PRP therapy (or platelet rich plasma therapy) has been showing a lot of potential with respect to treating sports injuries like tendon pulls, inflamed tissues, and muscle sprains. This fairly recent non-invasive therapy helps to:
- alleviate pain;
- induce long-term healing;
- avoid surgical treatment.
You may be wondering: What is platelet therapy? It’s a process that entails drawing a little bit of blood from a patient and spinning it centrifugally to isolate platelets from other blood cells. After this is completed, the separated platelets are reintroduced to the injured spot (whether it be the left shoulder, the right knee, the hips, etc.) via injection.
The driving concept of this procedure is that these concentrated platelets, once isolated and re-injected, discharge growth factors that aid the damaged cells to heal, hopefully allowing the patient to recover in two or three weeks. Plasma that is considered “platelet rich” has much higher platelet density than ordinary blood. These platelets are most often found in concentrations that are four to six times higher than the standard blood platelet levels.
Because this therapy is still relatively new, listed below are a few quick facts about it:
1. Stimulates Cell Regeneration
Clinical tests have suggested that PRP is a highly beneficial therapeutic tool. MRIs and ultrasound scans have shown reliable evidence of cellular repair after a procedure, confirming its efficacy. Surgical treatment is also potentially avoidable if the therapy is performed before the tissue damage advances, which may result in a permanent injury.
2. Stimulates the Immune System
Among the body’s first reactions to an injury is the instant production of platelets. With their wealth of restorative nutrients and growth factors, these platelet cells initiate the healing journey by bringing in the essential help of stem cells. This is why platelet therapy is commonly referred to as stem cell therapy, since it recruits stem cells from the body itself that then become soft tissue cells.
By taking advantage of this completely natural process, platelet therapy enhances the immune system by supplying the body with a concentrated amount of healing platelets, which significantly boosts the body’s ability to recover on its own.
3. It’s Safe
Individuals who have received platelet treatments have seen definite relief for their pain and enhancements in their capacity to function normally.
Because a patient’s own blood is utilized in the therapy, there’s little danger of developing any infections due to contamination. In addition, the therapy is conducted in a sanitized clinical facility, with no need for anesthesia or extended hospital stays.
4. Encourages Quick Healing
Platelet rich plasma therapy helps to eliminate pain through recovery, which means offers long-term results. The first signs of progress are usually observed in just a couple weeks, at which point the treatment begins gradually quickening its therapeutic effects.
The History of Platelet Rich Plasma Procedures
PRP therapy first came on the scene in 1987, when doctors first found that platelets possess potent restorative abilities. They started testing their theories out on bone grafts before expanding their research to soft tissue regeneration. Prior to its current therapeutic use for treating pain, platelet therapy has been successfully used in other medical specialties including:
- urogenital medicine,
- dental care,
- heart surgeries.
Cautions of Platelet Therapy
There may be a very mild amount of soreness following the initial treatment, which is just transitory pain that typically lasts for about two or three days after the therapy is performed. This is because the anti-inflammatory properties and growth proteins in the plasma are now starting to work, frequently resulting in a little tenderness in the area being treated for a few days. After this initial period, the therapy starts to work at full throttle, and instant pain relief is a common side effect.
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