Can PRP Therapy Help Your Body Heal Itself
PRP (Prolonged Release Peptide) injections are used to treat various conditions such as cancer, arthritis, psoriasis, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis and many other diseases. They have been around since the 1950’s.
The most common use of PRP therapy is to reduce pain and inflammation caused by certain diseases. For example, it was used to treat rheumatoid arthritis until the late 1990’s when new treatments were developed which had better results.
In recent years, PRP has become popular again due to its ability to increase bone density and improve blood flow in the body. PRP injections are usually given in two ways:
1. By placing the needle into a vein; or 2. By injecting them directly into the muscle mass or fat tissue using needles with a long tip called an autoinjector.
There are several different types of PRP therapy, but they all involve the release of chemicals from cells inside your body known as growth factors. These chemicals cause changes within your own tissues and organs that make them stronger and healthier than before. This can help your body heal itself when dealing with diseases and conditions such as:
Blood vessel damage caused by disease or injury
Spinal cord injuries
Tendon and ligament damage
The amount of treatment you need will depend on the condition being treated. The FDA has approved the use of PRP therapy for several conditions. For a full list of conditions and dosages, please see your doctor.
During treatment, the physician will take a small sample of your blood (about 20-40ml) and send it away to a special lab to be processed. The lab will spin the blood in a centrifuge at a high speed to separate the red blood cells from the plasma and platelets. The platelets are then removed because they can interfere with the treatment. What is left is the “whitish” looking plasma that contains many beneficial growth factors that can help your body heal itself.
The blood is then sent back to your physician who will mix it with a sterile solution in the correct dosage. The entire process takes about 2-3 weeks from start to finish.
At your appointment, your physician will numb the treatment area (usually your knee or back) with anesthetic, before injecting it with the growth factors. Some people may experience a slight sting when the needle first goes in. After treatment, you can resume your normal daily activities right away.
The effects of the treatment should start to become apparent after about a week. If no improvements are seen, then the dosage may need to be increased or the treatment may not be suitable for you.
If you are suffering from any of the conditions listed above, it is best to seek advice from your physician before considering this form of treatment.
This information is provided as a general overview of the topic. Nothing in this article should be taken as medical advice. For a definitive answer on whether or not this treatment is right for you, please contact your physician.
In the first month of 2013, I underwent platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment for my chronic tennis elbow. I had been suffering from this annoying and debilitating condition for about 3 years and had tried practically everything except surgery. The last option was PRP so I gave it a shot.
The procedure is not very invasive. For the first few days after the operation, you will be required to keep your arm slightly elevated and use ice packs on it to reduce inflammation. For about a month, you will need to apply a topical anti-inflammatory ointment on the injury site 2-3 times a day. After the first month, you are free of any medication.
You can lift light weights and resume all your normal activities within two weeks. A full recovery is expected in about 3 months (6-8 weeks).
PRP works by promoting the growth of new cells in your body which helps in tissue repair and regeneration. It is believed that PRP can help repair the damaged or worn out lining of synovial fluid in joints.
Research has shown that PRP therapy can be used to treat a wide range of medical conditions including arthritis, osteoporosis, spondyloarthropathy, tendonitis and bursitis. It causes the body to produce more of a protein known as Platelet-Derived Growth Factor (PDGF), which is found in our blood platelets. The role of PDGF is to stimulate cell division and growth, and is especially important in healing wounds. By injecting plasma rich in PDGFAuto-Vehicles (microparticles) containing growth factors into damaged joints or areas of osteoarthritis, it is believed that the body can repair and regenerate damaged cells.
PRP for Tennis Elbow
The treatment has been found to be very effective in treating chronic tennis elbow, which is what I had. In my case, the procedure took about 30-45 minutes and I was taken through the steps below.
1. A small amount of blood is withdrawn from my arm using a large needle.
The blood is put into a machine which separates out the platelets.
2. The platelets are then mixed with a small amount of plasma and re-injected into my elbow.
3. For the first two weeks, I was required to wear a sling and keep my arm in a raised position to minimize the risk of bleeding and to speed up the healing process.
4. For the following month, I had to apply an anti-inflammatory ointment on the injury site 2-3 times a day.
5. I was also required to perform elbow range of motion exercises to regain full mobility of my elbow.
6. I was required to perform stretching and strengthening exercises for my forearm and grip to avoid a relapse of the condition.
7. In about 3 months, I was able to fully resume all my normal activities.
Research has shown that PRP therapy is beneficial in as much as 83% of patients who have undergone the treatment. Almost all patients (97%) experienced significant pain relief and an increase in grip strength within 2-3 months of the procedure. Only 7% of the patients reported minor side effects such as bruising and mild pain in the treatment area.
Does it work for other conditions?
Although PRP therapy has shown to be effective in certain musculoskeletal conditions, it cannot be used to treat orthopedic diseases that are caused by genetic disorders or diseases that affect internal organs.
In my opinion, the procedure is safe and effective. The only side effect that I experienced was mild bruising. It has helped me a lot and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is suffering from a similar condition.
The entire cost of the procedure including the Consultation, Diagnostic testing, Autologous blood injection (treatment) and all Medication came to $1,908. The amount was inclusive of all taxes and other miscellaneous fees.
The treatment was explained to you in plain language that you easily understood. You had all your questions answered and felt confident in moving forward with this procedure. On top of that, the staff were friendly and courteous. You’re ready to get started!
You should receive your order within a week. We look forward to seeing the results!
Customer Loyalty Specialist
Sources & references used in this article:
- Platelet-rich plasma: a review of the science and possible clinical applications (V Mehta – Orthopedics, 2010 – healio.com)
- Platelet-rich plasma: from basic science to clinical applications (TE Foster, BL Puskas… – The American …, 2009 – journals.sagepub.com)
- … beyond physical therapy in resistant elbow tendinopathy: a prospective, single-blind, randomised trial of autologous blood injections versus platelet-rich plasma … (L Creaney, A Wallace, M Curtis… – British journal of sports …, 2011 – bjsm.bmj.com)
- Research progress in the mechanism of effect of PRP in bone deficiency healing (N Zhang, YP Wu, SJ Qian, C Teng, S Chen… – The Scientific World …, 2013 – hindawi.com)