both help with pain and have added benefits like collagen, bone enhancement, and skin rejuvenation.

High Dose PRP, Platelet Rich Plasma, as a Treatment for Degenerative Disc Disease

Typically, as most patients age, they will begin to feel the wearing down of their joints and muscles. This pain is not only likely, but it is probable that some (if not all) of that pain will come from the back. Besides acute back injuries that are a result of incidental injury and typically heal within a matter of weeks, aging patients will likely deal with the degeneration and deterioration of their joints. This deterioration can appear in a number of forms and conditions such as osteoarthritis. However, one of the most common conditions patients will face with age is degenerative disc disease.

Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) refers specifically to the loss of cushion between the vertebrae in the back and (as mentioned previously) is typically experienced by elderly patients and not a result of an acute injury. In many cases, patients with DDD may not even be aware they have the condition because there will be no symptoms to pinpoint. The fact is our joints wear down throughout our lives– necessitating the intervention for joint health. In other cases, patients with degenerative disc disease will experience reduced flexibility and painful bone spurs that push against the nerves in the back.

Patients who have experienced DDD or are beginning to learn about the condition may see some similarities between it and the condition of osteoarthritis–another chronic pain condition that affects the joints in the vertebrae as well as other joints around the body. Osteoarthritis also increases with age and facilitates the decrease in cushioning between the vertebrae. However, the two conditions, while falling under a similar category of “degenerative skeletal disorders”, should be diagnosed and treated differently. Without the foresight to diagnose these conditions separately, a misdiagnosis could not only result in lackluster treatment but potential harm.

Dr. Shiro Ikegawa from the Laboratory of Bone and Joint Diseases at the Center for Genomic Medicine in Tokyo determined that, “[d]egenerative skeletal disorders are common and serious problems worldwide, especially in aging populations. They are polygenic diseases influenced by both genetic and environmental factors, and hence the identification of susceptibility genes may provide clues to their etiology and pathogenesis, although this is still in its early stages” (2013). Dr. Ikegawa continues to explain that his, “ . . . review focuses on genetic studies of two representative degenerative skeletal disorders: osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease. Genetic studies of these two diseases share common features and face similar problems, although their current statuses are very different”. As was previously stated, one of the most important reasons we much differentiate between the two diseases is so that the proper treatment is administered.

Dr. Ikegawa agrees with this statement and concludes that, “[t]he future success of genetic studies of these diseases will depend on accurate and reliable diagnostics, large-scale interpopulation association studies and replications, and consideration of environmental effects and related diseases with similar phenotypes”. So, while these diseases may have a similar pathogenesis, symptoms, and even overlapping patients who suffer from both, each is different and should be treated differently.

Dr. Michele Battié of the University of Western Toronto shares a similar concern in the identification and clarification of DDD by stating that, “[d]espite longstanding use and important consequences, degenerative disc disease represents an underdeveloped concept, with greatly varying, disparate definitions documented. Such inconsistencies challenge clear, accurate communication in medicine and science, create confusion and misconceptions among clinicians, patients and others, and hinder the advancement of related knowledge” (2019). With even the term “degenerative disc disease” being given multiple meanings, patients might consider any accurate diagnosis or treatment precluded.

Dr. Fadi Taher and his associates accentuate the importance of having a knowledge of DDD and states that, “[u]nderstanding the pathophysiological basis of disc degeneration is essential for the development of treatment strategies that target the underlying mechanisms of disc degeneration rather than the downstream symptom of pain” (2012). Understanding the underlying conditions and of DDD and how those conditions can be ameliorated with high dose platelet rich plasma treatments would go a long way in helping patients get the hope they need to pursue a rich and fulfilling life without DDD. So first, what exactly is DDD and how can patients recognize it?

In order to understand DDD, we should first look at the anatomy of the back and the composition of the vertebrae. Dr. Taher continues to explain that “[t]he intervertebral disc (IVD) is composed of the nucleus pulposus (NP) centrally, the annulus fibrosus (AF) peripherally, and the cartilaginous endplates cranially and caudally at the junction to the vertebral bodies. Within the NP, an abundance of proteoglycans allows for absorption of water. This property of the NP is essential for the IVD’s handling of axial loads. In the healthy disc, the most common type of collagen within the NP is type II collagen. The AF surrounds the NP and consists primarily of type I collagen”. Later on, Dr. Taher explains how this complex composition can break down through degenerative disc disease by concluding that, “With increasing age, the water content of the IVD decreases and fissures in the NP, potentially extending into the AF, can occur, and the start of this process, termed chondrosis intervertebralis, can mark the beginning of degenerative destruction of the IVD, the endplates, and the vertebral bodies. DDD is a complex degenerative process due to age-related changes in molecular composition of the disc. This cascade has biomechanical and often times clinical sequelae that can result in substantial impairment in the afflicted individual”. Dr. Taher continues and explains the most common type of DDD diagnosis by stating that, “Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a more sensitive imaging study for the evaluation of degenerative disc disease. Findings on MRI scan include disc space narrowing, loss of T2 signal within the nucleus pulposus, endplate changes, and signs of internal disc derangement or tears”. Luckily, with this technology and the knowledge of what to look for on the imaging, doctors can accurately diagnose degenerative disc disease. Once diagnosis is determined, patients can look forward to an effective and lasting treatment with high dose platelet rich plasma.

Injecting high dose platelet rich plasma into the regions of the back that are affected by degenerative disc disease is completely safe for a number of reasons. The first reason the procedure is safe is because it is an injection of our own plasma’s healing platelets. When these healing platelets interact with the DDD damaged nerves in the back, they not only reduce the pain experienced by a patient but regenerate the nerves damaged from years of suffering from DDD. Perhaps one of the biggest perks for high dose platelet rich plasma injection is that the process is simple: blood from our own body (autologous blood) is extracted, spun in a centrifuge to separate the platelet rich plasma from the rest of our blood, and the high dose platelet rich plasma is then taken and applied to affected internal areas of the spine.

According to a 2017 study evaluating the high dose platelet rich plasma healing process, doctors concluded that the six pieces of evidence that support nerve regeneration include: “1) neuroprotection and prevention of neuronal apoptosis, 2) stimulation of vascular regeneration, 3) promotion of axonal regeneration, 4) regulation of inflammatory response in the microenvironment, 5) alleviation of nerve collateral muscle atrophy, and 6) improvement of human nervous system parameters” (2017). With the benefits of this natural application of healing platelets in mind, patients struggling with degenerative disc disease are more likely to seek this type of treatment over risky and addictive medications or surgeries.

Orthagenex offers an alternative to medical surgeries and risk-related medications– an alternative that is safe, simple to apply and easily understood by all patients who are seeking relief from degenerative disc disease. Orthagenex High Dose PRP, the most advanced platelet rich plasma treatments in use today, are often the first choice of patients suffering from DDD and patients continue to seek out this treatment after experiencing its pain-relieving effects. As patients continue to educate themselves on the nature of their degenerative disc disease, they will come to learn how high dose platelet rich plasma is a remedy that is right for them. In addition to furthering the education on their condition of back pain, patients can expect fully cooperative consulting with our highly trained professionals at Orthagenex and treatments that work for DDD– including the treatment of High Dose PRP, the most advanced platelet rich plasma treatment available today.

High-Dose PRP Treatment For Frozen Shoulder

With a sometimes undeciphered origin, patients experience shoulder pain at a level and frequency that quickly becomes unmanageable. While shoulder pain can be a result of several risk factors – low, high, and everywhere in between – at times, the diagnosis of shoulder pain is not what matters to patients.

There are times when patients experience a level of pain in their shoulders that causes them to only care about the treatment for the pain and whether that treatment is safe and effective. Before patients seek any treatment for their shoulder pain, it is imperative that they are diagnosed with the underlying cause of the pain.

If a patient has not been diagnosed concerning the origin of their shoulder pain, it is possible that the treatment they undergo will not only be unhelpful but could exacerbate their condition. In addition to being diagnosed with the correct condition, patients may also meet complications with prescribed treatments.

Understanding and educating oneself on the origin of shoulder pain and the treatment that will help the most is a significantly important part of the process because it will result in the best treatment possible for the patient.

Patients may also take comfort in knowing that they are not the only ones attempting to address their shoulder pain. Often, however, they will be met with several results to scroll through online. However, before patients attempt to self-diagnose the condition of their shoulder pain, it is recommended that they seek the opinion of a medical professional.

This article will be covering one of the most common conditions of shoulder pain, more commonly known as a frozen shoulder. We hope to shed light on this common condition and how it can be effectively treated.

If you are experiencing the debilitating symptoms of a frozen shoulder, such as severe pain, limited range of motion, and reduced quality of life, it is crucial to explore viable treatment options.

Among these options, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy emerges as a highly effective and safe treatment choice. PRP therapy harnesses the healing power of your body’s own platelets to alleviate pain and promote tissue repair, offering hope for significant pain relief and improved shoulder function. We hope to provide you with valuable insights into PRP treatment for frozen shoulder and discover the potential it holds for restoring your quality of life.

The Prevalence Of Shoulder Pain In The Population

Physicians have been tracking the prevalence of patients seeking shoulder treatment for decades.

As early as 2005, Dr. Caroline Mitchell and her associates found that “[s]elf reported prevalence of shoulder pain is estimated to be between 16% and 26%; it is the third most common cause of musculoskeletal consultation in primary care, and approximately 1% of adults consult a general practitioner with new shoulder pain annually.” (2005)

With that in mind, patients can be sure that as they seek treatment, they will likely know someone else who has suffered from or is currently seeking treatment for their shoulder pain.

How Common Is A Frozen Shoulder?

The condition of a frozen shoulder is a common problem that affects a considerable number of people. In a 2019 study assessing both the diagnosis and treatment options for this disorder, Dr. Cho from the Clinics in Orthopedic Surgery summarized that “[f]rozen shoulder (FS) is one of the most common yet challenging clinical disorder[s] presenting to the orthopedic surgeon.

“It is a disease characterized by a significant decrease in the active and passive range of motion (ROM) of the glenohumeral joint, along with pain. The prevalence rate of FS is 2%–5%, and it occurs more commonly in women. Along with the increase in comorbidities and changes in lifestyle, the incidence of FS is increasing.

“But FS’s natural course and pathogenesis have not been widely investigated and are still unknown.” (2019)

While this condition may infect a small percentage of the population (2% -5 %), it is a relatively large percentage of those suffering from shoulder pain (between 16% -26 %) in the first place. 

When considered, these percentages indicate that approximately 25% of those with shoulder pain could be experiencing a frozen shoulder.

The exact cause and natural progression of a frozen shoulder are still not fully understood. However, it is essential to recognize that the impact it can have on individuals can be significant, with sufferers commonly experiencing near-constant shoulder pain. By exploring the nature of a frozen shoulder, we can better understand its symptoms, causes, and available treatment options.

What Is A Frozen Shoulder?

A frozen shoulder is a condition that causes significant pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint. It is characterized by a gradual loss of range of motion, making it challenging to perform everyday activities.

When a shoulder is “frozen,” the connective tissue surrounding the joint, known as the capsule, becomes thickened and tight. This restricts the movement of the shoulder, resulting in pain and stiffness.

To understand how a frozen shoulder develops, imagine the shoulder joint as a ball and socket. The ball is the upper part of the arm bone (humerus), and the socket is the shallow depression in the shoulder blade (scapula). The capsule is the structure that surrounds this joint, holding it together and providing stability.

In a frozen shoulder, the capsule and its connective tissue become inflamed and thickened. The exact cause of this inflammation is still not fully understood, but it can be triggered by various factors such as injury, trauma, or an underlying medical condition.

When the capsule of the shoulder begins to thicken, it can lead to the formation of adhesions, which are bands of scar tissue that further restrict the movement of the joint. This is what causes the symptoms of pain and stiffness, making it challenging to perform basic shoulder movements like reaching or lifting.

Understanding the development of a frozen shoulder is crucial in determining appropriate treatment approaches. Furthermore, comprehending the potential causes of this condition can guide treatments that best address the underlying factors or implement preventive measures to prevent its progression over time.

In the next section, we will explore the various factors that can contribute to the development of a frozen shoulder.

Causes Of Frozen Shoulders

When it comes to the cause of a frozen shoulder, although the exact underlying cause is not always clear, several factors have been identified as potential contributors to its development. These factors include:

  • Instability: Shoulder instability, which can occur due to ligament or muscle damage, can lead to the development of a frozen shoulder. When the shoulder joint becomes unstable, it can trigger a protective response in the body, causing the surrounding tissues of the shoulder capsule to become inflamed and stiff.
  • Dislocation: A shoulder dislocation refers to the upper arm bone coming out of its socket, causing damage to the surrounding tissues of the shoulder. This damage triggers inflammation and the formation of scar tissue within the shoulder capsule. 
  • Consequently, restricted shoulder movement, chronic pain, and the development of a frozen shoulder can occur as a result.
  • Trauma: A traumatic event, such as a fall, accident, or repetitive overuse, can cause injury to the shoulder joint and its surrounding tissues. This injury triggers the body’s inflammatory response. If the initial injury is significant or inadequately healed, it can lead to the formation of adhesions.
  • These adhesions are abnormal bands of scar tissue that can restrict shoulder movement and contribute to the development of a frozen shoulder.

It’s important to note that these causes do not apply to all cases of frozen shoulder, and each individual’s condition may have unique contributing factors. Consulting with a medical professional is crucial to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Furthermore, certain risk factors are linked to an increased likelihood of developing a frozen shoulder. These factors can exacerbate the chances of experiencing this condition. Let’s delve into and explore these specific factors that contribute to its development.

Risk Factors For Frozen Shoulders

While anyone can develop a frozen shoulder, these certain health and lifestyle factors can increase the risk of its occurrence.

  • Age and sex: Frozen shoulder is more commonly observed in individuals between the ages of 40 and 60. Additionally, women are more prone to developing a frozen shoulder than men.
  • Reduced mobility: Any condition or circumstance that limits the shoulder’s range of movement or immobilizes the joint for an extended period can increase the risk of developing a frozen shoulder. This includes prolonged bed rest, wearing a shoulder sling, or recovering from a surgery or injury that restricts shoulder movement.
  • Past surgeries: Individuals who have undergone previous shoulder surgeries, such as rotator cuff repair or a shoulder joint replacement, may be at a higher risk of developing a frozen shoulder. The immobility and trauma associated with surgery can contribute to the development of adhesions and stiffness.
  • Systemic and metabolic diseases: Certain metabolic conditions, including diabetes, thyroid disorders, heart disease, and autoimmune disorders have been found to be associated with a higher risk of developing a frozen shoulder.
  • Although the precise mechanisms connecting these conditions to frozen shoulders are still being investigated, it is suspected that chronically elevated inflammation and increased lipids in the bloodstream seen throughout these disorders may play a significant role as contributing factors.

While these risk factors can make an individual more susceptible to developing a frozen shoulder, it’s important to remember that the condition can occur in the absence of these factors as well. Each case is unique, and a comprehensive evaluation by a healthcare professional is essential for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

How Is A Frozen Shoulder Diagnosed?

Diagnosing a frozen shoulder typically involves a combination of medical history assessment, physical examination, and medical imaging studies. It is typical that an expert healthcare professional, such as an orthopedic specialist, will be required to evaluate the symptoms and conduct specific tests to make an accurate diagnosis.

During the medical history assessment, the healthcare provider will inquire about the onset and progression of your symptoms, as well as any previous shoulder injuries or surgeries you may have had. It is important to provide a detailed account of the symptoms, including the level of pain, stiffness, and limitations in shoulder movement.

A physical examination commonly involves assessing the range of motion of the affected shoulder, both actively (by the patient’s own effort) and passively (by the examiner moving the shoulder). The healthcare provider will also palpate (touch) the shoulder to identify areas of tenderness and check for signs of swelling or inflammation.

While imaging studies are not always necessary for diagnosing a frozen shoulder, they can help to rule out other potential causes of shoulder pain and stiffness. It is common that X-rays are taken to evaluate the bone’s structure and rule out any abnormalities or degenerative conditions.

MRI imaging is occasionally used, and while it cannot definitively diagnose the condition, it can help identify any damage to the shoulder’s soft tissues, such as a rotator cuff tear, and rule out other possible causes of shoulder pain and stiffness. 

The primary diagnosis of a frozen shoulder is typically based on the patient’s history and physical examination, with MRI merely playing a supportive role in cases where there is uncertainty or a need to exclude other pathologies.

Diagnosing a frozen shoulder can be challenging, since it shares symptoms with other shoulder conditions. In the following section, we will delve into this topic and provide a better understanding of the diagnostic complexities involved.

Why A Frozen Shoulder Is Hard To Diagnose

With a condition as prevalent as a frozen shoulder, patients might wonder why the pathogenesis and cause of the condition are still ambiguous. How can a condition so prevalent be less than properly understood?

Dr. Cho continues to evaluate the disorder and its pathogenesis by breaking it into stages and concludes that “[a]ccording to the research so far, FS can be divided into three phases: freezing (insidious onset of shoulder pain with progressive loss of motion), frozen (gradual subsidence of pain, plateauing of stiffness with equal active and passive ROM), and thawing (gradual improvement of motion and resolution of symptoms).”

Dr. Cho’s determination of the stages involved with FS shed light on the origin of the term “frozen shoulder” and might help patients who suffer from shoulder pain describe the condition to their doctors in order to determine an accurate diagnosis

While patients might assume that a frozen shoulder will “thaw,” as Dr. Cho colloquially suggests, the doctor also highlights why viewing the condition as transitory could be a mistake. Dr. Cho continues to suggest that “[t]raditionally, FS has been regarded as a self-limiting and benign disease with complete recovery of pain and ROM.

“However, this condition can sometimes last for years. In one study, 50% of patients were still experiencing pain or stiffness of the shoulder at a mean of 7 years from the onset of the condition, although only 11% reported functional limitation. Reeves, in a prospective study of 41 patients with 5 to 10 years follow-up, found that only 39% of patients had a full recovery.

“This long period of pain and disability deprives the patients of their routine life and occupational and recreational activities. Although appropriate treatment is needed for a rapid return to their own life, definitive treatment strategies have not been established, and many different management strategies are used.”

Of course, while physicians might not fully understand the origin and pathogenesis of frozen shoulder, this does not mean that they have not found ways to adequately maintain and assuage the pain. Now, let’s shift our focus to explore the conventional treatment options available for managing the symptoms of a frozen shoulder.

Traditional Treatments For Frozen Shoulder

Traditional treatments for frozen shoulder aim to manage the symptoms, reduce pain, and improve shoulder mobility. These treatments may include:

  • Physical therapy: Physical therapy plays a crucial role in the treatment of frozen shoulder. It involves a series of exercises and stretches specifically designed to improve the shoulder’s range of motion, reduce stiffness, and strengthen the surrounding muscles. Physical therapists may also utilize manual techniques and modalities like heat or cold therapy to alleviate pain and promote healing.
  • Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, may be prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation associated with a frozen shoulder. In some cases, analgesic medications or muscle relaxants may also be used to alleviate discomfort and muscle tension.
  • Steroid injections: Corticosteroid injections directly into the shoulder joint can provide significant temporary pain relief and reduce inflammation. These injections are best when administered under ultrasound to ensure accurate placement.
  • Steroid injections may also temporarily improve shoulder mobility and provide a window of opportunity for physical therapy and rehabilitation. Due to their temporary nature, steroid injections often require repeat doses for effective treatment.
  • Surgical release: In severe cases where conservative treatments fail to alleviate symptoms, surgical intervention may be considered.
  • The surgical procedure, known as arthroscopic capsular release, involves releasing the tightened and thickened capsule to improve shoulder mobility. It is usually performed using an arthroscopic or “keyhole” surgical technique to ensure minimal tissue trauma and faster recovery.

It is important to note that the effectiveness of these traditional treatments can vary from person to person. Some individuals may experience significant improvement, while others may find limited relief. In recent years, alternative treatments like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) have emerged as a promising option for the management of frozen shoulder.

Platelet-Rich Plasma And Frozen Shoulder

While one could expect the typical painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs to be prescribed for those who suffer from frozen shoulder pain, they might not consider alternative treatments that have been studied and determined to be effective.

Many novel treatments seem to have a positive impact on treating frozen shoulders, but some seem to have a negative impact. However, patients can take hope in one of these novel treatments that seems to have the maximum benefit with no side effects: the treatment of platelet-rich plasma for frozen shoulder.

Dr. Aslani, in the Archives of Bone and Joint Surgery, explains that “[p]latelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an autogenous concentration of human platelets in a small volume of plasma. Platelet-rich plasma development via centrifugation [spinning] has been greatly simplified so that it can be used in office settings as well as operating rooms.

“The use of PRP has increased, given its safety as well as the availability of new devices for outpatient preparation and delivery.” (2016)

As the efficacy of platelet-rich plasma in treating many conditions (including frozen shoulder) becomes apparent, it is only natural that this treatment will be requested and more easily implemented.

But if it is increasing in popularity, that must mean it has some efficacy, and if it has an evident efficacy in treating shoulder pain, one might wonder just exactly how it works.

How Does PRP Work For Frozen Shoulder?

Dr. Aslani continues to explain that “[p]latelet-rich plasma can produce collagen and growth factors and might increase stem cells, which consequently enhances the healing process by delivering high concentrations of alpha-granules containing biologically active moieties (such as vascular endothelial growth factor and transforming growth factor-β) to the areas of soft tissue damage[.]”

In short, platelet-rich plasma – when injected into the affected areas (i.e. the shoulder) – delivers growth factors and collagen to help repair damaged areas. Effectively, platelet-rich plasma assists in the body’s natural healing process. Dr. Aslani, knowing the process of application and efficacy of platelet-rich plasma, conducted the following study in order to determine its efficacy against FS.

She continues in her own words that “[a]s this method [PRP] has good results in the repair of tendons, muscles and ligaments and even fractures, and because there is no evidence of complications related to PRP injections and since we are not aware of the efficacy of the PRP injection on FS, we used PRP on a patient with FS.”

After testing PRP on a male patient with minimal comorbidities who suffered from FS, Dr. Aslani recorded that “[t]he average pre-treatment ROM [range of movement] was 70 degrees for flexion, 75 degrees for abduction, and 25 degrees for external rotation.

“After the first treatment, the patient reported 60% improvement in shoulder pain during the daytime, and 100% at night. After the second injection, post-treatment mean ROM value showed: 150 degrees of flexion, 135 degrees of abduction, and 50 degrees of external rotation.

“Also, the patient reported improvements more than 70% regarding his function based on the DASH questionnaire. He was also 70% satisfied with the treatment[.]” 

According to this study, Dr. Aslani and her associates correctly determine that, “[t]he result showed improvement in the ROM of all directions and functional improvement of the patient.

Also, the result showed decreased pain during the daytime and complete pain improvement at night.”

What To Expect From PRP Treatment

When considering PRP treatment for frozen shoulder, it is essential to understand what to expect before, during, and after the procedure. The following is a general overview:

  • Consultation: Before undergoing PRP treatment, you will have a consultation with a healthcare professional experienced in administering PRP therapy. They will evaluate your medical history, assess your shoulder condition, and discuss treatment goals and expectations.
  • Preparation: On the day of the procedure, a small sample of your blood will be drawn. The blood sample will be processed in a centrifuge (spinner) to separate the platelet-rich plasma from other blood components. This concentrated PRP will then be collected and prepared for injection.
  • Injection: Using a sterile technique, the healthcare professional will inject the PRP directly into the affected areas of the shoulder joint. They may use imaging guidance, such as ultrasound, to ensure precise placement of the injections.
  • Recovery and rehabilitation: After the PRP injections, you may experience some mild soreness or discomfort at the injection site. It is essential to follow any post-procedure instructions provided by your healthcare professional, including rest, gentle shoulder exercises, and avoiding excessive strain on the shoulder joint
  • Follow-up: Your healthcare professional will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan. The number of PRP treatments required may vary depending on the severity of your frozen shoulder.

It is important to note that the response to PRP treatment can vary from person to person. While some individuals may experience significant improvement after a single treatment, others may require multiple sessions to achieve optimal results.

Working closely with your healthcare professional will help determine the best course of treatment for your specific condition. While PRP therapy is an effective treatment for managing the painful symptoms of a frozen shoulder, it’s important to note that not all facilities offering this alternative treatment adhere to the same protocols.

It’s important to be aware that different facilities may follow varying protocols when it comes to PRP therapy for frozen shoulder. This highlights the need for seeking healthcare from a reputable provider who prioritizes safety and transparency and who aligns with your specific needs.

Finding a trustworthy healthcare provider is essential to ensure the best possible outcome for your PRP therapy experience.

Why Choosing The Right PRP Treatment Matters

When a patient’s range of motion is affected in their shoulders, hundreds of other physical tasks are sacrificed. With Orthagenex, patients with frozen shoulders can expect treatment with high-dose platelet-rich plasma.

With these injections being safe and effective, patients can be confident in knowing that their range of movement has the best chance of returning to normal. In addition to improved ROM, patients can find relief from frozen shoulder pain.

All of this is due to Orthagenex High Dose PRP, the most advanced platelet-rich plasma treatment available today, which facilitates the body’s natural capability and desire to heal itself from pain – even pain from conditions like frozen shoulders.

Orthagenex stands out in the field of PRP therapy for frozen shoulders by delivering a concentrated dose of platelets and growth factors directly to the affected areas. This approach promotes tissue repair, reduces inflammation, accelerates the healing process, and maximizes therapeutic benefits.

Additionally, what sets the Orthagenex clinics apart is our unwavering commitment to safety, efficacy, and patient satisfaction. Our clinics adhere to stringent quality standards and employ experienced healthcare professionals who specialize in PRP therapy.

Orthagenex understands the profound impact a frozen shoulder can have on a person’s quality of life, limiting daily activities and enjoyment. With years of combined experience and expertise in PRP therapy, Orthagenex aims to provide patients with effective and long-lasting relief from shoulder pain. Our goal is to help you regain your mobility and improve your overall well-being.

Choosing the right PRP treatment can make a significant difference in your frozen shoulder treatment’s success. By partnering with a reputable and specialized clinic, you can have confidence in the treatment’s safety, effectiveness, and expertise of the healthcare professionals involved.

How Does PRP Compare To Other Treatments?

While Dr. Aslani heralds and praises PRP as a new treatment for FS, she also chooses to single out a particular novel treatment that might have deleterious effects:

“Physicians usually recommend injections of corticosteroid and hyaluronic or physiotherapy for FS management, but such injections have some side effects, and physiotherapy has not shown a superior efficacy according to the literature. However, in this report, we have suggested a new effective intervention for improvement which seems to have no side effects [referring to PRP].”

With the results of their study in hand, Dr. Aslani and her associates are able to turn away from corticosteroid injections. They can conclude that “[t]he results of this study support the use of PRP in frozen shoulders.

“We found that PRP has positive effects on healing during shoulder capsulitis. This intervention decreases pain and increases upper limb function. Also, it can improve the range of shoulder motion in various directions.”

Seek Out The Best Treatment For A Frozen Shoulder

Patients with frozen shoulders should refrain from resorting to living with the condition and wait for it to thaw before freezing again. Living with this chronic condition does not mean patients need to accept a reduced quality of life or limited level of physical activity.

By seeking the most effective treatment for a frozen shoulder, you can effectively manage the condition, find relief, and regain control over your quality of life. While traditional treatments like physical therapy, medications, and surgery can offer some relief, it is important to consider alternative options that provide promising results without relying solely on long-term pharmaceuticals or invasive surgeries.

One such alternative is high-dose platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. By exploring innovative approaches like PRP therapy, you can broaden your treatment options and potentially experience significant benefits in managing your frozen shoulder symptoms.

Choosing Orthagenex and its high-dose PRP treatment allows you to benefit from the expertise of experienced healthcare professionals dedicated to safety and efficacy. Our commitment to utilizing advanced PRP techniques and adhering to strict quality standards ensures the highest level of care and the best treatment outcomes.

With Orthagenex’s high-dose PRP therapy, you can regain shoulder mobility, alleviate pain, and improve your overall quality of life. Take the first step towards a pain-free and active lifestyle by reaching out to Orthagenex today.

High-Dose PRP Treatment For Hair Regeneration

Over the past decade, advancement in treatment for pain conditions has accelerated past what we once thought imaginable. Thanks to this advancement, we now have a solid understanding of the treatments that work and those that are less than effective. 

We understand that some treatments have deleterious side effects that can lead to worse conditions or are not nearly as effective as we had hoped. However, there is a more recent treatment for pain that we have come to understand to be one of the more safe and effective treatments available. 

For patients suffering from osteoarthritis or an acute ACL tear, high-dose platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is one of the most effective treatments discovered and developed over the past decade. The more we learn about PRP as a treatment for these various ailments, the more we understand that its application may apply to more than we had initially anticipated. 

In addition to PRP being used to treat pain conditions, it also has cosmetic purposes, including the regeneration of skin like facial skin. While this treatment does have a record of efficacy, some may remain skeptical and feel that a treatment that works for several different purposes is too good to be true.

While a healthy level of skepticism is necessary to temper our excitement when seeking out any treatment, it is also necessary that we conduct responsible and thorough research behind PRP – more specifically, PRP as a treatment for hair loss (alopecia).

Understanding Platelet-Rich Plasma

But what exactly is platelet-rich plasma?

In an evaluation of PRP conducted by the China-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin University, researchers explain that “[p]latelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a platelet concentrate extracted from autologous blood by centrifugation, which is a kind of bioactive substance.” (Wang 2022) 

Patients might wonder how this works and whether it is safe – especially when hearing Dr Wang refer to it as a “bioactive substance.” It is likely that many would be unwilling to apply a bioactive substance to treat their alopecia. 

However, as is always the case, further evaluation and a deeper understanding of PRP will help patients understand its legitimacy as a treatment for alopecia. First, let’s capture a greater understanding of alopecia, its more common variants, and why effective treatments are needed.

The Need For Hair Regeneration Treatments

Continuous research is being undertaken to investigate the prevalence, causes, and treatments of alopecia, all with the goal of learning more about the various types and specific implications it can have.

While the data varies depending on the underlying cause, it is widely understood that a considerable proportion of the US population will experience hair loss during their lifetimes, particularly androgenetic alopecia (AGA), also known as pattern hair loss. 

The 2018 International Journal of Women’s Dermatology states that “By the age of 60 years, 45% of men and 35% of women develop AGA.” (Stevens and Khetarpal 2018)

While alopecia can start throughout adolescence, it usually becomes more prevalent with age. An article by Ho et al (2022 indicates that the incidence of male pattern hair loss affects up to 80% of men by the age of 70. In women, the condition is also quite common, with an increase in incidence after menopause.

Beyond the cosmetic concerns, hair loss is known to cause a significant burden on an individual’s quality of life. The societal emphasis on a youthful appearance, often being perceived as more attractive, adds to the distress and life-altering implications of hair loss, potentially affecting a person’s self-esteem and mental well-being. 

Deciding to treat hair loss is a personal choice, and addressing symptoms early can lead to more favorable outcomes, preventing further loss and encouraging regrowth. Treatment options include medicated creams, pills, surgical transplants, and lasers, as well as the newer method of PRP therapy. 

Because of its potential to produce excellent outcomes without the use of harsh drugs or surgeries, PRP is gaining in popularity for its ability to encourage hair renewal and improve hair density. Nestor et al note in their 2021 literature review on AGA treatment options that “patient satisfaction is typically very high, and 60-70% of patients continue to undergo maintenance treatments with PRP. (Nestor et al 2021)

To better understand PRP’s ongoing advancements as an evolving treatment for hair loss, let’s look at some of the most recent research on how it works. 

The Evolution Of PRP As A Treatment For Hair Regeneration

With the preservation of hair follicle stem cells in mind and the goal being the regrowth of these hair follicles, cosmetic dermatologist Dr Jason Emer explains the potential of PRP to regrow these follicles by concluding that “[p]latelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an autologous serum containing high concentrations of platelets and growth factors. 

PRP continues to evolve as an important treatment modality with many applications in dermatology, particularly in the areas of hair restoration, skin rejuvenation, acne scars, dermal augmentation, and striae distensae [stretch marks]. 

Furthermore, combining PRP with laser therapies, microneedling, dermal fillers, and autologous fat grafting produces synergistic effects, leading to improved aesthetic results. Future studies should standardize PRP treatment protocols for specific indications. PRP holds considerable promise in dermatology with therapeutic applications continuing to expand.” (2019)

One of the studies cited explicitly by Dr. Emer is another 2019 study evaluating the efficacy of platelet-rich plasma as a treatment for alopecia.

In this study, Dr. Aditya Gupta and her associates with the Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery found that “platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is being used to encourage hair growth through the release of growth factors and cytokines. […] In androgenetic alopecia (AGA) patients, 3 monthly PRP injections (1 session administered every month for 3 months) exhibited greater efficacy over placebo as measured by a change in total hair density (hair/cm2) over the treatment period (mean difference: 25.61, 95% CI: 4.45 to 46.77; P = .02).

“The studies included in the meta-analysis used a half-head design, which may have influenced the results because of the effects PRP can induce. […] In conclusion, to achieve an improvement in hair restoration in patients with mild AGA, 3 initial monthly PRP injections should be given.” 

Whether patients utilize platelet-rich plasma as a singular treatment for alopecia or to supplement existing treatment, they can be reassured by the research that decisively concludes it is a safe and effective method for hair regrowth.

What Kinds of Hair Loss Conditions Can PRP Treat?

Because platelet-rich plasma and its application is a more recent treatment for several ailments and conditions like alopecia (hair loss), the research continues to develop, but it is growing rapidly. 

This section aims to provide a full overview of the factors linked to alopecia, as well as how recent research into PRP therapy is presenting a potential and successful route for men and women struggling with AGA and stress-related hair loss (telogen effluvium).

Associated Factors Of Alopecia

In a study conducted in the European Journal of Pharmacology, Yuan and his associates explain that “[a]ttributed to hereditary factors, emotional stress, and psychiatric disorders, alopecia is highly prevalent in current society, resulting in devastating physical and psychological sequelae [psychological ramifications]. 

Considering the role of stem cells in pathogenesis, alopecia can be divided into two types: nonscarring alopecia and scarring alopecia. 

“In nonscarring alopecia, the progenitor cells are destroyed, while the hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs) are preserved, which is why this kind of alopecia can be reversible. Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) accounts for the majority of the nonscarring alopecia cases, affecting up to 80% of Caucasian men by the age of 80 and nearly 40% of Caucasian women by the age of 70.” (2020)

According to Yuan’s study, we must qualify that their findings related to PRP as a treatment for alopecia only apply to nonscarring alopecia in which the hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs) are preserved. Fortunately, as the study suggests, most alopecia cases are nonscarring and therefore are candidates for this treatment.

Hair Loss Due To Stress

With the increasing stress of today’s society, telogen effluvium (TE), or stress-related hair loss, has become another prevalent cause of alopecia. A literature review published by Fahham et al 2020 describes it as “…a scalp disorder characterized by excessive shedding of hair. Several factors such as drugs, trauma, and emotional and physiological stress can lead to the development of telogen effluvium.” 

Fatani et al (2015) note in their study that “TE does not appear to have a predilection for particular racial or ethnic groups.” However, both Fahham and Fatani indicate that TE is more commonly seen in females and is highly prevalent in individuals dealing with chronic systemic illnesses such as thyroid dysfunction, auto-immune conditions, diabetes, or low levels of iron and ferritin.

TE can develop suddenly, presenting as an acute (short-term) condition. It may also go on to persist for more than six months, transitioning into a chronic issue. Interestingly, TE can also occur in a fluctuating pattern, appearing and disappearing over a person’s lifetime. Additional factors that can influence the progression of TE include psychological and physical stress levels and different types of medications.

Because TE is non-scarring, PRP treatments are likely to be a beneficial treatment option. In one pilot study from early 2023 evaluating the safety and effectiveness of PRP treatments on 30 women with chronic TE, El-Dawla et al (2023) showed significant improvement at the clinical level and high patient satisfaction. 

Though limited by sample size, this randomized, controlled, double-blind, pilot clinical trial concluded that “Platelet-rich plasma could be considered as a promising therapy for patients with chronic telogen effluvium with an excellent safety profile.”

Menopausal And Female Pattern Hair Loss

AGA in women, also known as non-scarring female pattern hair loss (FPHL), is defined by Nestor et al 2021 as “diffuse hair thinning between the frontal scalp and vertex, typically sparing the frontal hairline, which creates a more visible scalp.”

Even though it’s more common around menopause, women can also experience FPHL during their childbearing years. Fabbrocini et al (2018) note that 12% of women develop FPHL by age 29, 25% by 49, 41% by 69, and >50% by 79. Ramos et al (2023) warn against antiandrogenic meds during pregnancy, stating that it is essential for premenopausal women to use highly effective contraceptives while being treated with FPHL drugs.

FPHL can greatly impact the quality of a woman’s life, self-esteem, and mental health. Hoffer et al (2021) suggest this is owing to the common belief that a woman’s hair plays a significant role in her identity and that women place greater importance on their appearance than men. Finding successful treatments for FPHL is understandably a priority; nevertheless, conventional treatments may not fulfill patients’ expectations.

Ramos, PM (2023) states that “Topical minoxidil, which has been used to treat female pattern hair loss since the 1990s, is the only medication that has a high level of evidence and remains the first choice. However, about 40% of patients do not show improvement with this treatment.”

Kaushik and Kumaran explain in their 2020 paper that PRP is a promising solution for patients with AGA (or FPHL). The authors found that many studies show significant improvements in hair count, density, and the percentage of anagen hairs with varied sessions of PRP injections. 

The authors also came to the same conclusion that more extensive, diverse research is needed for a clearer understanding of PRP’s effectiveness in AGA treatment, but is still presenting an exciting prospect in the evolving field of hair loss treatments for women.

Male Pattern Hair Loss And Balding 

Male pattern hair loss (MPHL) and baldness are two further types of non-scarring AGA alopecia. They differ from FPHL in that they affect multiple areas of the head, with hair loss extending from the frontotemporal and vertex scalps. 

In the Medizinische Genetik journal, Henne et al(2023) suggest MPHL is a “…highly heritable and prevalent condition…” and that “This androgen-dependent hair loss may commence during puberty, and up to 80 % of European men experience some degree of MPHL during their lifetime.” They also mention that “Current treatment options for MPHL have limited efficacy.”

Conventional treatments for MPHL include minoxidil ointment and finasteride tablets. Both of these treatments may initially cause increased hair shedding, with their effects stabilizing anywhere between six and 18 months, and both necessitate lifelong use and have potential side effects. This current approach underscores the importance of finding a more encouraging and sustainable solution that supports a more realistic long-term regime for men with MPHL.

A systematic review by Gentile and Garcovich (2020) reviewed 12 clinical trials on PRP treatments for AGA in both men and women. The review concluded that PRP “…present[s] a safe and effective alternative procedure to treat hair loss compared with Minoxidil®, Finasteride®, and Dutasteride® […]” 

This emphasizes PRP’s potential as an innovative solution for people seeking to avoid the demanding regimen and potential side effects of current medications.

Early Intervention For Hair Loss

Despite how common hair loss is, it may be surprising to learn that it is one of the most challenging conditions for dermatologists to address. Its complexity includes the many available treatment options, their effectiveness, associated side effects, practicality of patient compliance, and treatment costs. The chronic nature of AGA can compound all of these factors. (Nestor et al 2021)

Early intervention is key for optimal outcomes in individuals experiencing initial signs of hair loss. For individuals experiencing early-onset symptoms, commencing PRP treatments may significantly slow down the condition’s progression, offering a treatment alternative that reduces the reliance on medications, surgery, or lasers.

Nestor et al (2021) noted that PRP is particularly suitable for early-stage AGA, where intact hair follicles are present, maximizing the potential for significant hair restoration. Opting for PRP in the early stages allows individuals to promptly address hair loss concerns and can lead to better results and long-term satisfaction.

Furthermore, PRP therapy not only requires less daily commitment for patients but is also potentially more cost-effective than the surgical transplants recommended for severe cases that have been left untreated.

The PRP Treatment Process 

Stevens and Khetarpal (2018) highlight the challenge of precisely defining how PRP helps with hair regeneration due to the lack of globally standardized preparation methods. This means it is essential to manage patients’ expectations for hair regeneration treatments with PRP, given the evolving state of research and application in practice.

While PRP treatments offer a more flexible approach with proposed three-monthly injections for sustained effects, Nestor et al (2021) underscore that it’s not curative for hair loss and requires long-term continuation for lasting effects. 

Understanding that no medical intervention is risk-free, the authors also highlight that mild, transient side effects can be associated with PRP, such as scalp pain, headache, and burning sensations, but they note that these are often relieved by vibration or cool air.

Despite the promising adjuvant treatment for AGA, the lack of standardization in PRP methods, as emphasized recently by Anon and Anand Paichitrojjana (2022), calls for caution. 

Therefore, individuals considering PRP should understand its substantial promise while also acknowledging the current limitations due to the lack of standardization in methods across different studies and practitioners.

When Is PRP For Hair Regeneration Not Recommended?

PRP treatment for hair regeneration is generally safe and minimally invasive but is not recommended for individuals with certain health concerns. 

Stevens and Khetarpal (2018) note that PRP’s autologous origin will reduce infection and rejection risks. However, Nestor et al (2021) more recently cautioned against PRP use in individuals with bleeding disorders, autoimmune diseases, active infections, or those on anticoagulants. 

Anon and Anand Paichitrojjana (2022) also highlight that, while few, some absolute contraindications include individuals with thrombocytopenia, platelet dysfunction, sepsis, and local infection. The authors also outlined that relative contraindications may include recent NSAIDs use, glucocorticoid injections, systemic glucocorticoids, recent illness, cancer, anemia, thrombocytopenia, and tobacco use. 

It’s most important for individuals considering PRP to discuss their medical history and current medications with their healthcare providers to determine the suitability of PRP treatment and ensure their safety. Always prioritize open communication with your healthcare team to make informed decisions aligned with your health goals.

How Orthagenex Uses High-Dose PRP For Hair Regeneration

With the advancement of medical technology, Orthagenex can now assist the regrowth of hair follicle stem cells through high-dose platelet-rich plasma.

From autologous blood (a patient’s own blood), Orthagenex high-dose PRP can condense platelets in a highly concentrated form. When blood is taken from a patient and put in a centrifuge, it is spun quickly to separate red blood cells from white blood cells and concentrate the number of platelets together. 

Once extracted and applied to alopecia-affected areas, these concentrated platelets act as supplemental regrowth that can be used to target balding areas. With Orthagenex high-dose PRP, patients with alopecia will have options and hope through high-dose platelet-rich plasma. 

See How High-Dose PRP Can Make A Difference In Your Hair Growth

Orthagenex high-dose PRP protocols offer the treatment, education, and follow-up that patients need to return to and maintain a renewed confidence level in their appearance. 

Without the worry of invasive procedures or unpredictable medications that cause multiple unwanted side effects, patients can have hope and confidence in their ability to find how treatments like high-dose PRP, the most advanced platelet-rich plasma in use today, will work for them.