What is PRP?
Platelet rich plasma therapy is also known as PRP therapy. The two main ingredients are platelets and plasma. Platelets are found in the blood. They’re smaller than a red blood cell and are important in the process of blood clotting. Platelets also are necessary for healing functions. Plasma refers to the fluid part of the blood. It contains mostly water and proteins.
Platelet-rich plasma is a concentration of a patient’s platelets. Here’s how it works:
- A patient’s blood is drawn. The amount of blood taken is about 1/5 the amount that you would donate at a blood drive.
- We run that blood through a centrifuge to isolate the PRP.
- After the PRP is prepared, it will be injected back into the joint or area of injury.
- Once the PRP is injected, it begins to trigger the body’s natural healing process over the next several weeks.
- No long-term rest, rehabilitation or physical therapy is necessary.
At Native Stem Cell Centers, we use PRP in a variety of different ways, each tailored to your condition and treatment goals. With Dr. Crawford’s guidance, you may decide to add a series of PRP injections to your stem cell therapy to augment your arthritis treatment.
How Does PRP Fix Joint Pain?
PRP has a strong anti-inflammatory effect and is frequently referred to as “natural cortisone” or “natural steroids,” due to its ability to calm inflammation and pain without the negative side effects of a steroid injection. It reduces swelling.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory effects, PRP has numerous growth factors and other helpful regenerative factors.
PRP is a useful and effective tool for treating a wide variety of soft tissue and arthritic complaints, including:
- Tendon and ligament issues
- Achilles tendon injuries
- Sports injuries
- Muscle injuries
- Patellar tendonitis (also known as jumper’s knee)
- Tennis elbow
- Golfer’s elbow
- Plantar fasciitis
- Knee osteoarthritis
It was previously thought that PRP was mostly effective in relieving pain through its anti-inflammatory properties. More recently, doctors and researchers have begun to understand that the growth factors and other cytokines present in PRP may also play a collaborative role in helping your body heal injured tissue, or in augmenting the healing properties of stem cells.
A number of professional athletes use PRP treatment post-injury. Quarterback Peyton Manning, golfer Tiger Woods and baseball shortstop Alex Rodriguez have all benefitted from this treatment during their careers.
Is PRP Therapy Right For Me?
Dr. Crawford and the staff at Native Stem Cell Centers will be able to conduct an in-person or Telemedicine consultation to address your specific concerns and conditions and to explain how PRP can help you.
Other patients use PRP therapy in addition to stem cell therapy to see more improvement. At Native Stem Cell Centers, we consider our bone-marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) stem cell therapy and PRP the gold standard of treatment. PRP injections provide a boost at the beginning of treatment and months down the road. PRP also helps with stem cell growth.
If you are an active adult and planning a trip, such as hiking or strenuous walking, you may want to ask about getting a PRP treatment prior to vacation.
If you are considering joint replacement surgery and looking for alternate solutions, visit one of our Native Stem Cells Clinics to learn more about stem cell therapy, PRP therapy and ReVivaStem®.
Glossary Of Terms
- Cytokine: a molecule secreted by certain cells of the immune system, which regulate certain cell functions associated with immune response
- Plasma: the colorless fluid part of blood
- Platelet: a disklike part of the blood that assists in clotting. Another word for platelet is thrombocyte
- Platelet rich plasma: a concentration of platelets derived from a patient’s blood
- Regenerative medicine: a branch of medicine concerned with developing therapies that regenerate or replace injured, diseased, or defective cells, tissues, or organs to restore or establish function and structure