While positive lifestyle choices – such as following a healthy diet and exercising regularly – can alleviate pain caused by natural bodily changes, sometimes the effort simply isn't enough. Another innovative option may be platelet-rich plasma treatment.
What exactly is PRP therapy, and what does it treat? Let's take a closer look at platelet-rich plasma therapy and how it heals the body:
What is PRP therapy?
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, blood consists mainly of liquid plasma, along with red cells, white cells and platelets. The platelets are best known for clotting blood, but they also contain proteins that can aid healing to injury. Essentially, PRP is boosted plasma, containing more platelets than what is found in typical blood. The concentration of platelets is known to be nearly 5 to 10 times richer than average. This high concentration of proteins and other growth factors helps to stimulate growth and healing within the body.
What does it treat?
The effectiveness of PRP therapy varies from person to person, and can be based on the area of treatment. Some of the most common conditions treated with PRP include:
- Osteoarthritis – knee, shoulder, hip or spine.
- Rotator cuff tears.
- Chronic plantar fasciitis.
- ACL injuries.
- Back and neck injuries.
- Tennis Elbow.
- Pelvic pain.
- Sprained ankle.
- Ligament sprains.
Past studies have also found that PRP therapy can be used to reverse hair loss in patients with androgenic alopecia, as well as skin issues like acne scars and uneven texture.
How does it work?
To start the therapy process, blood is first drawn from the patient. The platelets are then separated from the cells to enhance their concentration through centrifugation. From there, the PRP is injected back into the point of injury, which will strengthen the healing process. There is no risk of transmissible infection since it is the patient's own blood that is being injected, and the chance of experiencing an allergic reaction is minimal.
Generally, the procedure – from preparation to recovery – only takes a couple of hours. Unlike typical surgeries, PRP therapy comes without the risks of surgery, use of anesthesia, an extended hospital stay and an elongated recovery. It's ordinary for patients to return to their regular activities almost immediately after the therapy takes place, and the results should surface within a few weeks.
While many patients receive enough relief after one injection of PRP, some may be interested in more than one session. Within a month's time frame, patients can receive up to three injections of PRP – but it's a case-by-case basis. Your physician will give you the proper recommendation.
At the Longevity and Stem Cell Centre of Houston, we can help those who are seeking relief from any of the conditions stated above. If you're interested in learning more about PRP therapy, or any of the other services we provide, don't hesitate to contact us today.