You may have heard about it on the news or in a story of how a favorite athlete is using PRP injections to recover from an injury. It can do anything from encouraging hair growth, promote healing in soft tissue wounds, and reduce inflammation. But what exactly is platelet-rich plasma therapy? And how can it help you? We’re glad you asked.
What is PRP Therapy?
Before we discuss the benefits of PRP therapy, you need to know what it is. First, the doctor will take a small sample of your blood. That blood is then put into a centrifuge or similar device to separate the platelets — blood cells that promote wound healing — from the rest of the blood. Once separated, the doctor will then inject the platelets near the treated area. Since the injection contains a high concentration of platelets, about three to five times higher compared to healthy blood, researchers believe that it will speed up the healing process. The goal of PRP therapy is not only to relieve your symptoms but to stimulate healing. It may also reduce your need for medication and even surgery.
The Benefits of Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy
PRP therapy can be used to treat numerous ailments. These include:
- Tendon Injuries – Tendons are thick bands of tissue that connect bones and are slow to heal. Injuries such as tennis elbow and patellar tendinitis can cause prolonged pain. PRP can be used to treat these chronic problems.
- Osteoarthritis – Osteoarthritis occurs when the bones’ cartilage wears away, causing the joint’s bones to rub against each other. Standard treatment is injecting a hyaluronic acid and steroids into the joint to build up the fluid surrounding the bones. But PRP is a safer alternative that has been shown to help reduce pain.
- Sports Injuries – Whether it’s a knee sprain, a pulled muscle, or something a little more serious, PRP can help speed up the healing process.
- Hair Loss – Yes, it can even help the regrowth of hair!
After the Treatment
PRP uses the patient’s blood, so the risk of a reaction to the treatment is low; however, there are risks from the injection. They include:
- Infection and pain at the injection site
- Possible tissue damage
Once the treatment is complete, the doctor will recommend that you rest the area to prevent injury. You should be able to continue your daily activities following an injection. It’s important to note that you may not see an immediate difference and you may need more than one injection. You should start to see improvement within weeks.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
The mission of the Northeast Knee & Joint Institute is to help our patients return to their lives free from pain. With the state-of-the-art technology and innovative medical techniques, we provide a more natural, non-surgical relief to knee and joint pain. If you are interested in learning more about platelet-rich plasma, contact us today for a no-obligation, free consultation with our physician today. We accept Medicare and most major insurances.