Platelet-rich plasma therapy is a non-surgical treatment for a wide range of injuries, ailments, and chronic pain. This innovative approach uses growth factors and protein from your blood to speed healing and alleviate pain. It is a fast-growing area of orthopedics and sports medicine. These “autologous” injections are derived from your own blood, and are not synthetic or taken from a donor.
What is Platelet-Rich Plasma?
Your body has an amazing capacity to heal itself. PRP therapy jumpstarts and nourishes that natural healing process using your own blood components.
Your blood contains platelets and plasma, in addition to red and white blood cells. The platelets and plasma contain proteins and growth factors, which are the desired substances when it comes to therapy.
Here is how the process works:
- Your blood is drawn from your arm
- The vials of blood are inserted into a centrifuge which spins them around at a high rate of speed
- The action of the centrifuge separates the various components of the blood, so that the plasma is isolated from the other components
- The isolated plasma contains a higher concentration of platelets than a normal sample of blood
- The platelet-rich plasma is injected directly into the treatment area, or used topically to enhance results with your microneedling treatment.
- The growth factors in the plasma kickstart the healing process, and the production of new cells, collagen and tissue.
You should experience pain relief and injuries that heal faster as a result of your PRP treatment. It usually takes multiple sessions to get results, potentially stretching over several weeks or months. PRP therapy may make it possible to avoid surgery and the lengthy recovery that often accompanies surgery.
PRP for Hair Loss
Platelet-rich plasma can be used to stimulate hair growth by injecting the plasma directly into the scalp. As we know, PRP has incredible regenerative capabilities. While research is ongoing, the idea is that the plasma and growth factors introduced to the hair follicles prompt the growth of hair. Find out if you are a candidate for this treatment if you are experiencing hair loss.
PRP for Cosmetic Treatment
One of the many ways that PRP is used aesthetically is for the induction of collagen. We call this a biostimulator, as it stimulates your body to produce new collagen and new growth. Another popular biostimulator we hear of is Sculptra. Both of these products are doing the same thing through a different mechanism. Some of you may or may not know that Sculptra cannot be injected around the eye. This is where PRP injections shine! When the plasma is injected into the dermis, your body’s healing response is triggered in this area. By stimulating new collagen we are helping to thicken the skin. This is essential for antiaging treatments around the eye as it is some of the thinnest skin on our body. PRP will help with all the other concerns in the undereye as well, such as discoloration, hollowing, and fine lines and wrinkles.
PRP with Microneedling
As mentioned earlier PRP can be coupled with your microneedling treatment. This will help to boost collagen production and help you to heal quicker from the procedure. PRP is applied in between each pass of microneedling, allowing the plasma to penetrate into the micro channels created by the microneedling device. The fibroblast cells within the plasma stay active for up to 72 hours beyond your microneedling treatment, giving you an additional 72 hours of collagen production beyond the treatment itself. When coupling PRP with your microneedling treatment you will also notice less redness and downtime as the plasma is rich in your natural growth factors and triggers your body’s healing response and speeding along the process.
Did you know that PRP has been used in medicine for decades? Its regenerative properties have the ability to heal and alleviate pain!
Frequently Asked Questions about PRP
Which soft tissue injuries can be treated with PRP?
Injuries and damage to the muscles, tendons and ligaments are often treatable with PRP. Examples include:
● Rotator cuff tendinopathy and tendonitis
● Patellar tendinopathy and tendonitis
● Achilles tendinopathy and tendonitis
● Osteoarthritis of the knee
● Lateral epicondylitis
● Plantar fasciitis
Does PRP really work?
Studies are currently limited, but we do know that the injection of platelet-rich plasma is low risk and we have seen the benefits it can provide to proper candidates. PRP injections improve and speed the body’s ability to heal.
What are the side effects of PRP injections?
Severe complications associated with PRP injections are not common, which may be because the injections are your own blood. Nonetheless, side effects are possible. After the injections, you may experience discomfort and/or soreness at the injection site. There is a risk of infection, as is the case with any injectable treatments. There are also risks of tissue damage and nerve injury. There is also the risk that the injections do not provide the relief hoped for.
During your consultation, we review all of the possible risks and side effects possible. You have the right to make an informed decision about PRP injections.
How long does it take for PRP injections to start working?
It often takes about 6 months to get the full benefits of these injections and multiple treatments are needed for optimal results. This timeline varies based on what is being treated and the individual person.
Do PRP injections hurt?
You will likely feel a pinch as the needle is inserted. The level of discomfort depends a lot on the treatment area, but our providers are very skilled and prioritize your comfort.
You may feel nervous about the injection appointments. We know each person has his or her own tolerance for and comfort with injections. Overall, PRP injections are not described as painful by our patients.
Are PRP results permanent?
Unfortunately, no. PRP results are not permanent but can last up to a year before you may need new PRP injections. As we know, few things in medicine are permanent as we will always continue to age and our bodies are continually changing, but these results can be maintained with minimal treatments.
How much do PRP injections cost?
The only way to get a definite idea of cost is to schedule a consultation. The cost varies based on the treatment area, number of appointments and other factors. In general, most PRP treatments cost anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Most health insurance policies do not provide PRP coverage, but check your own policy for details.
Arrange Your Consultation
The only way to know if PRP injections may be right for you is to schedule a consultation. An assessment will be made of your current symptoms and health conditions, which help determine the appropriateness of platelet-rich plasma therapy.