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PRP therapy: a great alternative to surgery and steroids

PRP therapy has been used for years to stimulate your body’s natural healing capacity. Most people want to try to avoid surgery for their conditions causing pain. PRP therapy is a form of regenerative medicine that promotes the healing of damaged soft tissues such as muscles, tendons, and cartilage. Platelets are concentrated from your own blood. Platelets are essential for tissue regeneration and repair. Through a bio advanced process, we’re able to concentrate your platelet-rich plasma and use those cells to promote healing in an office space procedure that’s simple.

How Does The PRP Process Work? 

When we have a soft tissue injury, the body signals platelets and other components in our blood supply to migrate to the site of an injury. The platelets release various bioactive proteins such as cytokines and chemokines, and these attract macrophages, mesenchymal STEM cells, and osteoblasts. These cells are essential for healing. 

PRP also promotes new blood vessel development to accelerate tissue healing and stop bleeding. When a patient’s own PRP is injected into an injured area, the natural healing cascade can be enhanced and accelerated. 

What Conditions Can Be Treated With PRP? 

The following conditions can be treated with PRP:

  • Back and neck pain
  • Osteoarthritis in the knees, shoulders, and hips 
  • Sports injuries of tendons and joints, tendonitis, sprains and strains
  • Bursitis
  • Whiplash
  • Injuries
  • Plantar fasciitis

 

The nice thing about PRP is there’s minimal to no risk factors as we’re using your own blood. This is known as an autologous injection, meaning it’s coming from your own body and is not foreign. PRP treatment is done in the office and the patient is typically in the office for an hour including the blood draw and the injections. Most PRP injections are done under ultrasound guidance. However, PRP injections can also be done under x-ray guidance known as fluoroscopy. 

In preparation for PRP treatment, we recommend that patients avoid anti-inflammatories and corticosteroids for three weeks prior to the procedure. We like patients to increase their fluid intake for five days prior to the procedure and be well-hydrated. 

Also of note is that alcohol and smoking reduce STEM cell release. It’s important to try to stop or minimize alcohol use and smoking for at least two weeks prior to PRP. 

The healing process takes approximately four to six weeks. Most patients do report a gradual reduction in pain and improvement in function over this time. The injection can be repeated at approximately three months. 

What To Expect After The Treatment

The anesthetic used to numb the skin generally wears off in one to two hours. Patients might experience mild pain and swelling at the injection site. However, the majority of patients are able to return immediately to usual activities with absolutely no downtime.

 

Post-treatment, we recommend that patients be patient and allow the four to six-week healing cascade to occur. Ice can be applied to the treated area and patients are encouraged to remain active and engage in their usual activities. It is also recommended to refrain from taking nonsteroidal antiinflammatories for at least two weeks following the procedure. 

 

Who Is A Good Candidate For A PRP Procedure? 

The ideal candidates for PRP are patients that want to use their body’s own regenerative potential as an option to heal an injury and possibly delay or avoid more invasive surgical procedures.  PRP is typically not covered by insurance and as an elective procedure. Many athletes choose to do PRP to help them get back to action. 

 

Why Would Someone Choose PRP Over Another Treatment Option? 

PRP treatment versus steroid injections are often considered by patients as steroids are typically not a long term solution and frequent steroid injections to control pain can actually weaken tissue depending on the area they’re injected.

PRP is natural and offers the opportunity to heal the effective area and can be a much longer-lasting solution. 

 

PRP Versus Surgery Versus Stem Cell 

If an injury or pain is severe enough to consider surgery, PRP therapy may be considered first as it’s a less invasive option that could provide relief with less downtime. People often ask, what about PRP versus stem cell therapy? stem cell therapies include a wide range of treatments, some of which are not compliant with the rules of the FDA. Some are other stem cell treatments that are allowed like bone marrow concentrate, deliver stem cells directly to the treated tissue, but require a more invasive harvest of bone marrow aspirin. PRP uses natural proteins to recruit the body cells from nearby tissues. 

 

Call the office today to see if you’re a candidate for PRP treatment.

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