I literally tried everything to manage my knee pain and overcome a chronic knee injury with frustrating results. Last year in May my knee cap tracked out of place due to a perfect storm of IT band (Iliotibial Band) tension and post-surgical weakness in my medial quadriceps. My leg muscles literally atrophied over the course of a month and my kneecap continued to track and re-atrophy my thigh several times after that because of my active lifestyle and a buildup of tension. I did what any western minded person would do -- I went to the orthopedic specialists to have a physical examination, MRIs and Xrays to see what the problem was and how to fix it. To my surprise I was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis as a young 30-something and also have lost some bone density in my right femur due to a long surgical recovery a few years back. All of a sudden I went from being a full time Yogi and highly productive person to a weakened, slow-moving, painfully injured couch potato.
My doctors and multiple physical therapists gawked at my extreme thigh atrophy in awe; how could someone so young and strong lose so much muscle and not gain it back? The MRI showed no anatomical joint issues, so we ruled out the need for surgery right away. I went to a neurologist to check my muscles and nerves for potential damage and they were all perfectly healthy on the tests. My symptoms of pain were ten-fold: I had arthritic inflammation for the first time in my life (which felt like fire inside my kneecaps) and I had tension radiating up and down my leg from my glute to just below my knee with various points of acute and sharp pain throughout my days, weeks, and months. Physical therapy was my first approach--and though this approach was and is still helpful--it was also harmful in my case. Some of the basic exercises given to me to strengthen my weakened quad muscle also activated my over-dominant hip muscles and IT band which literally pull my kneecap right back out of place and start the atrophy all over again. If you have or have heard of IT band syndrome, you know what I am talking about.
As a certified yoga instructor I have a decent education about the body and understand how the muscles and connective tissue work together for overall movement. Having experienced several injuries to the knees (meniscal tears, surgery and knee tracking), I am now a self-proclaimed burgeoning expert in knee pain managment. Of all the modalities I have tried so far, PRP has had the most impact to date--and I only had one session! For injuries that are chronic or complicated it is recommended to try multiple sessions as the body could benefit from multiple areas treated. Each injury or recovery area needs special attention and intention from your doctor so that the right areas receive the most help with healing.
PRP got me back into the state of strength where I can manage my physical therapy exercises, walk at a moderate pace and return to some of my basic daily activities and work requirements. Of everything I have tried so far, I feel that this modality actually worked wonders on my recovery. In fact by having PRP administered, I have been able to return to my physical therapy regimen with less pain and push back and I am seeing muscle definition return for the first time in months. Besides the natural reservation to experience needles again (there’s that unrelenting fear of mine!) I am eager to return to the office for another session and get even more benefits and healing.