Professional athletes like golf professional Tiger Woods, tennis star Rafael Nadal and many, many professional baseball players have all received platelet-rich plasma therapy following injuries to speed up the healing time and avoid surgery. Platelet-rich plasma is a concentrated source of blood plasma that is derived from whole blood. It contains a concentration of growth factors that can speed up the healing process by stimulating healing of soft tissue and joints.
Normal whole blood is made up of approximately 93% red blood cells, 6% white blood cells and 1% platelets. For PRP the concentration of platelets is 94%, and it is full of growth factors and cytokines that will stimulate cell regeneration and accelerate healing. Following an injury, the body’s first response is to send platelets to stop the bleeding, initiate repair and attract stem cells to the area. Physicians trained to provide plasma-rich therapy use it to treat acute muscle strains, tendinitis, muscle-fascial injuries, wounds and hair loss. PRP therapy is a concentration of up to 7 different growth factors and cytokines that reduce inflammation and pain and accelerates tissue regeneration and healing.
Conditions treated with PRP:
Chronic tendon injuries
Acute ligament and muscle injuries
Recovery from postoperative pain
How is platelet-rich plasma created?
Blood contains plasma, red cells, white cells and platelets. Platelets contain proteins called growth factors that are critical to cell regeneration and healing. For PRP therapy, a small amount blood is drawn from the patient and then put into a centrifuge, a device that spins at a very high speed, separating the platelets from the other components of the blood. The result is a concentration of platelets 3-10 times higher than normal physiological levels. This concentration is then reinjected back into the patient, in the specific area that needs to be treated.
How are PRP injections administered?
The prepared platelets are injected back into the patient at the site of injury. The entire process takes about 1 hour and is relatively painless. Because the blood used is taken from the patient, the procedure is relatively safe with no risk of an allergic reaction. A needle is injected into the skin and this means there is a very slight risk of injection, bleeding or nerve damage but these risks are very rare. More than 100 professional athletes including players from the NBA, NFL, PGA and MLB have received PRP therapy. Contact us to see if plasma-rich protein therapy is right for you.
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