Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is an emerging therapy used to treat wounds and injuries of the bone and soft tissue. Derived from a patient’s own blood sample, PRP therapy introduces concentrated doses of platelets into the damaged tissue to stimulate accelerated healing.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy has shown promise as an alternative treatment for multiple types of injuries and chronic illnesses, particularly osteoarthritis of the knee. PRP is most commonly used to offer pain relief and healing for the following areas of the body:
PRP therapy has gained popularity among some professional athletes, most notably baseball players in recent years, whose livelihood depends on finding an adequate solution for chronic and potentially career-ending injuries that no longer respond to traditional, more conservative forms of treatment or surgery.
PRP works by taking a sample of the patient’s own blood and running it through a centrifuge to separate the blood’s components at several stages. Once the dose of the concentrated platelets has been prepared, it is administered via injection to the area of the damaged tissue or joint. The elevated platelet levels stimulate what is known as human growth factor, which in turn produce the healing and restorative cells that help to regenerate the damaged tissue.
Adverse and negative effects of PRP are generally negligible due to the fact that the treatment is derived from the patient’s own blood sample, although rest and a course of physical therapy and strength training treatments might be necessary after the treatment has been administered.
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