Joint Pain in the Older Population: A Healing Option by Dr. Catherine Christenson, DNP, FNP-BC, APRN

Joint Pain in the Older Population

In America*, there are over 52 million people ages 65 and older! Of that group, only 41% can report very good or excellent health! What is preventing the other 59% to report better health?


Protective cartilage on the ends of bones wears down on any joint, most common in knees, hips, hands, shoulders, and spine. Osteoarthritis causes pain, deformity, and lowers your quality of life.


Bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue due to hormonal changes, Vitamin D or Calcium deficiency. Osteoporosis increases risk for severe injury from a fall or accident.


2.5 million people go the Emergency Room every year due to a fall. Of those 2.5 million, 1/3 will return to ER again within one year from another fall! Most falls occur in the home when our guard is down against tripping hazards, area rugs, pets, or slippery floors.

*Reynolds Institute on Aging & CDC, University of Arkansas Medicine, Little Rock, AK

Usual Treatment Options – Maybe Not So Great

  • Live with the pain
  • Take NSAIDS (naproxsyn, ibuprofen, meloxicam, Celebrex, etc.)
  • Have a steroid shot
  • Surgery

PHYSICAL THERAPY – is often prescribed for joint pain in the elderly.  Usually the focus is on strengthening the muscles that support and stabilize a painful joint.  In addition therapy may include use of an assistive devices or bracing to help relieve joint stress.

ANOTHER HEALING OPTION: “Regenerative Medicine”: Platelet Rich Plasma – PRP

PRP is a form of “Regenerative Medicine”

Platelet rich plasma is product containing your own concentrated platelets. A platelet is a small blood cell packed with natural growth factors, proteins to stimulate healing, cytokines to cause tissue repair and regeneration, and A2M to prevent cartilage breakdown, reduce inflammation, pain, swelling, and stiffness.

PRP is autologous meaning it comes from your own blood. We can harness your body’s healing abilities and use it to repair damaged tissues!                  

How is PRP made?

We draw blood from your arm and spin blood down in specialized centrifuge that separates red blood cells from plasma. The plasma is then full of concentrated platelets and natural growth factors.

Conditions Treated with PRP

  • Joint pain- chronic and acute; Osteoarthritis, Chronic Tendonitis and Bursitis, Meniscus Tears & Rotator Cuff Tears, Damaged Nerves – Sciatic and Peripheral Neuropathy, and Soft tissue injuries. 

Is PRP safe?

Absolutely! PRP has been used clinically for over a decade. It is made from your own blood therefore insulated against risk of disease transmission or rejection. Each injection is a sterile procedure, performed very precisely with imaging guidance to achieve excellent results.

Is PRP is medically accepted procedure?    Aka- What will my doctor think?

PRP has been used for more than 15 years in all segments of the medical profession, and has been discussed in countless medical journals. PRP is used in: Medical, Surgical, Wound Care, Dental, Cosmetic, Sports Medicine and more.

How do I find out more?

Schedule a one on one evaluation with our medical provider to review a detailed history and perform a thorough physical examination. Depending on condition, order and evaluations of x-rays or scans may be  necessary.

RECAP:  General Effects of PRP

  • Reduced Pain with Improved Quality of Life
  • Reduced Need for Pain Medication
  • Prevention of Surgery
  • Safe with minimal risks
  • Improved Health & Well-Being
  • High Success Rate to decrease pain & increase function