The area of injury care and pain treatment continues to evolve. Today, new therapies can offer greater pain relief and faster healing than was available before. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is a regenerative therapy that allows you to see relief from your pain sooner.
What Is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?
Platelet Rich Plasma involves injecting plasma that has been enriched with platelets into injured tissue. Platelets are the cells in your blood that help clot wounds. They are also rich in proteins that are known as growth factors.
In clinical research studies, patients who received PRP therapy showed faster healing than those in the control group. Research on the benefits of PRP for a range of conditions continues to show promising results. The use of PRP goes back to the 1990s, when they were first used in plastic and maxillo-facial surgeries.
While PRP therapy has gotten a lot of press because of its use by athletes to heal from sports injuries, anyone can benefit from this therapy. It has shown promise in treatment of a number of sports injuries and painful chronic conditions.
Platelet rich plasma has between five and ten times the usual amount of platelets and growth factor proteins found in normal blood. This concentration helps heal injuries, augment the regrowth of tissues and encourages hemostasis in the body.
How Is PRP Therapy Performed?
We start by drawing blood. Because your own blood is used, any risks of infection or contamination are drastically reduced. The whole blood is put into a centrifuge and spun to separate it into three layers. The platelets concentrate in a layer together. Calcium and thrombin are added to the solution to help release the growth factors in platelets.
The PRP is collected into a sterile syringe so that it can be injected into the affected area. The injection will often also include an anesthetic for your comfort.
The entire process, including preparation of the plasma and your recovery time, should take around one to two hours.
Because PRP therapy uses your own blood, it is associated with very limited side effects. Typically, you'll experience some pain at the injection site. This usually abates in a day or two. You should minimize activity for 24 hours following your procedure. However, most patients are able to go about their regular activities soon after the procedure. If you are participating in a physical therapy program, you should be able to continue participating at the same rate.
It may take a few weeks for the full benefits of PRP treatments to take effect. If you find that PRP gives you some relief, additional treatments can be helpful.
Conditions Related to PRP Therapy
The research on PRP therapy is still developing. New studies continue to reveal benefits. For instance, one recent study demonstrated that PRP injections were associated with better outcomes in the treatment of nerve injuries. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says that tennis elbow is one of the most common injuries successfully treated with PRP therapy.
Other research has shown the value of PRP in the treatment of:
- bone regeneration
- recovery from plastic surgery
- sprained knees
- pulled hamstring muscles
Research in the benefits of PRP therapy for treatment of chronic arthritis of the knee is ongoing.
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We believe you should have a full range of treatment options to help battle your pain and get you back to your active life. Are you suffering from acute or chronic pain? Get in touch to make an appointment. We'll go over your treatment options and create a customized treatment plan for you.