PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma)
Platelet-rich plasma, commonly referred to as PRP, helps to stimulate the normal healing process in damaged or deteriorating tissues. It is derived from your own blood and contains approximately 5-10 times the platelet concentration of normal blood. Because platelets have tremendous healing power, PRP treatment can be used for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions.
Typical uses of PRP in musculoskeletal conditions include:
- Chronic tendon problems
- Muscle injuries
- Ligament sprains
- Tendon strain
- Partial tears of ligaments or tendons
Typically, pain relief is experienced 3 to 4 weeks following the injection, with continued healing and improvement over a 3 to 6 month period.
How does PRP work?
In normal circumstances, the body’s first response to a soft tissue injury is to send platelets to the area to stimulate healing. With PRP injections, high concentrations of platelets are administered to the area, thereby accelerating the healing process.
PRP also contains concentrations of growth factors and cytokines which work to assist with cellular repair by improving cell growth, decreasing inflammation, aiding in immune system signaling, and activating metabolic pathways that assist with cell recovery. When administered in areas of injury or degeneration, platelets also attract the body’s autologous stem cells to the area to further stimulate repair and healing.
PRP injections are minimally invasive and, as such, do not require the extensive downtime associated with many other procedures. For this reason, they have become increasingly popular among athletes and active individuals.