More and more professional sports players are trying to avoid potentially damaging (and always invasive) surgery by undergoing platelet-rich plasma injections.

In the past, NFL stars such as Hines Ward, Ray Lewis and Matt Forte all underwent PRP therapy to heal injured body parts. Other major athletes that have turned to PRP therapy include Cliff Lee, Tiger Woods and Stephen Curry. Now we can add Los Angeles Angels pitcher Garrett Richards to that list.

"More and more professional sports players are undergoing PRP injections."

Garrett Richards finds success with PRP therapy
This past year, Richards had the option to undergo Tommy John surgery to treat a tear to his ulnar collateral ligament. It was risky, considering it would have been completed on the elbow he uses to throw. Manager Mike Scioscia noted that Richards had many people in his corner advising him on the best course of action. 

"[Richards] got input from numerous sources, both players and doctors, and felt [PRP therapy] was the best course of action … to heal and get healthy," Scioscia said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "I don't think you want to jump into any kind of surgery, let alone one the magnitude of Tommy John surgery.

Angels General Manager Billy Eppler weighed in on Richards' decision, saying that the pitcher's thought process behind opting for PRP was long and extensive. 

"Garrett weighed all the evidence that was given to him through MRI exams," Eppler told the LA Times. "He researched the process, talked to people who have gone through the procedure and people who have not and came to this decision. We support him."

Prior to being treated with PRP, Richards held a 1-3 record and a 2.34 earned-run average over six starts. On May 16, Richards received a PRP shot, and was told that doctors would know how successful the shot was roughly six to eight weeks later. On August 15, doctors said they saw "significant improvement" in Richards' elbow, according to a tweet by Mike DiGiovanna, and that he was cleared to pitch again.

It was a remarkable set of circumstances.

A few months later, Richards is still on track to recover without having to undergo Tommy John surgery, The Associated Press reported. Of course, this is all contingent on how well his elbow progresses from here.

PRP is for everyone
While you might not be a major league star pitcher, that doesn't mean you can't schedule the same type of treatment. You can absolutely use PRP injections to try and heal damaged areas of your body.

If you're not sure how to go about doing so, first contact a professional such as those at Longevity and Stem Cell Centre of Houston. These professionals, such as Dr. Pearsall, can diagnosis your condition and offer you treatment options that best fit you.