What is PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy)?
PRP, or platelet rich plasma, is the term used to describe a type of regenerative injection therapy that uses one’s own blood nutrients to stimulate the growth and healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, joints and musculoskeletal injuries. PRP is also known as nonsurgical ligament and tendon reconstruction.
PRP is derived from a concentration of platelets taken directly from the patient’s blood. In addition to being critical for blood clotting, platelets and plasma contain growth factors that are essential for healing. Cell ratios in normal blood contain a very small percentage of platelets, however, in PRP the concentration is over 90%.
Platelets contain the healing proteins, cytokines, and growth factors that initiate healing. The injection of PRP into an area of injury sends a strong “must heal now” signal to the body. Activated platelets send a signal to distant repair sells, including adult stem cells, to come to the injury site. Repair of the tissue ensues even in very old or chronic injuries.
PRP is often recommended in a series of three or more treatments to stimulate the body to fully repair the integrity of tissue back to a healthy strength. The treatments are recommended 4-6 weeks apart, repeating the repair cycle each time.
PRP is of great benefit to improve adequate blood flow and thereby delivery of nutrients to the joint, allowing it to repair in the way the body is intended to repair. The list of world-class athletes who have turned to PRP continues to grow and includes people like Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Maria Sharapova, Rafael Nadal, David Ortiz, Takashi Saito, and Troy Polamalu.
Some discomfort and stiffness is expected over the few days following a treatment. Intense activity should be limited during that time however, normal day-to-day activities can be continued as normal.
Am I A Candidate for PRP?
In general, most patients stand to benefit from PRP regenerative therapies. Prior to receiving treatment at True Healing & Wellness Institute, all patients will undergo a physical exam, health history evaluation and, if warranted, imaging to discuss the most important treatment course.
What Do I Do To Prepare For the Treatment?
Most importantly, patients should discontinue the use of anti-inflammatory medications (NSAID’s, Corticosteroids, and fish oil) at least 2 weeks prior to the procedure. This will assist the body in allowing a maximum healing response. Those on aspirin therapy may want to consult their prescribing physician about discontinuing prior to and during treatment.
Patients with certain blood disorders, a compromised immune system, or a recent or long history of tobacco or alcohol use, may not have quality platelet amounts.