Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is a groundbreaking procedure that has established a strong presence in sports and orthopedic medicine. It has been in use for several decades, first emerging as an innovative treatment for elite athletes. PRP therapies can help injured patients get back to their routine daily activities and active lifestyle without medications or invasive medical procedures.
How is PRP done?
PRP therapy takes less than an hour to complete. First, a blood sample is drawn. Then, that sample is processed in a centrifuge, separating the platelet-rich plasma within the blood from the other components in it. Next, the PRP therapy professional injects the concentrated platelets, which contain many growth factors, into the site of the patient’s injury. The PRP provider may use imaging techniques to guide the injection into the most accurate and useful location.
The platelet portion of the blood contains a natural reservoir for growth factors that are essential to repair injured tissue. The growth factors can stimulate tissue recovery by:
- Increasing collagen production
- Enhancing stem cell proliferation
- Boosting tenocyte-related gene and protein expression
Growth factors can also stimulate blood flow, helping cartilage to become firmer and more resilient.
When are results noticeable?
Patients often feel less pain in the days and weeks following PRP injections. Pain may decrease while both function and mobility increase. Most patients experience a gradual improvement 2-6 weeks after their initial PRP therapy. Endurance and strength can be restored in just a few weeks. Some patients report they experience ongoing healing and recovery for as much as 6-9 months after PRP therapy is administered.
Which injuries can be treated with PRP therapy?
Many acute and chronic conditions may respond favorably to PRP therapy. Mostly any tendon or ligament injury where the tissue is not entirely torn may be treated effectively with PRP techniques. When these tendons and ligaments are healed with PRP therapy, downtime is reduced. Healing using PRP procedures may also diminish the chance for re-injury or even the risk of a more severe injury that would necessitate surgical intervention or cause permanent disability. By treating injured tissues before the damage progresses or becomes irreversible, surgical interventions may be avoided.
Who performs PRP treatments?
PRP therapy addresses many of the same injuries people come to chiropractors for. Chiropractic adjustment can be an integral part of recovery for many painful conditions and traumatic injuries. With the extra boost of tissue healing that PRP techniques offer, a chiropractor in your local area can deliver a powerful and comprehensive healing protocol that brings about a return to robust health.
You would be well-advised to try both chiropractic care and PRP therapy before putting your body through the harmful effects of medications and the extended recovery time of invasive surgeries. PRP procedures and chiropractic protocols are being used regularly at the highest levels of sport and in progressive physician’s practices in the world today.