PRP injections are a great example of how advances in medicine are making it possible for the body’s healing capabilities to be improved.
Prolotherapy is a treatment method which involves the use of injections at the painful or damaged site on the body. Even though this technique has had positive results from the patients, there was very little physical evidence to support claims. Studies with PRP injections have shown that healing is indeed taking place. Areas receiving the platelet rich plasma injection show viable improvement in ultrasound studies. The damaged tissue physically shows signs of getting better. This is extremely promising for people suffering from very slow healing or non-healing conditions.
What is it?
Ever think what a great idea it would be if someone created a “cure-all” medication? While scientists are still far from that, PRP injections are slowly pushing us in that direction. The principle of platelet rich plasma is that it will stimulate a massive increase in the healing process. The solution in the injection is made up of concentrated platelets. Once injected into the damaged site, growth factors are released. These factors result in the proliferation of cells which leads to the regeneration of hurt tissue. Essentially, many of the events that take place throughout healing are enhances including tissue remodeling, chemotaxis, reparation, and cell proliferation.
PRP Injection Technique
The actual solution used for the injection is made from the patient’s own blood. Using autologous blood means that there is no risk of unidentified antibodies causing an immune reaction when introduced into the patient’s body. PRP injections are meant to be beneficial and using another person’s blood may further delay healing. The entire process can be summed up as follows:
- The necessary amount of blood is drawn from the patient.
- The blood is then placed into a centrifuge container so that it can be processed for use.
- Any mixing reagents will be added at this time and then the solution will be centrifuged down. This high speed spinning will successfully concentrate the growth factors present in the plasma.
- The platelet rich plasma is then drawn up into a syringe. This is the solution which will be injected into or next to the wounded area.
One dose is not normally enough to cause the desired results. Patients will visit their doctors every 2-3 months and will probably need about 2-6 visits for maximum results. Keep in mind that treatment is per wound or ailment. Multiple problems will each require its own treatment.
The use of PRP injections can vary widely from one doctor to the next. Some medical professionals still do not utilize prolotherapies of any sort which means you will probably not be given the option to use platelet rich plasma. If you have an injury which doesn’t seem to be getting any better and also interferes with your daily routine, you may want to consider finding a doctor that offers injections. Some common injuries which can benefit from the plasma growth factors are:
- Muscle fibrosis
- Joint inflammation
- Ligamentous sprains
- A range of muscle strains
PRP injections have also been used to enhance healing after spine, face, podiatric, and cosmetic surgeries.