Check Out How PRP For These Common Injuries Gets You Back In The Game Fast!
You may have heard the buzz about platelet rich plasma (PRP) as a treatment for injuries related to sports. PRP for a wide array of injuries and chronic degenerative pain has been around for many years now. But you have questions, not the least of them being: what is PRP in the first place? And why has it become so popular in the past few years?
The rise in the use of PRP for treating injuries -as well as a companion therapy in the treatment of chronic conditions like COPD and arthritis– is due in large part to its success among professional athletes. From Masters champion Tiger Woods to football and tennis stars like Peyton Manning and Rafael Nadal, using PRP for muscle, tendon, and joint injuries has become the preferred treatment choice over invasive surgeries.
But what are the advantages of PRP over conventional methods like surgery? To understand that, the National Stem Cell Institute -a leading U.S. facility specializing in advanced regenerative medical procedures-explains what platelet rich plasma is, and details some of the best uses of PRP for sports related injuries and chronic medical conditions.
Effective PRP For 7 Common Injuries And Degenerative Conditions
First, a definition of platelet rich plasma is in order. Plasma is the liquid that makes up the majority of the body’s blood. Suspended in blood plasma are red and white blood cells, and cells called platelets. Platelets perform two essential roles in healing. One is the clotting of blood, which stops bleeding when a blood vessel is damaged. A basic example of this is what happens when you cut your skin. Platelets also have an abundance of proteins and other bioactive growth factors. These are enormously important in the healing of injuries.
PRP is blood plasma that contains a high concentration of these platelets. Platelet rich plasma doesn’t occur naturally, but it is a natural-based product derived from the components of blood. PRP for therapeutic purposes is produced under carefully controlled and highly sterile laboratory conditions.
PRP for a variety of therapies and treatments is well-established
Platelet rich plasma therapy is has been a part of modern medicine for decades. PRP for uses in dermatology, dentistry, and orthopedics are well known and have been well established for many years. It is also commonly used today to hasten healing in a variety of different types of surgery.
How Platelet Rich Plasma Heals
The delivery of platelets to an injury site is how the body immediately responds to soft tissue damage. Blood platelets go to work at the site by stopping any bleeding and by delivering growth and healing factors that start the repair process while also assisting stem cells. PRP for injuries like meniscus tears, muscle injury, or cartilage replacement jumpstarts the teamwork between the platelets and stem cells.
Stem cells are the body’s building blocks. Adult stem cells remain in the body throughout life. Think of them as “packets of potential.” They are created in bone marrow and either circulate through the bloodstream or get stored in areas like the fatty tissue that lies just below the skin. When we sustain an injury or become ill, the brain signals the stem cells to travel to the area or organ in need of repair, re-growth or rejuvenation. There, the stem cells become whatever type of cell is needed for healing: organ, muscle, bone, cartilage, nerve, and more.
PRP is a high concentration of the body’s natural healing factors
The preparation of the PRP is a well-established procedure in which a blood sample is drawn from the person who has the injury. The blood sample undergoes a process known as centrifugation, where it is spun until the blood is separated into its individual elements.
The platelets become highly concentrated within the plasma, making platelet rich plasma. PRP holds a wealth of several types of growth factors and cytokines. Among the types of cytokines that are better known to the public are interferon and interleukin, known for their powerful healing power.
From bone breaks to soft tissue tears, the rich concentrate of PRP for injuries helps accelerate repair and healing. Platelet rich plasma’s high concentration of healing factors target localized inflammation and promotes collagen production and other regenerative processes.
PRP for the following types of muscle, bone and tissue injury –both chronic and acute- is in wide use:
- Tennis Elbow
- Bone Repair and Rejuvenation
- Ligament and Muscle Injuries
- Pulled Hamstring
- Thigh Muscle Injuries
- Knee Sprains
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Rotator Cuff
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Skier’s/Gamekeeper’s/Texting Thumb
But that barely scratches the surface of the uses for platelet rich plasma. We’ll explore PRP for many other conditions –from cosmetic to chronic- later in this article.
The Advantages Of PRP Over Surgery
PRP for an ever-growing list of injuries and chronic conditions is has become increasingly popular as a first choice procedure over surgery. There are many reasons for this, not the least being the ease of treatment, the accelerated speed of healing, a shortened rehabilitation period (if any), and no need for overnight hospital stays. Platelet rich plasma therapies eliminate the risks usually associated with invasive surgeries. Rejection of the PRP is also not a factor, because the elements of platelet rich plasma is a product of the patient’s own body.
PRP for any nonsurgical use generally is done in a matter of a few hours. From the drawing of the blood sample to the injection, PRP therapies as practiced by FDA guidelines-compliant facilities like the National Stem Cell Institute are minimally invasive and done on an outpatient basis. PRP for nonsurgical procedures like those at NSI don’t require general anesthesia, hospital stays or the prolonged recovery periods associated with surgery.
PRP for most injuries and chronic conditions is usually a series of injections performed over a period of time. Depending on the severity of the injury, the regimen generally lasts from a few weeks to several months. However, it doesn’t take that long to feel the healing effects of PRP. Many patients report reduction in pain almost immediately after the first injection, with improvement of function over the next few days. Most notice that pain relief and function both improve over the course of a few weeks and continue for several weeks until maximum recovery is achieved.
The proof is in the image
The definitive and speedy nature of PRP for the healing of breaks, tears, and other bone and soft tissue injuries has been proven through medical imaging techniques like MRIs and ultrasounds. Using PRP for injuries and many other types of chronic conditions boosts and accelerates this natural process. New blood vessels and tissue fibers form, which helps in the tightening, repair and strengthening of the injured joint or tissues.
The pain relief and restoration of functions that result from PRP for injuries and chronic, degenerative conditions is usually long-term. This speaks to the longevity of platelet rich plasma’s healing powers, demonstrating that PRP is not just a “quick fix” or a stall tactic that only puts off surgery. For a growing number of Americans, PRP for soft tissue, muscle, or bone injuries makes surgery altogether unnecessary.
Other Conditions Treated With PRP
This is not to wholly denigrate the use of surgery but, rather, to point out that surgery can often be avoided completely. However, in cases where more drastic means become necessary, the use of PRP for treatments that augment surgery are regularly used in the OR. Some examples include:
- Colorectal Surgery
- Cardiac Muscle Injury
- Severe Bone Fractures
In addition to the use of PRP for the nonsurgical repair of muscles, ligaments, and tendons, or as an auxiliary surgical aid, platelet rich plasma is used to treat the following:
- Open Wounds
- Nerve Injury
- Periodontal Conditions
- Bulging or Herniated Discs
- Sacroiliac Conditions
- Sciatica and Sciatic Nerve Pain
PRP for cosmetic therapies are also coming into the mainstream. It is used to treat hair loss and as an anti-aging treatment. It reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while also improving skin texture.
Who Benefits From PRP Therapy And Why
PRP for a wide variety of conditions means that virtually anyone can benefit through treatment. In the case of people suffering from either rheumatoid or osteoarthritis, patients find relief from PRP’s ability to aid in the regeneration of the cartilage that has degenerated around the joints. Whether from arthritis or other chronic conditions, people who suffer from chronic pain in the neck, lower back, knees, or shoulders are also excellent candidates for PRP therapy.
Platelet rich plasma can also aid in stability and balance problems, acute or chronic muscle stiffness and improving conditions that affect overall flexibility or range-of-motion.
The Nitty Gritty Of Why PRP Treatments Work
PRP for healing, repair, and regeneration works for so many injuries and chronic conditions because of the growth factors that are innate in platelet rich plasma. These aid in the stimulation of cell replication, as well as the proliferation of muscle cells, boosts vascular endothelial growth (the system that restores the oxygen supply to tissues), and stimulates the elements that carry out structural repairs of skeleton and muscles.
PRP also boosts the formation of new blood vessels, fibroblasts (cells in connective tissue that produce collagen and other fibers), liver cells, and insulin-like factors. In addition, platelet rich plasma contains 3 plasma proteins known as fibrin, fibronectin and vitronectin. These, too, are important to contributing to body’s ability to repair and regenerate.
Primary Benefits Of PRP Therapy
PRP for Chronic Pain and Injuries that Don’t Respond to Medication or Surgery
Whether over-the-counter or prescription, all too often medications lose their efficacy or don’t work well to begin with. They may dull pain, but frequently do not fully alleviate it. Surgery done to correct an injury can also lead to disappointment in the level of relief afterward.
Most patients who have opted for platelet rich plasma therapy -even after ineffective surgeries- report significant improvement the following:
- Pain Relief
- Muscle or Joint Stiffness
- Range of Motion
- The Ability to Exercise
- Quality of Sleep
Reduction in the Symptoms of Tendonitis
Both the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and Stanford University report that significant numbers of sports related injury. JAMA has published studies that say as much as thirty to fifty percent of sports injuries will eventually become unresponsive to medications or surgical treatment.
Stanford University cited a 2006 clinical trial that found that people who used PRP for chronic pain had a ninety percent average reduction in pain for at least two years after the initial trial. The study was so impressive, Stanford now recommends the use of PRP for treating pain and even as a therapy for other more serious conditions like stroke ever since.
PRP for Decreasing Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
Studies show that degenerative diseases that affect the joints, like osteoarthritis, respond positively to platelet rich plasma therapy. One particular study done in 2010 highlights the benefits of PRP for osteoarthritis of the knee.
The American Journal of Physical Medicine Rehabilitation reported that patients with knee pain associated with osteoarthritis received a four-week treatment. On average, the patients reported major improvement that was very nearly linear. Additionally, they reported that they felt no adverse affects. A follow-up with the participants twelve months after treatments ended showed the positive effects remained.
Other types of injuries that have shown to benefit significantly from PRP therapy include:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Jumper/Runner’s Knee
- Lower Back Pain, both Chronic and Acute
Where To Learn More About PRP Therapy
Platelet rich plasma therapy was once largely unknown to the general public because of its rarity and expense. It became the “open secret” of top professional athletes and celebrities. Now PRP for the general public has reached the mainstream.
But, PRP for sports-related injuries and chronic ailments is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using platelet rich plasma as therapy. It has long been known by surgeons and dental professionals as an essential aid in healing. Today this regenerative medical method is a major therapeutic player in its own right. Many professionals in the medical community see a very bright and exciting future, not only in using PRP for joint and muscle injuries, but for an ever-growing list of illnesses and degenerative conditions.
It’s as important to find an established and reputable facility when seeking out PRP for treating your chronic conditions or injury as it is for any other medical specialty. Physicians and medical staff should all be experienced in platelet rich plasma and stem cell therapies. The National Stem Cell Institute advises patients to seek out medical facilities that strictly follow FDA guidelines for their procedures. Clinics and other medical facilities that adhere to these guidelines are dedicated to exacting procedures that ensure optimum quality control and sterile circumstances.
NSI has become a leader in regenerative medicine techniques like stem cell therapies and PRP for an extensive list of injuries, ailments, and chronic medical conditions. The medical professionals at the institute are always happy to answer any questions.
What to Look for in a Stem Cell Medical Clinic
When searching for a qualified stem cell therapy center it’s important to remember that not all of them are created equal. Stem cells, when used properly, are your body’s most powerful means for healing that can repair everything from ligaments, tendons, and cartilage to organs including your liver, pancreas and lungs and even neurological tissue like your brain, nerves and spinal cord.
Unfortunately, the majority of so-called “regenerative medicine clinics” in the world aren’t trained in the latest, most technologically advanced procedures and will, therefore, provide poor results if any.
The good news is the National Stem Cell Institute (NSI) has established the most advanced stem cell and platelet rich plasma procedures on the planet which has drawn patients from all over the world as well as professional athletes and celebrities because they are recognized as the best in the world at stem cell therapy.
What makes NSI Stem Cell the top stem cell clinic in the world is demonstrated in 5 key areas:
1. Highly trained and experienced, board-certified doctors and team members who have performed stem cell procedures on thousands of patients with incredible results.
2. Cutting edge procedures utilizing all that regenerative medicine has to offer for many chronic degenerative conditions.
3. Leading scientific researchers who follow the advanced guidelines to maximize the healing potential of your stem cells and to maintain compliance and ethics
4. Use of only the most potent and viable resource of living, viable stem cells and harvested on the same day. No vial that you can purchase will contain living stem cells. If there is no harvest then there are no stem cells.
5. Post-operative guidance for supporting stem-cell growth including rehabilitation, diet and supplement protocols. NSI is a full-service healthcare center focused on patient outcomes. Stem cell therapy is only one tool used to help improve patients’ lives.
Patients have raved about their experience at NSI Stem Cell Clinics testifying that it was their unique cutting-edge procedures that helped them experience a breakthrough when nothing else worked.
If you want to learn more about NSI Stem Cell Clinics, you can set up a complimentary consultation today to see if you are a candidate. You can contact the National Stem Cell Institute at (877) 278-3623.
* Disclaimer: Individual patient results may vary. As each patient’s problem is different, each treatment must be tailored around your specific needs.