Want to get a blood therapy using your own blood? It is not as crazy as it sounds. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy uses your own blood in a concentrated mixture to treat your troubled cells. For centuries, this blood component – platelet, has been neglected but has now earned a spotlight in regenerative medicine. PRP therapy aids the healing process, especially in the case of slow-healing, stubborn injuries.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)
While our blood is liquid, it still includes tiny solid components, including platelets, white cells, and red cells. These platelets include numerous amounts of proteins known as growth factors that play a significant role in healing injuries.
PRP includes a higher percentage of platelets than usually found in the blood. This plasma is a natural product taken from your body for treating injuries. Therefore, it reduces the likelihood of side effects or allergic reactions.
According to theories presented by various researchers, injecting a higher concentration of platelets in areas of tissue damage or inflammation encourages the healing process.
The Process of PRP
This therapy is carried out by injecting a concentration of the patient’s platelets into the injured joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons to speed up the healing process. In short, PRP therapy utilizes the healing system of patients to improve musculoskeletal problems.
The blood is drawn from the patient and run through some specialized devices, such as a centrifuge, to concentrate the platelets. These platelets are then directly injected in the diseased, damaged or injured tissue.
This process discharges a higher amount of growth factors, which increase and stimulate the percentage of reparative cells that are produced by the body. In some cases, ultrasound imaging is utilized to guide this injection. The effectiveness of this therapy is still being studied since the therapy is relatively new. However, the factors found to impact PRP therapy’s effectiveness include:
- The patient’s overall health
- The injured or damaged area being targeted
- If the injury is chronic (developed with time) or acute (from a fall)
Who Can Benefit From PRP Therapy?
There are many health advantages of PRP therapy, but inpiduals experiencing the following health issues can greatly benefit from it:
Chronic Tendon Injuries
PRP has so far shown the most effectiveness in treating chronic tendon injuries, particularly tennis elbow, which is the most common tendon injury that occurs outside the elbow. Moreover, this therapy is also being used to treat other chronic tendon injuries, which includes jumper’s knee or Achilles tendonitis.
If you have a sport injury, then PRP therapy might enhance the healing process. The therapy has been used for treating professional athletes with acute sports injuries, such as muscle injuries, ligament injuries and pulled hamstring muscles in the knee and thigh sprains.
According to a study published by The Journal of Sports Medicine, it was determined that PRP therapy injections help in reducing the pain linked with knee arthritis and is more effective than saline injections.
PRP therapy has also been used to enhance the healing of fractures, but it is still too soon to determine its results.
This therapy has also been used to reduce inflammation in the scalp that has been linked to hair loss. A study published by the Stem Cells Journals found that men who participated in PRP treatment experienced faster hair growth than those who did not receive the therapy treatment.
PRP therapy is also being used in jaw and plastic therapies as a means of enhancing the tissue healing process. This therapy has shown success in healing tissues in muscles, ligaments and tendons. Since ligaments are difficult to heal and take time, PRP therapy is a good option to escalate the healing of tissues in such injuries.
PRP treatment is also being utilized in treating inflammation, which is caused by osteoarthritis. The inflammation results in your joints becoming stiff and painful. PRP therapy helps decrease inflammation and accelerates the healing process.
Since this is a relatively new procedure, researchers are still studying its effectiveness against other procedures.
What to Expect from PRP Therapy
Before starting PRP therapy, it is essential that you make sure your doctor is aware of all the medications and prescriptions you have been using. Moreover, you must follow all instructions before and after the procedure, especially about the medications that might prolong bleeding, such as blood thinners, ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin. Never take any medication without consulting with the doctor first.
Here is what to expect during your doctor’s appointment and after the procedure:
Before the Procedure
Before the therapy is conducted, you would be asked to have a few consultation sessions with the doctor. In these appointments, the entire procedure will be discussed, your medical history will be taken and a medical examination will be conducted. If needed, the doctor might ask you to do a few more tests to ensure the therapy is suitable for your condition.
During the Therapy
The nurse or doctor will draw a certain amount of blood, which would then be placed in the centrifuge. The blood will be spun to isolate platelets. After that, a solution will be prepared using your platelets.
The injured or damaged area to be treated will be cleaned with an antiseptic and anesthetic will be utilized to numb the spot. The doctor might use an ultrasound to guide the injection.
The entire process takes around 30 minutes.
After PRP Injections
Once the therapy is performed, the recovery period is around two days. Swelling and discomfort in the treated area is normal and will resolve within a day or two.
As per the treated body region and the extent of your injury, you will see results between two to eight weeks after the therapy. You might need two to three sessions of the therapy, which may be performed within six months from the first session.
At NJ Spine and Wellness our team of Medical Professionals conduct comprehensive consultations to determine if you are a candidate for PRP Therapy. Pain is not a lifestyle! Our mission is to help you get back to doing what you love to do. To learn more call us at 877-333-NJSW. Our experts are ready and excited to help you Get Better FASTER!