Sure, golf pro Tiger Woods and Super Bowl star Hines Ward use cutting-edge therapies like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to help them get back in their games. But celebrities can afford to take advantage of groundbreaking therapies like that. Can you?
Though PRP sounds like science fiction, it’s actually a simple procedure that harnesses and augments your body’s own natural healing processes. And it all starts with an evaluation with Kara Kelly, NP at Quince Orchard Medical Center.
You have the power
The most wonderful part of PRP is that it’s an all-natural therapy created from your own body. After drawing a small amount of blood from your arm in a process that’s similar to a blood test, your medical provider spins the blood in a sterile centrifuge. The centrifuge separates out some important blood solids, called platelets, from the liquid portion of your blood, which is called plasma.
Your platelets are tiny cell fragments that your body rushes to the site of an injury or cut to coagulate your blood and start the healing process. Every time you’ve healed a wound or sprain or strain, your platelets have helped you do it.
PRP goes straight to work
Your provider then mixes the concentrated platelets into a small amount of your plasma to create an injectable serum. They then inject the serum directly to the site of your injury or pain. The serum has up to 10 times the number of platelets as normal blood, and so gives your body extra material with which to start or finish the healing process.
Tendonitis is an inflammation in your tendons that can be extremely painful. Your tendons attach your muscles to your bones. Common types of tendonitis include:
- Tennis or golf elbow
- Swimmer’s or pitcher’s shoulder
- Jumper’s and runner’s knee
The PRP serum contains ingredients such as growth factors and fibrins that are known to stop inflammation. The PRP also increases circulation to the treatment area, which may accelerate healing.
Your ligaments are criss-crossed fibrous bands that connect bones to one another. When your ligament is sprained, it’s stretched beyond its capacity. You might even hear a “popping” sound at the moment it’s injured. Sprains are most common in joints such as the knee, ankle, and shoulder.
You can use PRP to help stimulate healing in your ligament. The PRP triggers a part of the healing process called collagen remodeling, which is when your body builds new skin and tissues.
A muscle strain occurs when you’ve pushed your muscle past its point of tension, stretching out the muscle fibers. You might refer to it as a “pulled” muscle. The tearing might also damage local blood vessels, leading to pain and swelling.
The PRP serum stimulates more blood flow to the injured tissues. More blood gives your body the building blocks it needs to repair damage.
Minor muscle tears
If you have a minor muscle tear, PRP may help your body rebuild the torn muscle fibers. Although your body’s already in the process of mending the tears with new collagen and elastin, the PRP gives your body extra ingredients to speed the healing process.
Minor ligament tears
You may benefit from PRP therapy if you’ve actually torn a ligament. The platelets stimulate healing so that the partially torn ligaments mend themselves together again.
Chronic muscle pain
Chronic muscle pain can be caused by injuries to the muscles themselves or to surrounding nerves. The PRP serum helps subdue pain by stopping inflammation and promoting healing.
Joint pain is often caused by the gradual wearing away of a rubbery tissue called cartilage that protects and separates your bones. Cartilage doesn’t grow back on its own. However, PRP may stimulate a collagen remodeling process in your cartilage that could help it rebuild itself.
To find out if you’re a candidate for PRP to stop your pain and accelerate healing, Get in touch with us today!