Athletes constantly put stress on their bodies. Football players collide at full speed with other giants. Baseball players wear out their arms throwing a ball. Hockey players confront the boards as much as they do pucks, and basketball players are always praying their knees hold up as they endure twisting and pounding throughout a game.
"Stephen Curry underwent PRP therapy to repair a Grade 1 MCL sprain."
It shouldn't be a surprise then to hear that many athletes are opting against invasive surgery and for platelet-rich plasma treatments. Case in point: Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors' star point guard and reigning NBA MVP, recently underwent PRP therapy to repair a Grade 1 MCL sprain he suffered in a playoff game against the Houston Rockets.
While a grade 1 MCL sprain is the least serious sprain, it can still keep athletes out of play for weeks.
"Somebody told me a long time ago during my ankle stuff," Curry said, according to Mercury News. "The mind is a powerful thing. Positivity and good vibes and stuff is contagious for the healing process. If you're sulking and down and depressed, your body is going to react to that. If you're upbeat and thankful and confident that you're going to get back, your body feeds off that good energy, too."
We might also add PRP is a big part of that healing process. Unlike surgery, PRP therapy uses the patient's own blood to help him or her heal. A doctor extracts a small amount of blood and places it in a centrifuge. This device separates the contents into plasma, platelets, and white and red blood cells. From there, the doctor injects PRP into the damaged area.
Curry isn't the first basketball player to undergo PRP therapy. A few years ago Kobe Bryant traveled all the way to Dusseldorf, Germany to undergo an experimental PRP therapy for his right arthritic knee. He then returned for a follow-up treatment. While this PRP therapy was different than many other procedures, the overall process was similar: reintroduce blood back into the body to speed up the healing process.
Athletes often feel pressure to heal quickly and put up big numbers as soon as they return. Their paychecks, after all, depend on it. For those who aren't famous like Curry and Bryant, you may find PRP therapy's relatively inexpensive price tag and quick process appealing. Surgeries can take hours but doctors can finish PRP procedures in minutes.
PRP therapy is a viable, alternative treatment for those who have serious injuries, whether they are sprains or MCL injuries.