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  • Writer's pictureAdam Whatley

10 facts about platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy

Updated: Mar 23

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy or PRP Treatment is showing great promise with many conditions, particularly with injuries, such as ligament sprains, chronic inflammation and tendonitis. This relatively new exciting non-surgical treatment is commonly used to help relieve pain, stimulate faster healing and eliminate the need for surgery. 

In fact, if it lives up to its full potential, PRP could end up dramatically altering the way we treat acute and chronic pain.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

So what exactly is platelet rich plasma therapy?

It’s a easy, natural procedure that involves taking a small quantity of a patient’s blood, and spinning the blood in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the red blood cells. Once this is accomplished, platelets for the concentrated and are re-injected (Using a fully sterile technique) into the damaged areas that require its attention, examples – knees, elbows, shoulders, hips and even Achilles tendons. Not forgetting its popularity in the use of skin aesthetics and hair loss. The exciting theory behind PRP therapy is that the platelets will then release growth factors and bioactive proteins that speed up recovery of tissues.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a blood plasma that holds a high concentration of platelets which is much greater than that of normal blood. The platelets are generally concentrated at 4-6 times above the normal platelet baseline. Plasma also contains minerals, hormones, immunoglobulins, minerals, proteins, and clotting factors including platelets. 

Outlined here are ten important facts you should know about Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment:

1. PRP Therapy this far

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatment is relatively new (within the last decade). As we all know research takes a very long time and is very expensive. Therefore, we have to be patient on long-term clinical outcomes, This does not come overnight. However, this being said studies so far have showed very good clinical outcomes. The proof is already out there. Also is clinical experience. This popular form of exciting natural treatment would not be used if it did not have any benefit. But the benefits there and are only getting better.

2. Regenerating Tissue Therapy

Research studies and clinical practice have indicated that platelet rich plasma therapy is very advantageous. Both ultrasound and MRI images have outlined definitive tissue repair and remodelling after treatment, validating the successful healing process. Surgery can also be lessened or even prevented when treatment of injured tissues has been made before the damage progresses which could possible leave the condition become irreversible.

3. PRP Common Areas of Use 

  • osteoarthritis of the knee

  • hip and spine 

  • shoulder

  • rotator cuff tears

  • ankle sprains

  • tennis elbow

  • tendonitis

  • ligament sprains

4. Stimulate and speed up the Body’s Healing Process

We are all aware that the body has an amazing ability to heal itself. One of the body’s first response to soft tissue injury is to immediately begin delivering platelet to the area to stimulate a healing response. These are filled with the capacity of growth factors that kick off the repair process, attracting further crucial aids of stem cells. By utilising this perfectly natural mechanism, PRP amplifiers the body’s efforts by providing a higher concentration of platelets and notably increasing the body’s natural healing and further stimulating self-healing mechanisms.

5. Is PRP Therapy Safe?

Patients with whom PRP Therapy has been applied have shown noticeable improvements in their pain levels as well as functional levels. Since your own blood will be used during the procedure, there will be minimal risk associated with this procedure. PRP is performed in a sterile, clinic-based environment, without the need for any general anaesthetic or hospitalisation. 6. Faster Healing

PRP Therapy assists in reducing pain and inflammation through the promotion of healing, where it can supply lasting results. Initial improvement can be seen within just a few weeks of PRP treatment. 

7. Why Use of Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy?

The ultimate goal of Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment is to provide a treatment solution towards reducing pain and inflammation caused by an injury. It does so by speeding up the healing process and promoting recovery.

8. How It All Began

Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment was first used in cardiac surgery in the 80’s when it was discovered that platelets have shown powerful healing properties. Then doctors began experimenting with bone and skin grafts, further exploring the soft tissue and bone regeneration processes for PRP. Before that, PRP has already been in use for years by other specialties outside of pain management such as urology, ophthalmology, dentistry, and cardiothoracic surgery.

9. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment in aesthetics 

Other than being commonly used in Orthopaedics and musculoskeletal medicine, PRP is commonly used in cosmetic aesthetic treatment, such as skin rejuvenation and hair loss treatment. Specifically due to the powerful nature of stimulation of collagen and hair follicles.

10. PRP Therapy Risks

There will be a very small chance for patients to suffer from any allergic reaction with the use of the numbing medicine during the procedure. There’s also a very slim risk for infection since the blood is being taken from the patient’s own body, processed and then reinjected, once Plasma is collected. 

Treatment with PRP Therapy for ligament injury, bursitis, tendon injury, inflammatory conditions, and arthritis continues to be very exciting and is certainly on the cutting edge of regenerative medicine. PRP injections are often combined with a physical rehabilitation program. To help facilitate the growth of new tissues as well.

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