Platelet Rich Plasma therapy has been used for years by oral surgeons and plastic surgeons to enhance healing after doing bone grafts and face lifts. Experience is showing that Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is phenomenally effective for healing injury to ligaments, tendons and joints.
Currently, medical treatment for joint pain and injury are limited to pain medications, manual therapy and possibly surgery. However, pain medications and surgery may cause side effects and many individuals are not candidates or do not desire surgery. PRP is an all natural, safe and effective treatment for many suffers of joint pain and injury.
How it works?
If you remember back to that first injury…such as straining your knee – swelling of the joint, heat and pain quickly occurs. These unpleasant symptoms are the body’s healing response; the influx of new cells, platelets and growth factors to the injury cause swelling, while pain is a great reminder to rest your injured joint. However, typically we respond to an injury by applying ice, taking pain or anti-inflammatory medications (Motrin, Naprosyn, etc.) and getting back into our routines as quickly as possible, thereby not allowing the joint to rest and heal. The use of anti-inflammatory medication actually inhibits our natural inflammatory healing process, which can set the joint up for chronic pain and decreased healing of the injured tissue.
Using PRP reinitiates the healing process within the injured joint through a simple in office treatment. Your blood is drawn and spun down to capture the platelets, growth factors and new cells. Once the joint area is numbed, the platelet rich plasma (aka PRP) is injected into the joint and/or around the injured tendons and ligaments, thus beginning the healing cascade. Avoiding anti-inflammatory medication, rest and rehabilitation will fully allow the PRP to strengthen and stabilize the joint. This is a trick to boost and speed healing that injured professional athletes have been using for years to get back into their game more quickly.
Corticosteroids vs PRP?
Corticosteroids have been a common treatment for joint and ligament pain however steroids may cause thinning of the tissues resulting in tearing and increased future pain. Research studies have shown that compared to corticosteroid injections, PRP increases tissue strength and joint stability while decreasing pain over time.
Who can use PRP therapy?
People suffering with joint or back pain or individuals with osteoarthritis, plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff injuries and tennis elbow, other ligament and tendon injuries and tears, sprains or strains to virtually any joint. PRP may be used in acute and chronic injuries. In order to have PRP therapy you must be able to avoid blood thinners and anti-inflammatory medications for up to 2-3 weeks. Also, resting of the treated area is required for a few days to a week after treatment, therefore individuals not able to refrain from heavy lifting and high physical activity may not be ideal candidates for PRP therapy. Depending on the injury and area treated one to six treatments may be indicated.
If you have further questions feel free to contact our office and we can schedule a consultation to see if PRP therapy is right for you.