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Among the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatments yielding significantly positive results both in practice and research is Arthritis. Much of this research is conducted on patients suffering from osteoarthritis in the knee joint, and rightly so, as arthritis in the knees is extremely common.
Seeing the results of platelet-rich plasma therapy on Cornerstone Naturopathic patients suffering from knee arthritis, I began to look in earnest for research to support utilizing PRP as a treatment for arthritis in other joints of the body.
The result of mankind’s pension for working with our hands, these precious tools (and the fingers attached) are subject to daily use and frequent injury, and as such are often afflicted with arthritis. The reality is that not a day goes by where the average person doesn’t make use of their hands or sustain injury, and arthritis can significantly decrease one’s quality of life. It’s my belief that everyday pleasures like enjoying a coffee, holding your loved one’s hand or playing with your grandchildren should never be a source of pain.
To zoom in a little further, one of the most commonly affected joints of the hand is the thumb joint, also known as your trapeziometacarpal joint. It’s a unique joint within the human body, as it’s responsible for the opposable thumbs that separate us from primates. This joint is called a saddle joint, and earns its name due to its role in enabling the thumb to move from side to side – akin to riding a saddled horse and pivoting from side-to-side. This saddle joint allows us to move our thumbs to touch our pinky fingers, or extend to give a thumbs-up, for example.
Excessive wear-and-tear or injury is typically the cause of arthritis developing in the thumb joint, and as of today there are still no true viable surgical options or thumb replacements available, a particularly unfortunate state given the realized possibilities for similar knee and hip repair. Nevertheless, the significant number of patients suffering from arthritis in their thumbs and other finger joints motivates me to review the literature and evidence for natural treatments.
In doing so, I discovered a pilot study conducted on patients suffering from early stage arthritis in their thumb joint. The study followed ten patients who received two PRP injections at the beginning and end of a 4 week timeframe. The results yielded significantly improved wrist mobility and decreased pain, and the findings were that PRP could be used to treat arthritis in the thumb joint, was extremely safe, and could be conducted with little to no morbidity.
If you suffer from arthritis in your hands and would like to get a dialogue in motion, call to chat about natural evidence-based treatment options including platelet-rich plasma. For your reference, the details of the study referenced above can be found here.