Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy is an autologous stem cell treatment procedure that makes use of growth factors aided by platelets.
Although it has been around for decades, there still remains some scepticism and misunderstanding about this form of injection therapy. This article will cover the basics of PRP treatment and what it entails.
The Step-By-Step Process
The procedure is a simple one.
First, a blood sample of 15–60 cc is drawn from the patient’s body. The amount extracted depends on the area being treated and the quantity of PRP required for it.
The blood sample is then sent for centrifuging (within the premises) to separate the platelets from the blood plasma. This allows the lab technicians to remove the remaining blood cells from the mixture, leaving behind “platelet rich plasma”. The modified plasma solution now contains nearly 2-6 times more platelets than the amount typically found in blood, consequently amplifying the number of growth factors in the plasma as well.
Once this solution has been prepared, it’s ready for injection. This is where the process gets even more effective. The PRP concentration is injected directly at the affected site, right into the soft tissue or muscle. Containing over 1,500 growth factors, the PRP component triggers a natural healing response within the body, repairing the wounded tissues. This speeds up the process and alleviates pain and inflammatory symptoms.
What Can PRP Treat?
Platelet rich plasma therapy is highly effective for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. From treating knee osteoarthritis and lower back pain to shoulder injuries, PRP injections are beneficial for several types of soft tissue and muscle ailments.
PRP therapy is also recommended for healing sports injuries. For soft tissue skeletal injuries, in particular, PRP therapy is hailed as a safe and effective treatment option with quick results and barely any complications unlike surgical procedures.
Why Use PRP?
The benefits of using PRP injection therapy are countless. For starters, it is a minimally invasive procedure which eliminates the risks and complications associated with certain medications as well as surgery.
Secondly, it’s an autologous treatment which means that the biological component used in the injections is obtained from the patient’s own body. This helps reduce the chances of tissue rejection or infection that are highly likely in cases where donor stem cells are used.
Moreover, the recovery time following PRP therapy is minimal. While the exact healing depends on the area treated and the severity of the condition, patients report significantly reduced pain and alleviated symptoms after a few days of treatment. What’s more is that the procedure takes up only 30–60 minutes, without any sudden side-effects apart from mild bruising.
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