Clinical evidence in favor of Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) is mounting. The treatment uses your own concentrated blood plasma to heal damaged tissue. Your blood usually contains about six percent platelets. PRP contains a concentration exceeding 94 percent. Medical researchers believe that the extra platelets stimulate regeneration. The risk of rejection and other negative side effects is eliminated because your own blood is used.
PRP kits are medical packages intended to create the ideal concentration of platelets. If you don’t achieve the right concentration, the healing process may be less pronounced. PRP kits allow for effective PRP separation.
What is Platelet Rich Plasma?
Blood is a mixture of plasma, platelets, and red and white cells. Platelets are loaded with proteins that are critical for your body’s healing process. PRP is plasma that’s rich with proteins. The extreme concentration is believed to help speed up your healing after an injury.
To create PRP, you first need to provide a blood sample. Centrifugation is used to increase the platelet concentration.
How Does the Process Work?
PRP can be injected directly into the injured area. The pain may increase initially before settling down. PRP can also be used during surgery. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the PRP can be prepared in such a way that the surgeon stitch it directly into your tissues.
The exact mechanism of how PRP heals the body is unknown.
What Conditions Can be Treated with PRP?
PRP is being heavily researched. The medical community has yet to conclusively prove that PRP is beneficial but there is a lot of evidence pointing that way. The effectiveness of the treatment varies heavily depending on the patient. Important factors include the patient’s general health and the type of injury being treated.
Researchers are looking into using PRP to treat the following conditions, among others:
Research on PRP
Research into PRP is very exciting. However, it’s still in its beginning stages. The claims are still being investigated. However, that doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be helpful treating you. The risks associated with PRP are very small.
“The convincing background of the recent studies, investigating the different potentials of platelet-rich plasma, offers the clinician an appealing alternative for the treatment of cartilage lesions and osteoarthritis,” reads a study published in Biomed Research International.
“Recent evidence in literature have shown that PRP may be helpful both as an adjuvant for the surgical treatment of cartilage defects and as a therapeutic tool by intra-articular injection in patients affected by osteoarthritis.”
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Why Use a PRP Kit?
The first use of PRP for tissue repair was within dentistry. The successes prompted the spread to other fields. However, the research has been varied. Some studies have shown moderate success while others have shown that PRP has no effect at all.
Part of the problem is with the studies themselves. There have only been a handful of controlled, randomized trials. Most studies have used a very small sample size. Most of them lack the intellectual rigor needed to convince the community at large.
Researcher have also been using different PRP products. Using a PRP it, for instance, produces different platelet concentrations. These variations have a huge effect on the efficacy of PRP.
Because the research isn’t conclusive, the vast majority of insurance programs don’t offer reimbursement for PRP treatments. That means that PRP can be expensive for the average
Benefits of PRP Treatment
People are intensely interested in using PRP to treat chronic pain. The country is currently in the grip of a devastating opioid epidemic. Alternative pain relief strategies are highly useful.
Patients who haven’t been able to make a dent in their long-term joint or muscular pain are strong candidates for PRP therapy. It’s been shown to be useful for patients whose pain hasn’t responded to traditional treatments.
There are many theories as to why to PRP might help treat pain.
Athletes and fitness junkies are prone to tendon injuries. One of the more common uses of PRP is for athletes. In 2006, Stanford University published a study looking at subjects with tendon damage who used PRP for pain. Patients experienced over a 90% reduction in pain.
The study authors determined that: “Treatment of patients with chronic elbow tendinosis with buffered platelet-rich plasma reduced pain significantly in this pilot investigation. Further evaluation of this novel treatment is warranted. Finally, platelet-rich plasma should be considered before surgical intervention.”
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Is PRP Right for You?
PRP is an unproven treatment although many believe that the research is promising. If you’re interested in receiving the injections or using PRP during surgery, you need to speak with your doctor. There are few risks involved but it’s still a medical treatment involving injecting something into your body.
PRP might be a good choice for you if you’re suffering from chronic pain or ligament damage. It’s also been shown to be an effective treatment for acute sports-related injuries.
If you decide to seek out PRP injections, remain realistic. The treatment doesn’t offer any guarantees.