PRP, or Platelet Rich Plasma, is a revolutionary and conservative approach to natural healing. You may have heard about PRP from professional athletes who have used this regenerative therapy to get “back in the game” sooner than with traditional methods. While still experimental, PRP is a safe procedure and has been used for many, many years with success.
PRP injections have been shown to relieve acute or chronic pain and to accelerate healing of injured tissues and joints. The healing factors of PRP stimulate blood flow and other growth factors that help restore the compromised tendons or cartilage and boost the body’s own natural healing process.
The purpose of PRP therapy is to merge this technology with the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Blood is composed of red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, and platelets. Platelets play a critical role in the healing of soft tissue and cartilage injuries, as well as possibly improving pain from degenerative conditions such as arthritis. With advanced techniques, the process is performed during a simple outpatient, non-surgical setting.
What to expect: A small amount of blood is drawn from the patient’s arm and placed into a sterile container which is then placed into a centrifuge. This spinning process separates whole blood into layers of PRP and red blood cells. The patient is given a local anesthetic and the prepared PRP layer is then injected into the localized area to be treated. The process takes less than an hour. There may be discomfort at the injection site following the procedure, however, most patients are able to return to normal activity with no significant down time. Ice and elevation may alleviate any discomfort and your physician may recommend physical therapy to optimize the effects of PRP.
PRP may be the key to healing:
- Less side effects compared to steroid injections or surgery
- Long lasting
- Natural and organic
- Promotes healing
- Minimal or no down time
- Minimally invasive
- In-office procedure
PRP is not for everyone, however, people who have exhausted other modalities including steroid injections may opt for this as an alternative treatment to resolve their pain without surgery. Discuss with your physician to determine if you’re a candidate.
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