What is platelet-rich plasma?
Along with the liquid called plasma, your blood contains red cells, white cells, and platelets. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is obtained via a process called centrifugation that removes red and white blood cells from a blood sample while leaving behind a high concentration of platelets in the plasma.
Platelets are vital for clotting blood but also contain proteins called growth factors that are very important in the healing process. PRP contains as many as 10 times the normal concentration of platelets.
What is PRP therapy?
For PRP therapy, a sample of your blood is drawn and the platelet-rich plasma is separated out, by use of a centrifuge, and placed in a syringe. The PRP is then injected into the injured area.
For joint damage, the treatment is also known as “prolotherapy,” or proliferation therapy, since the solution is injected very near or into the joint itself. The proteins in the PRP promote healing and regeneration of new tissue, which resolves the symptoms associated with the damage.
What conditions are treated with PRP therapy?
PRP therapy is a nonsurgical solution to healing injuries in joints, tendons, and other soft tissues. It’s also used in many cosmetic procedures to rejuvenate the skin. Plastic surgeons use it as well, to help speed the healing process following surgery.
PRP has also shown promise in helping speed up the recovery process after a fracture. It’s an effective therapy for numerous other musculoskeletal issues, including:
- Acute and chronic tendon injuries, such as tennis elbow
- Muscle and ligament injuries
- Degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis)
- Chronic and acute back pain due to injury or degenerative processes
What are the advantages of PRP therapy?
Rather than masking pain, PRP therapy actually enhances your body’s own natural processes to repair and regenerate damaged tissue. By introducing high concentrations of collagen and other natural growth factors into an injured area, PRP therapy resolves the underlying condition rather than just treating the symptoms. Side effects are limited to nonexistent with this treatment. There’s no risk of rejection because your own blood is used.
As a natural remedy with medically-proven effectiveness, PRP therapy coincides perfectly with the integrative medicine approach of treating your medical concerns with your body’s own restorative processes whenever possible.
If you would like more information on PRP, please call our office for a free consultation.