February 7, 2024

What is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy?

In recent years, research has proven that the body has the unique ability to heal itself. The body can regrow tissue and cells and repair damage to ligaments, muscles, and joints. Platelet-rich plasma treatments allow the body to accelerate repair and heal quickly. Thanks to scientific advances and technological improvements, the effectiveness of PRP is constantly improving. 

What is Platelet-Rich Plasma?

Blood contains components like red and white cells and platelets. The liquid portion of blood is called plasma and is mostly made up of water and proteins.  Its primary function is to help blood cells and platelets move throughout the body. Platelets are special blood cells that cause blood clots, but most importantly, contain growth factors that are crucial for healing injuries. 

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is plasma with significantly more platelets than what is normally found in blood.  In fact, the concentration of growth factors can be 5 to 10 times richer than usual. 

What are PRP Injections?

Platelet-Rich Plasma injections are a concentrated solution of the patient’s own platelets. They use the patient’s individualized healing system to recover injured muscles, tendons, and joints.  

How Do PRP Injections Work?

Blood must first be drawn from the patient to prepare for PRP Injections. The blood is then filtered to concentrate the platelets using a machine called a centrifuge. This platelet-rich plasma is then injected directly to the affected area or diseased tissue.  Growth factors are released and increase the body’s reparative cells.  

Ultrasound imaging can sometimes be used to guide the injection. 

There are two ways PRP Injections can be used: 

  1. Platelet-rich plasma can be injected directly into the injured area. A mixture of PRP and a local anesthetic can be injected into inflamed tissue to help decrease pain, swelling, and accelerate healing. The injection site may be sore for a few days following the procedure and can take several weeks to feel the full effect of the injection. 
  2. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can be used after surgery to aid healing. An athlete with a torn ACL may require surgery to repair the ligament. Using PRP during surgery can improve the ligament’s healing. The PRP is prepared in a very specific way that allows it to be woven into the torn tissues. 

Effectiveness of PRP & Conditions They Treat

Studies are constantly being conducted to measure the effectiveness of PRP injections. Results can vary depending on the area being treated, the patient’s overall health, and the severity of the injury being treated. 

 Some conditions PRP is being used to treat are: 

  • Chronic Tendon Pain: PRP successfully treats tendon injuries such as tennis elbow and Achilles tendonitis. 
  • Muscle Injuries: Athletes have been using PRP therapies to treat muscle injuries such as a pulled hamstring.  
  • Surgery: As previously mentioned, PRP is used to help heal scar tissue. 
  • Knee: PRP can be used to help heal the knee after surgeries like an ACL repair or joint replacement. It is also being used to treat osteoporosis in the knee. 

There are other uses that are being researched and tested on an ongoing basis to help increase the effectiveness of PRP injections. Fill out the form below to learn more about Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy and how it may help your chronic pain. Someone from the team at MS Pain & Migraine will be in touch with you shortly.

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February 7, 2024


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