Sports, Pain &
PRP Q & A
PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, is a substance is said to promote healing when injected. Plasma is a component of your blood that contains special “factors,” or proteins, that help your blood to clot. It also contains proteins that support cell growth. Researchers have produced PRP by isolating plasma from blood and concentrating it.
The idea is that injecting PRP into damaged tissues will stimulate your body to grow new, healthy cells and promote healing. Because the tissue growth factors are more concentrated in the prepared growth injections, researchers think the body’s tissues may heal faster.
When PRP is injected following injury, your physician may recommend that you rest the affected area. However, these recommendations are more related to the injury and less to the PRP injections. Most people can continue their daily activities following PRP injections.
Because PRP injections are intended to promote healing or growth, you may not notice an immediate difference after receiving the injections. However, in several weeks or months, you may observe that the area is healing faster or growing more hair than you would have expected if you hadn’t received PRP injections.
Advantages of PRP
PRP therapy is non-invasive. Injections are used when both extracting the patient’s blood and injecting the platelet-rich plasma back into the affected area. This means healing is much quicker, and chances of infections or complications are limited.
PRP has shown to be effective in treating unresponsive or chronic issues such as injuries that did not heal the way they should have over the course of time. The platelet-rich plasma can actually kick-start the body’s natural healing system in the area so that the healing process can begin and do its job the way it should. For individuals who have battled with relentless chronic pain, PRP therapy may be able to kick-start the halted recovery process.
It is also a great option for anywhere on the body because no scars are left from the procedure, incisions, or stitches that have to be removed later. Imagine the benefits PRP therapy allows for cosmetic reasons such as hair loss or promoting collagen growth.
Conditions that PRP Therapy can Address
Doctors have used PRP injections to treat acute sports injuries, such as pulled hamstring muscles or knee sprains. Doctors have also used PRP injections to treat chronic tendon problems, such as tennis elbow, Achilles tendonitis at the ankle, and jumper’s knee, or pain in the patellar tendon in the knee. PRP therapy is also known to be used for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Sometimes, PRP injections are used after surgery to repair a torn tendon (such as a rotator cuff tendon in the shoulder) or ligaments such as ACL.
Risks of PRP
Because PRP involves injecting a substance into the skin, there are potential side effects. PRP is autologous, which means it contains substances that come directly from your own body. This reduces the risks for an allergic reaction that can occur from injecting other medications, such as cortisone or hyaluronic acid.
However, there are risks from the injection itself, including: