Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment has become a popular solution to treat a number of issues often associated with aging. It is a non-surgical procedure used for relief of pain and to help speed up recovery from injury. The secret to its effectiveness lies in the use of platelets taken from the patient’s own blood. Because platelets play a major role in healing, when concentrated, it can help speed up the body’s natural healing process. PRP treatment can assist in treating a long list of issues from tendon, joint and tissue injuries to ligament sprains and from osteoarthritis to sports injuries and torn muscles.
What is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)?
Your body is an amazing machine. In fact, it has many functions focused on healing and fighting illness. Part of those healing powers are found in your blood and, more specifically, in your blood’s platelets. Platelets are sent to injured areas to begin the healing process because they contain seven protein growth factors required for wound healing. Since platelets are vital to your natural healing process, the power of your blood can be harnessed to help treat a number of issues through PRP therapy.
Platelet-rich plasma is generated by taking a small sample of your blood and then using a centrifuge to separate the plasma from the platelets. From there, your platelets are used to create a highly concentrated plasma that intensifies the healing factors of your platelets. This platelet-rich plasma is then injected directly into targeted areas to increase and improve your natural healing process.
How Effective is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy?
As mentioned, concentrated platelets are injected into target areas using a small volume of plasma and a high concentration of platelets. You receive a higher content of all the factors that make platelets so effective in healing, including three vital proteins with cell adhesion molecules and seven protein growth factors. These components are needed for the bone to remain strong, while also providing a “matrix” for bone and connective tissue.
When the PRP injections contain viably active platelets in high concentration, the result is improved healing ability. In reality, the use of PRP is simply allowing the body to follow the normal gene sequence triggered in healing. This includes creating cells, forming matrixes, and producing vital collagen. By stimulating this normal healing process, the risk for mutations is reduced, and instead, the healing process is sped up. Once applied, growth factors are boosted and continue to heal over their typical seven-day life span.
The platelets die off; the vascular in-growth is stimulated and begins healing thanks to the secretion of those growth factors. PRP is very effective in increasing the number of factors required for healing and therefore is highly effective as a treatment for healing bone, tissue, tendons, and more.
As long as the plasma used contains properly managed, viable platelets, studies show PRP treatments do enhance bone regeneration and soft tissue healing. Adding to the benefits of PRP treatment, it is very safe because the patient’s own blood reduces the risk for transmissible diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.