What are the Benefits of Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy?

What are the Benefits of Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy?

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a safe, effective, and innovative treatment option for joint pain, tendon injuries, and back problems. The advantages of PRP therapy compared to other procedures include reduced downtime and improved outcomes. PRP uses the patient’s own blood platelets to jumpstart the body’s natural healing process, delivering optimum pain relief.

How does PRP therapy work?

Everyone’s blood is composed of the same main components: white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets, and plasma. Platelets are the essential products of PRP therapy, and they heal chronic injuries. Platelets are an army of cells that circulate in the blood. These blood products control bleeding, but they also have over 1,500 growth factors and special proteins that facilitate tissue repair and wound healing. The platelets trigger the healing process and reduce inflammation and pain.

What conditions are treated using PRP therapy?

PRP therapy is used to treat many musculoskeletal injuries. The conditions treated include:

  • Joint arthritis
  • Chronic tendonitis/tendinosis
  • Hip, knee, and shoulder pain
  • Common sports injuries
  • Acute ligament and muscle injuries in athletes
  • Sciatica
  • Fractures
  • Neck and back pain

What can I expect during the PRP therapy appointments?

During your PRP therapy consultation, the physician will discuss the procedure, take a medical history, and conduct a medical examination. During the PRP therapy appointment, a nurse draws your blood, and the blood is spun in a centrifuge to isolate the platelets. After preparing the solution, the treatment area is cleansed with an antiseptic, and a local anesthetic is used to numb the area. Under ultrasound guidance, the joints and other body structures are injected with the PRP solution.

What can I expect after the PRP injections?

After the PRP injections, there is a two-day recovery period. During recovery, it is normal to have some discomfort and swelling at the injection site, which resolves on its own. Depending on the extent of injury and body region, you will often feel the results of the PRP therapy after 2-8 weeks. Symptom relief and the healing process also continues for up to six months after the final treatment. A series of 2-3 PRP injections may be given.

Does PRP therapy work?

In a recent research study, doctors at the University of Rochester found that two PRP treatments helped improve pain, relieve stiffness, and increase functional capacity in patients with knee osteoarthritis. In another report, the researchers of the University of Washington used PRP therapy for sports injuries. They found that they greatly improved outcomes in people who had injuries. Another study showed that the healing factors initiated connective tissue healing through protein and collagen synthesis.

Is PRP an anti-inflammatory agent?

The effects of platelet-rich plasma show that it rebuilds soft tissue and cartilage due to the awakening of the inflammatory response to healing. The treatment also reduces inflammation due to interleukin-1, the peptide responsible for opening healing pathways through cell signaling.

Does platelet-rich therapy work?

In a study involving a literature review of PRP techniques evaluated in 10 randomized controlled trials, researchers assessed pain control and functional improvement. They found that platelet-rich plasma was superior to hyaluronic acid for pain relief and functional improvement in people with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.

Resources
Wen-Li D, Al-Guo Z, & Zhang H (2013). Efficacy of Platelet-Rich Plasma in the Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Arthroscopy: The Journal of Arthroscopic & Related Surgery, 33(3), 659-670.
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