Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP Therapy is an emerging technique popularly used but not limited to sports medicine. The use of PRP can be traced to the 1980’s when it was first applied in an open heart surgery procedure in Italy. By the mid 1990s, its popularity in sports management surged and has since been applied to other different medical fields such as cosmetic surgery and dentistry as well.
But what is PRP Therapy and why is it a highly recommended sports procedure?
The answer lies in the composition of our blood. While blood is mainly a liquid, known as plasma, it also contains small solid components which are the red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. The main function of these platelets is clotting blood. Platelets are also considered protein powerhouses that are very important in the healing of injuries.
Platelet Rich Plasma is therefore plasma with many more platelets than what is normally found in blood. The concentration of platelets and the concentration of growth factors — can be 5 to 10 times richer than usual.
How does PRP help heal your body?
When your body is injured, its first response is to deliver platelet cells. Packed with growth and healing factors, platelets then initiate repair and attract the critical assistance of stem cells.
PRP’s natural healing process intensifies the body’s efforts by delivering a higher concentration of platelets directly into the area in need.
What is the process of administering of PRP?
First a small sample of your blood is drawn and placed in a centrifuge that spins the blood at high speeds. This process separates the platelets from the other components, thus producing higher concentrations of platelets and a purer concentration of the valuable blood components.
The PRP is then injected into the site of injury, where the platelets secrete growth factors that stimulate tissue recovery through the production of collagen (the body’s glue). These growth factors also stimulate blood flow and causes cartilage to become stronger and more resilient.
Since your own blood is being used in this procedure, there is no risk of a transmissible infection and a low risk of allergic reaction.
The entire procedure takes only a couple of hours, including preparation and recovery time. When performed safely, PRP therapy relieves pain without the risks of surgery, general anaesthesia or long hospital stays and without quicker recovery. In fact, most people return to their jobs or usual routine soon after the procedure.
What can be treated with PRP?
Chronic Tendon Injuries
PRP is most effective in the treatment of chronic tendon injuries such as tennis elbow, chronic Achilles and jumper’s knee.
Acute Ligament and Muscle Injuries
Most of the publicity PRP therapy has received has been around the treatment of sports injuries like ligament and muscle injuries. PRP has been used to treat professional athletes like Tiger Woods with common injuries like pulled hamstrings in the thigh and knee sprains and fractures.
More recently, PRP has actually been used after surgery to help tissues heal.
PRP is also effective in the treatment of joints that undergo degenerative changes due to osteoarthritis (OA). It is a recommended procedure in anti-aging orthopaedics that helps in the prevention of more severe forms of OA .
Why opt for PRP therapy?
The goal of PRP therapy is to relive pain from injury through healing and it has proven to have lasting results. Initial improvement is seen within a few weeks, gradually increasing as the healing progresses. Studies have shown that PRP therapy is effective at relieving pain and returning patients to their normal lives. Both ultrasound and MRI images have shown definitive tissue repair after PRP therapy, affirming the healing process. The need for surgery can also be greatly reduced by treating injured tissues before the damage becomes irreversible.
Why PRP with Euromed?