What is Platelet Rich Plasma?
Platelet rich plasma therapy, or PRP therapy, is a minimally invasive natural pain relief treatment option.
Platelet rich plasma therapy is commonly used to treat the following conditions:
- Acute pain
- Chronic pain
- Knee pain
- Sports injuries
- Tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and other elbow injuries and pains
- Torn tendons and tendonitis
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Shoulder pain
- Joint pain
- Foot pain
- Hand pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome and other types of wrist pain
Here at Memphis Regenerative Healthcare, we specialize in treating many of these conditions and issues using platelet rich plasma therapy.
How Does Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy Work?
Platelet rich plasma therapy works by using components of the patient’s own blood to relieve pain and increase the efficacy of the body’s natural healing process.
Blood contains four main components: plasma, the liquid part of blood; red blood cells, which transport oxygen through the body; white blood cells, which fight off infection and diseases; and platelets, which clot wounds and promote healing through growth factors.
Platelets play a key role in the body’s healing process. Platelet rich plasma, then, is simply a sample of blood that has a higher concentration of platelets. This concentration is created from spinning a patient’s blood sample in a device called a centrifuge and selecting the portion that contains the highest number of platelets. That selected portion will be injected into the area of the body that is being treated.
When more platelets are injected into the afflicted area, they begin to work to heal and repair the injured tissue at a faster rate than it would be able to do on its own.
Depending on the injured or afflicted area, ultrasound imaging may be used to guide the injection.
Platelet rich plasma therapy is a very safe treatment option with a minimal risk of infection or rejection because it comes directly from the patient’s body. It doesn’t involve any drugs or potentially addictive painkillers — just an injection at the afflicted area.
How Long Does Platelet Rich Plasma Last?
How long the effects of platelet rich plasma can vary based on a number of factors, starting with the reason a patient is undergoing PRP therapy. Other factors may include (but are not limited to):
- The severity of an injury
- The type of injury
- The injury’s location
- Whether or not the patient is being treated for chronic pain
- How long a patient has been experiencing pain
- The patient’s pain tolerance
Platelet rich plasma is commonly used to treat sports-related injuries, and athletes like Tiger Woods have used PRP to treat injuries like golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow.
PRP can be used to improve rehabilitation following certain repair surgeries. A pilot study involving patients with rotator cuff repair surgeries gave these patients PRP injections to improve their recovery and pain management. During the 24 months of this study, patients continued to report a significant decrease in pain.
PRP therapy has also been used to treat chronic pain conditions like osteoarthritis. A study in the European Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery & Traumatology found that when patients suffering from osteoarthritis received PRP, they experienced a decrease in pain that lasted an average of 9 months.
Due to the wide range of variables when it comes to treating pain, it’s important to speak to a doctor about your pain relief options and to see if PRP therapy is right for you.
Contact Us Today
For more information about platelet rich plasma therapy, contact the Memphis Regenerative Healthcare today to schedule a consultation. Our Memphis, TN, area clinic offers a number of regenerative medical treatments and we are certain to find one that is most effective for you.