PRP

PRP: What Is It?

PRP has grown in popularity as of late. More people than ever are learning about PRP, either through family members or friends that underwent the treatment. Individuals that have received the treatment many times don’t experience pain anymore. Orthopedic doctors sometimes use PRP as a part of their surgical procedures to help with the overall recovery process once the body is exposed to extreme surgical trauma.

Rafael Nadal, Tiger Woods, and other famous athletes have used PRP (platelet-rich plasma), which has brought a lot of attention to the treatment. Professional athletes that have received this treatment credit it with helping them get off the disabled list.

PRP has helped all sorts of people, as opposed to just athletes. It is particularly beneficial for those suffering from pain in the neck, back, hip, and knees. People with meniscus issues or arthritis, sprained limbs, or tears in rotator cuffs would benefit from PRP.

While PRP has been exposed to a lot of media coverage and publicity recently, many questions remain about the treatment itself and the way it works. The following article will dig deeper into PRP and tell you everything you want to know about it.

Platelet Rich Plasma: What Is It?

The blood in your body is mainly comprised of the liquid known as plasma. It contains other solid compounds, too. These small components come in the form of platelets, red cells, and white cells.

Platelets have blood clotting properties. They contain an abundance of different proteins essential for healing injuries. Such proteins are known as growth factors.

Fundamentally, PRP can be described as a platelet concentration. Think of it as plasma, but with a greater platelet concentration in comparison to the amount in standard blood. PRP growth factors can be between 5 and 10 times larger than regular blood.

Your healing system is enhanced by PRP injections, which helps facilitate the repair of musculoskeletal issues the body may have. It’s a natural approach to expediting and bolstering the body’s healing process.

PRP concentration development involves blood being withdrawn from the person that will be receiving treatment. Platelets then become separated from other types of blood cells. From there, concentration is enhanced during the “centrifugation” process. In short, blood will be run through the centrifuge where platelets are concentrated.

After the platelet concentration forms, it’s integrated with remaining blood in order to form a PRP serum. The serum will be then injected right back into the same patient’s body.

While this process is transpiring, we will be able to obtain the greatest growth factor concentration in a single place. As such, this concentrated protein formula will work more efficiently and quickly to expedite the body’s healing process (in comparison to the body being left to its own devices).

PRP: How Does It Work?

Usage of PRP remains fairly new, and, as such, there is minimal research out there about it. With that said, the preliminary research that has been conducted reveals that increased growth factor concentrations can expedite the process of healing. Such research is supported by testimonies from people who have experienced the treatment, as they have seen remarkable results firsthand.

What does the process entail?

When someone sustains a tendon or joint injury, the site of said injury will be treated with a PRP concentration that integrates with the individual’s blood using one of two approaches:

  1. PRP gets injected into the area of the injury with a syringe. As an example, a patient who is experiencing tennis elbow (irritation of tissue that links the elbow to the forearm) can get a PRP mixture injected right into the tissue that is injured. The patient may feel a little bit of pain near the site of the injection right after the procedure. The PRP will be working right away to increase and stimulate the reparative cells inside your body that are working to heal it. It may take some days to weeks to feel the improvement, but they will be long lasting, and actually help heal the body, instead of masking the pain.

  2. Many times, it is used to try to prevent someone from needing surgery. Sometimes it is used to improve the healing process after surgery. As an example, if the patient is set to have surgery for the sake of repairing an Achilles tendon, then PRP may be used after the surgery is transpiring to help with the process of healing.

What areas in the body will benefit from PRP?

As mentioned before, PRP remains a fairly new treatment. That means studies are being conducted as we speak to evaluate PRP’s effectiveness. Several factors have been proven to influence PRP treatment effectiveness, including the following:

  • The physical condition and overall health of a patient.
  • If the injury was sustained from some kind of traumatic accident and/or if the injury that developed gradually worsened.
  • The specific area in the body that is being treated.

Injections will be administered into ligaments and tendons throughout your body. A PRP injection will be quite helpful for anyone suffering from degenerative disc disease, lower back pain, arthritis joint, and sports injuries. Further, injuries that are more specific are treatable, including iliotibial band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, ACL tears, carpal tunnel, and tennis elbow, among others.

Will a certain amount of treatments be necessary before healing and relief sets in?
The answer is contingent on several different factors. The ones mentioned earlier will establish the efficiency of the treatment. They can also determine the amount of injections necessary.

Many people will need between 1 and 3 injection sets. Each set must be taken every six months. Fortunately, the amount of injections that you can get are unlimited. You don’t have to worry about side effects or risks increasing by getting more injections, unlike cortisone.

PRP happens to be a procedure that is low risk. That’s because the treatment uses the body’s own blood proteins, most of which are naturally produced. As such, there is little-to-no risk of negative side effects or rejection involved.

You could experience heightened pain near the site of injection for a short time. However, the existence of other types of complications (tissue injuries, nerve damage, infection, etc.) seems to be essentially no greater than any risks that are associated with a cortisone injection. Fortunately, PRP injections don’t come with the downsides or risks associated with cortisone shots.

How is stem cell therapy related to PRP?

Stem cell therapy happens to be a topic that everybody is talking about these days. It is easy to understand why! Stem cells help people recover and heal from tendon and joint issues using a safe and natural approach. It gives people suffering from pain an alternative to painful and invasive surgeries.

Some people are confused about the connection that PRP has to stem cell therapy. Here is the big difference: PRP will be suitable for anyone 40 years of age or younger who don’t experience chronic pain. PRP treatments help the body kickstart the process of healing. PRP assists the body’s natural stockpile of stem cells and encourages them to heal your body. The older we get, the less natural stem cell reserves we keep. PRP alone will be less effective for people over the age of 40.  For those over the age of 40, external stem cells in addition to PRP could potentially be injected into an area that requires healing for the sake of stimulating new tissue creation (and healthier ones, at that). Outside stem cells will be suitable for people over the age of 40 that do not experience chronic pain.

Will PRP be suitable for me?

If you sustained a ligament or tendon injury, and traditional methods haven’t done anything for you, PRP is worth considering. It is also worthwhile for people who are in search of a more natural and safe treatment approach.

In comparison to surgical procedures, PRP is far less aggressive. It’s also much more affordable than surgery. Best of all, your tissues can be healed up with very little scarring (if any). Further, it can prevent further tissue degeneration, minimizing the odds of the tendon being reinjured.

For many people, PRP seems like a logical approach to injury treatment as it utilizes the body’s own healing system. This natural treatment’s success and popularity continues to grow with each passing year as more research unfolds about it.

PRP therapy can be described as a type of Regenerative Treatment. It involves a direct injection of PRP into an area that is affected on the body. Platelets and growth factors in your plasma stimulate recovery, working to regenerate tendons, ligaments, and perhaps even cartilage.

PRP Therapy: What Should I Expect?

When your appointment arrives, we will take a sample of blood from you. A centrifuge will be used to separate your PRP. After the plasma is prepared, an injection directly into the injured area will follow.

Will a certain amount of treatments be necessary before healing and relief sets in?

The answer is contingent on several different factors. The ones mentioned earlier will establish the efficiency of the treatment. They can also determine the amount of injections necessary.

Many people will need between 1 and 3 injection sets. Each set must be taken every six months. Fortunately, the amount of injections that you can get are unlimited. You don’t have to worry about side effects or risks increasing by getting more injections, unlike cortisone.

PRP happens to be a procedure that is low risk. That’s because the treatment uses the body’s own blood proteins, most of which are naturally produced. As such, there is little-to-no risk of negative side effects or rejection involved.

You could experience heightened pain near the site of injection for a short time. However, the existence of other types of complications (tissue injuries, nerve damage, infection, etc.) seems to be essentially no greater than any risks that are associated with a cortisone injection. Fortunately, PRP injections don’t come with the downsides or risks associated with cortisone shots.