In an age where the health and wellness industry is bursting with choice and innovation, separating the truth from hyped-up placebo can be tricky. Though many new forms of treatment and medication are groundbreaking, some companies make tall claims with little science to back it up. This can make it tough if you are trying to distinguish an alternative solution from a waste of time. If you are experiencing muscle or joint pain, have recently torn a tendon, or are looking for arthritis relief, you may be wondering if a new form of treatment will be effective. If your regular pain meds and supplements just aren’t cutting it, it may be time to consider PRP therapy! If you’re intimidated or confused by the acronym, you shouldn’t be. PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma and refers to the platelets found within the plasma, or liquid component, of your blood. Still unsure how this type of treatment works? Here is everything you need to know about PPR therapy.
Believe it or not, one of the main draws of PRP therapy is that all of the regenerative properties of the shot come from your own body. The plasma component of the blood that flows through your body is primarily made up of water and proteins. This same plasma also acts as a kind of highway for platelets. Sent by your body to sites that need to be repaired, platelets and other special proteins speed up the physical healing process of the body, as well as the subsequent recovery time. The actual injection is prepared by extracting a small amount of blood from the intended subject, separating the blood from the plasma in a centrifuge, and then administering it back into the body by way of injured areas. In a nutshell, the therapy uses the strength and natural healing abilities your body possesses and applies them in a concentrated form on a specific area. Pretty cool stuff!
Who Needs PRP?
Though used frequently for top-performing athletes, PRP therapy has proven useful for the treatment of a multitude of muscle and tissue-related issues found in a large variety of people. As discussed at UnitedSpineAndOrtho.com, many people suffering from arthritis have found relief with regular PRP treatments. The same can be said for rotator cuff injuries and other injuries that result in significant pain. Additionally, PRP injections can prove helpful for aiding and expediting the natural healing process. For this reason, it is often used as an alternative to surgery, or in conjunction with other therapies to speed along post-surgical repair. An ideal candidate for this type of therapy is someone who is experiencing joint or muscle pain, but who is devoid of any active infection.
When considering any new type of medical treatment, one of the first things you should do is to investigate any negative side effects that may occur after the fact. Thankfully, with PRP there are minimal reactions due to the treatment’s autologous (from the patient’s own body) nature. This is one of the many reasons it has been heralded as such a positive step forward for the medical community. That being said, as is the case with any injectable, there are still minimal risks present. Some of the more common side effects of injection include infection, tissue damage, nerve injury, and topical pain. If you are receiving treatment for cancer, anemia, or infection, PRP therapy is discouraged altogether.
Initially used for sprains, tears, and acute injuries, PRP therapy has experienced positive and rapid growth that has seen the treatment crop up in entirely different industries. Take the cosmetics industry, for example. PRP therapy is now being used to treat hair loss as well as facial aging and wrinkles. Hair loss being the most prominent non-medical usage of the PRP treatment, injections are focused on the scalp and hair follicles. Multiple appointments are proving popular to curb alopecia by encouraging hair growth and preventing further loss. Similarly, PRP has been used to heal and prevent volume loss in skin cells to reduce the look of aging and visible wrinkles.
While PRP therapy can seem intimidating at first, it’s actually a very safe non-surgical procedure. It could also be the treatment you’ve been looking for to finally alleviate injury-related or arthritis-related pain or discomfort. Though it is still a relatively new treatment, it’s grown in popularity exponentially over the last few years and is more common than ever before. Now that you’re all caught up on the science behind PRP therapy, its varied uses, and its possible side effects, you may even look into getting it for yourself.