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Thailand suggests blood as new alternative medicine for pain relief

12 April 2023 | News

The Thai Red Cross Society has a new proven treatment for pain derived from the person's own "platelets" to offer

Chula Medicine researchers in Thailand have successfully published an article on the injection of patient's own platelets rich plasma into the shoulder ligaments resulting in pain reduction, heal torn ligaments and restore torn muscles as an alternative to surgery while reducing the side effects of prolonged use of pain medications.

"Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injection for shoulder ligament injuries or rotator cuff tears is one of the treatments we have been doing for over 5 years", explains Assistant Professor Marvin Thepsoparn, MD, an anesthesiologist and pain management specialist at the Pain Clinic, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, The Thai Red Cross Society. "This approach helps to reduce the side effects of painkillers and is very safe because the patient's own platelets and plasma are used to inject back into patient's injury site to stimulate self-repair." 

This research was conducted in collaboration with the Orthopaedic Sports Unit of King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital to study pain care for people who have suffered injuries from work, sports, and abnormal body movements. These are the causes of muscle injuries and torn ligaments, which can lead to lifelong chronic pain.

"In this study, we compared the efficiency of treatments by performing an MRI of the shoulder of patients who had already received platelet injection for 6 months, and those who did not use this method to treat torn shoulder ligaments. We found that injecting of the concentration of platelets into the shoulder ligaments significantly reduced pain within 1 – 2 months and also helped repair the tear, resulting in better healing of the ligaments and a reduction in size of the tear.  As a result, patients did not have to suffer from chronic pain, avoided surgery, and eliminate the risk of continuously taking painkillers for an extended period", said the researchers.

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