PRP Therapy More Effective For Back Pain Than Steroids

PRP therapy makes for agility in movement

Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy More Effective For Back Pain

“In every suffering one can find a meaning and a wisdom.” ~Shoghi Effendi

Low back pain, if you have ever experienced it, you know it can be debilitating at times, and prevent you from participating in life. Low back pain may or may not have a physical cause but when there is herniation, a bulging disc, or arthritis present, research is showing a promising alternative solution.

Low back pain is one of the most common complaints we see at our clinic. Whether it is caused by osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease or by an injury, herniated or bulging discs, or spinal vertebral misalignment, conventional options are limited for reducing chronic pain and stimulating healing of the affected area. Common non-surgical conventional treatment involves glucocorticoid/steroid injections, which may decrease the pain initially. Because steroids are catabolic (breaking down tissue), they do not pose a long-term solution for chronic back pain as recurrent use can further the degenerative process by breaking down the affected discs and surrounding ligaments, leading to a worsening of the arthritis long-term. What is needed for those who suffer from chronic pain in the back is a natural solution; and naturopathic medicine provides one.

PRP: an effective treatment for chronic & acute low back pain

Recent study shows that platelet-rich plasma (PRP), plasma with growth factors derived from your own blood, is more effective in reducing pain and potentiating healing (1, 2). Forty patients were divided in to two groups, half were given corticosteroid injections and the other were given PRP injections. After 3 months, only 25% of the corticosteroid group continued to have decreased pain while 90% of the PRP group continued to have decreased pain (1). PRP releases high concentrations of growth factors that enhance the body’s natural healing response to regenerate tissue in an injured or degenerative tissue. PRP additionally has antimicrobial properties, which reduces the risk of infections, a common side effect of joint and back steroid injections (2).

PRP effectively treats injuries that can contribute to low back pain

PRP can be used to treat any joint injury or arthritis including Achilles tendon injury in athletes, chronic epicondylar tendinopathy, chronic patellar tendinosis, rotator cuff tear, anterior cruciate ligament injury, gonoarthrosis and plantar fasciitis. Usually 1-3 injections over the course of 6 months may be necessary to heal the joint. The injection is relatively painless and takes only a few minutes. Because of my training in Chinese Medicine, I inject acupuncture points as well as musculoskeletal regions to increase efficacy of the treatment and to optimize the benefits.

What is the root cause of your low back pain?

Consider too, low back pain often has a powerful emotional and psychological component which affects changes in the brain (3,4). To fully address low back pain, it is important to ask the question: “What is it that you are carrying on your back?” “What burdens and stressors are you carrying in your back?” Low back pain is signal, a sign, a way of your cells communicating with you to let you know of a message, an insight, a wisdom that needs to be gained. Getting to the root of the emotional burden and psychological stressors, and listening to that message, is an important part of the healing process of back pain. This is where biofeedback therapy, emotional release, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), acupuncture, meditation and other types of treatments come into play. It is part of my holistic and integrative medicine approach to addressing acute and chronic pain to get you back to functioning again and helping you transform.

Furthermore, hormone imbalances play a role in chronic low back pain (5,6). Because abnormal sex hormone levels are associated with low back pain, hormone evaluation and balancing are important as part of a holistic treatment plan for addressing chronic low back pain.

Spinal manipulation, structural integration therapy, acupuncture, and therapeutic massage play an important role in conjunction with PRP, hormone balancing, emotional work to achieve optimum results with chronic back pain in some individuals.

PRP Therapy: Personalized for optimal results & pain relief

I have been doing PRP and other injections since 2006, spinal manipulation since 1995, and addressing hormones and emotional work for the past 23 years with great success. At Holistique, my colleagues and I offer a comprehensive evaluation and treatment approach for low back pain which may involve PRP, hormone balancing, acupuncture, emotional release work, structural integration therapy, cold laser and more. If you are suffering from acute or chronic low back pain, I suggest you come in for a consult and we’ll personalize an effective treatment approach for you that helps you get to the depths of your pain, so finally you can have some pain relief.




Dr. Nooshin K. Darvish is a Washington board-licensed Naturopathic Doctor, certified in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine with a Fellowship in Integrative Cancer Therapies. She is the founder and Chief Medical Officer of Holistique Naturopathic Medical Center and Holistique IV Lounge. A 1995 graduate, former Chief Resident, and an Affiliate Faculty of Bastyr University, with more than 25 years of clinical practice, Dr. Darvish practices Regenerative, Naturopathic, and Integrative medicine with a passion to assist patients in their transformation towards physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. As a physician, writer, educator, lecturer, and speaker, her mission is to inspire others to become 'agents of transformation'.