Platelets are tiny cells best known for their primary function: to prevent and stop bleeding. But these tiny cells do more than clot blood, they also enhance your body’s healing process.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a form of regenerative medicine that health care providers, like physical medicine and interventional pain management physician, Dr. Nora Taha, at LiveWell Pain Management, use to promote the healing of acute and chronic injuries and degenerative conditions that affect your musculoskeletal system.
Here, we tell you about PRP and the conditions it can help.
PRP is a blood product made from a sample of your own blood that contains a higher-than-normal concentration of platelets. Your blood is mostly plasma (liquid) with a mix of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
For PRP, we take a sample of your blood and put it in a special centrifuge that separates the tiny platelets from the other cells. We then add the platelets back to the plasma to create the PRP, which has about 5-10 times more platelets than what’s circulating in your blood.
Next, we take the PRP and inject it directly into the part of your body where we want to enhance healing, using ultrasound-guided imaging to ensure accuracy.
When you have a cut, your blood sends platelets to immediately stop the bleeding. This injury also triggers the release of growth factors from your platelets, which initiates inflammation and your body’s regenerative process.
With PRP, we inject a high concentration of your body’s natural healing elements directly into your body part that needs extra help healing. The PRP may then initiate or enhance your body’s repair process, reducing pain and improving function.
Health care providers use PRP to help many conditions. At LiveWell Pain Management, we use PRP to support the healing of musculoskeletal injuries and degenerative conditions such as:
We may also suggest PRP following surgical treatments for injuries like anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears. Because we use your own blood to make PRP, the risk of side effects is low. When used for these conditions, PRP therapy may help reduce your knee, elbow, or shoulder pain.
Because PRP depends on your body’s natural healing process, results take time. But when you have less pain you have an easier time participating in other activities that promote healing and restore health like physical therapy.
PRP is more invasive than other treatments, however, so we may not recommend it as the first line of treatment for your injury or pain condition.
Do you have a condition you’re wondering if PRP can help? Call our office in Elmwood, New Jersey, today or request an appointment online to learn more.