What is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy?
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is a form of regenerative medicine which helps to promote growth of damaged or degenerated tissues. These can include muscle tears, damaged tendons or ligaments, and degenerated joints as in arthritis.
How does it work?
Platelets (the clotting factors in our blood) contain numerous growth factors that help tissues to heal and grow. In PRP therapy, we take blood from the patient and spin it in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the rest of the blood components (i.e. red blood cells, white blood cells). We then collect those platelets in a syringe and inject them into the areas that need to heal. Our clinic does this under ultrasound guidance so we administer the PRP solution in the exact location that needs treatment.
PRP sounds similar to Prolotherapy. Is it?
They are very similar in their application. The difference is that prolotherapy stimulates acute inflammation which brings more blood (including platelets) to the damaged tissue. PRP brings concentrated platelets to the damaged tissue, so it could be called “super concentrated prolotherapy”. Indeed, doctors who use both techniques generally report much stronger results with PRP (although prolotherapy works well too, as it has for many years).
Does PRP hurt more than Prolotherapy?
It depends. If PRP is mixed with red blood cells then it can be quite painful after the injection. We use a company called “Emcyte” which allows us to produce “Pure PRP” – a solution that has virtually zero red blood cell content. As such, our experience is that it is no more painful than prolotherapy.
Can PRP be mixed with ozone?
Yes, we combine ozone with PRP to give patients the combined benefits of both treatments.
What conditions can PRP treat?
Any type of muscle, tendon, ligament or joint issue. PRP can also be used in an inhaled form in patients with COPD or in athletes who wish to improve lung performance. Common conditions treated with PRP include:
-osteoarthritis (any joint)
-rotator cuff injuries
-low back pain
-SI joint pain or dysfunction
-Achilles tendon issues