Patients suffering from the pain associated with soft tissue injuries, including muscle, ligament and tendon injuries, may find great pain relief from a treatment called platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. This therapy uses a patient’s own blood and a process called centrifugation (spinning the blood to separate its components) which produces plasma with a high concentration of platelets. Most people are aware that platelets are necessary for the clotting of blood, but platelets also contain important growth factors. These PRP growth factors, researchers say, can promote regenerative healing, often much more quickly than through other conventional treatments.
Used in recent years by professional athletes and others who seek a safe and rapid way to return to health and relieve pain, PRP therapy was first developed in the 1970’s. In the 1990’s and continuing into the new millennium, the procedure began to be used to promote healing in several fields of medicine, including orthopedics, maxillofacial dental surgery, cosmetic surgery, sports medicine, wound care, and pain management.
USA Pain Clinics PRP therapy takes place in our office and usually requires no more than a couple of hours. First, a quantity of the patient’s blood is drawn. Then, the blood is placed into a centrifuge which spins rapidly, separating the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Using only the patient’s blood, platelet-rich plasma is created. Our providers then carefully inject the PRP into the area being treated. The growth factors in the platelets promote healing and possibly even regeneration of tissue. Patients typically notice results within a couple of weeks.
Depending on the patient and the condition or injury being treated, more than one treatment may be necessary. However, two to three treatments are usually required. Injections may be given as often as every four weeks but may be spread out over eight to twelve weeks. Injuries or conditions treated by PRP therapy include:
- Knee-ligament tears
- Rotator-cuff injuries
- Severely strained ligaments and muscles
- Degenerative knee cartilage
- Plantar fasciitis
- Lumbar spine disc pain
While many insurance plans do not yet cover the procedure, patients may wish to consider the treatment as an alternative or as an addition to other options. For more information about PRP therapy, contact the medical staff at USA Pain Clinics.