PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma. Platelet-rich plasma can be used to treat injuries and random health issues. In fact, it’s common with elite athletes such as Tiger Woods. Some of the more common injuries treated have been sprained knees or tendon injuries. However, PRP therapy is a bit more detailed and can be used for countless issues.
What is PRP?
Blood has various components. The larger component is what makes blood a liquid form and that’s plasma. However, there are solid aspects to blood and those components are red cells, white cells, and platelets. Ortho Info states that, “The platelets are best known for their importance in clotting blood. However, platelets also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors which are very important in the healing of injuries.” That means that platelet-rich plasma is plasma that has a much higher number of platelets than the average plasma found in your blood. This can make the growth factor up to ten times richer.
How Does PRP Therapy Work?
Since there is such a concentration of platelets, causing the growth factor to be increased in PRP, it is said that this can rush the healing process for injuries. Of course, rushing the process in a good way and not a detrimental or harmful way. PRP therapy is simply taking the growth and healing factors of blood and increasing those factors to help the process move along in a more beneficial manner.
PRP therapy is often used to heal injuries, especially those involving tendons. The process involves taking blood from the patient and placing it in a special machine that moves at a high speed. This process will separate the platelets from the other components of the blood. The platelets that are separated from the blood sample are then injected to the infected area, commonly joints. This concentrated injection of platelets helps to speed up the healing process and reduce inflammation in injured areas.
What Can PRP Help Treat?
Since PRP therapy can be a versatile treatment, it can help quite a few injuries or health issues. Many of the most successful injuries treated with PRP therapy involved the tendons, ligaments, and muscles. However, it has shown great promise in the department of hair growth, oddly enough. Men who experienced hair loss issues received the treatment and later saw natural hair growth rates return to normal. As mentioned, PRP therapy also helps with inflammation caused by all kinds of issues including tendonitis. There has been some research on PRP therapy assisting in the healing of a broken bone and other more severe issues however, there is very little to go off of at this point as far as the effectiveness in that area goes.