Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy for Healing
When you have suffered a sprain, tear, or muscle injury or if you have been living with chronic tendon and ligament injuries, platelet-rich plasma therapy could be the best route to faster soft-tissue healing. As a form of regenerative medicine or prolotherapy, platelet-rich plasma treatment causes a healing response, helping the body use its own mechanisms to repair and regenerate tissues.
What Is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy?
To understand platelet-rich plasma therapy and why it is beneficial for your health and wellness, you must first understand the importance of both plasma and platelets.
Plasma is the largest component of human blood, compromising just over 50 percent, and is made of water, enzymes, salts, antibodies, and other proteins. Plasma is the clear but yellowish liquid portion of blood that remains after all other cellular, solid components are removed – red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
The platelets are a small solid in the larger makeup of blood, but they are incredibly important for their critical role in clotting blood and healing injuries using their growth factor proteins. The job of plasma is transportation director, making sure nutrients, hormones, and proteins are distributed where they are needed in the body. Once in the right location, the platelets can do their work.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been infused with more platelets than typically found in blood. It follows then that this rich concentration of platelets and its growth factors can effectively speed up the healing process when applied directly at the site that needs to be treated.
How Does Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy Work?
PRP begins with a blood draw from the patient. The next step is to separate platelets from other blood cells through a process called centrifugation. When the platelet-rich plasma has been isolated from the blood and concentrated, it is then ready for injection into the affected area.
Where there is swelling, inflammation, and pain, a mixture of platelet-rich plasma can be carefully injected into the injured tissue. After surgery, healing can be accelerated using PRP.
PRP injections are intended to promote healing and growth at a faster rate. This change will not be immediately noticeable but, over time, you may realize that your problem is diminishing faster than it otherwise would have, something your doctor can confirm.
What Conditions Can Be Treated with PRP?
The effectiveness of PRP can vary depending on the type of injury, the area of the body where the injury is located, your overall health, and whether the problem being treated is acute or chronic. Many elite athletes have come to rely on platelet-rich plasma therapy.
PRP is often used to address sports injuries and various types of arthritis, including:
- Tendon injuries
- Tennis elbow
- Achilles tendonitis
- Knee arthritis
- Acute ligament injuries
- Muscle injuries
- Pulled hamstring
- Knee sprain
- Postsurgical repair
Ligaments, tendons, and cartilage often benefit the most from PRP as these areas of the body do not have a great blood supply and sometimes do not heal completely after an injury.
The PRP healing response can also be used to stimulate hair growth in people with hair loss and can help heal acne scars and wrinkles.
Are You a Good Candidate for PRP?
The risks of allergic reaction to PRP therapy are greatly reduced as you are being injected with substances that come directly from your own body. Your doctor will first want to determine, however, if you are indeed a good candidate for platelet-rich plasma therapy.
Contact Swetech Family Medicine to discuss your injury, inflammation, or pain, understand all aspects of this treatment, and whether it can work for you. We provide whole-body medicine at our family practice, and that includes treating not only your acute or chronic problems but focusing on your entire well-being.
Our focus is on treatment and prevention, so you can live a healthy, symptom-free life. Visit our state-of-the-art facility in Clinton Township to learn more about platelet-rich plasma therapy and whether it can help you with tissue healing, hair growth, or inflammation reduction.