Platelet Rich Plasma
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a relatively new treatment that—in composition—is exactly what it sounds like: It’s blood plasma. But PRP is not just any blood. PRP is a client’s own blood, and it’s highly concentrated with platelets and other critical growth factors that accelerate the body’s natural healing process. Doctors use PRP to repair soft body tissues such as tendons and ligaments that may have suffered damage or injury.
One very big advantage of PRP therapy is that it’s minimally invasive (not requiring orthopedic surgery), so it provides a safe, natural and effective route to recovery and pain relief for anyone who wants to avoid orthopedic surgery. PRP is therefore ideal for those who have already unsuccessfully tried other first-line treatment approaches. When measures like pain and anti-inflammatory medications, topical creams and gels, braces, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, and cortisone injections simply have not worked, PRP is an appropriate next solution before the last resort of surgery. Unlike many of these other treatments and interventions, which treat the pain symptoms, PRP treats the underlying cause. PRP redresses that root problem— namely, scar tissue, disordered fibers, and poor blood flow.
Types of Injuries That PRP Therapy Treats
PRP therapy has been used to successfully treat a wide range of soft tissue injuries and issues:
- Sports injuries
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Shin splints
- Shoulder pain and instability
- Tennis and golfer’s elbow
- Hamstring and hip strains
- Knee sprains and instability
- Carpel tunnel syndrome
- Achilles tendinosis and plantar fasciitis
- Knee and hip osteoarthritis
How PRP Treatment Works
PRP treatment begins with a simple blood draw. The resulting blood sample goes into a special centrifuge machine, which then separates out and concentrates the most therapeutic platelets and growth factors. This highly concentrated healing fluid is PRP, which contains no other additives whatsoever (and therefore no risks of allergy, reaction or rejection).
Next, with the help of a diagnostic ultrasound machine, a doctor is able to identify the exact area of injury in the ligament or tendon. And, thanks to the high-resolution capabilities of current-day ultrasound technology, even collagen fibers, scar tissue, and blood flow are easily detectable. This allows the physician to insert the PRP directly into the affected area and with such precision that the inserted PRP can even target delicate, hard-to-reach areas that lie between tightly packed collagen fibers. In fact, PRP can reach and heal even the smallest of tears.
When the platelets and growth factors activate at their intended mark, they begin the work of tissue repair and regeneration. They even draw other healing proteins to the area. Eventually, the injured or damaged tissue begins to heal and renew itself.