Platelet Rich Plasma therapy (PRP) is a rapidly emerging and ground-breaking treatment that uses a person's own blood to heal wounds or ailments. It's treated everything from sore knees and hamstrings to the abdomen and has been used by a variety of sports athletes and celebrities. In fact, just recently, Giant's receiver Victor Cruz had PRP injected into his calf to help it heal more quickly.
So, given the wide range of body parts PRP treats, you might not be surprised to hear it can be used to remedy a vulnerable area like the back. Or maybe you are surprised, considering that few surgical options are available to successfully treat lower back pain due to disco problems.
"The treatment is often used for joint pain in the knees, hips, elbows and shoulders, but we're also now using PRP for pain originating in the soft discs between spinal vertebrae," explained Dr.Kaliq Chang, an interventional pain management specialist. "PRP stimulates the body's healing process to work faster and better by using a patient's own blood products to repair and regenerate damaged tissues."
To begin treatment, a doctor draws a small amount of blood from a patient and then places it into a centrifuge. This device separates the blood into plasma, platelets and white and red blood cells. The plasma rests in the middle of the centrifuge and hold a higher than normal number of platelets. The doctor then injects PRP into the affected areas of the body.
Surgery is often expensive and very risky, especially when done on the back. PRP is a less invasive option that "has extensive benefits and minimal downsides," said Dr. Chang.