As more research confirms the body’s ability to heal itself to degrees previously though impossible, scientists and physicians are discovering new treatment methods that can actually amplify the body’s natural abilities to heal. One of these therapies is called platelet rich plasma or PRP injections. The following will take a closer look at plasma, platelets and the nature of platelet rich plasma injections in modern medicine.
What is Plasma?
Plasma is the liquid component of whole blood; plasma acts as the medium for red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets to circulate throughout the entire body. Plasma, on its own, is mostly made of protein and water.
What are Platelets?
Platelets are specific types of blood cells; platelets create blood clots and other blood cell functions which are essential for healing in the body. When platelet blood cells are activated, the body’s natural healing process is activated.
Platelet rich plasma is plasma that is specifically used as a medium for the body’s platelet blood cells.
Platelet rich plasma is used in platelet rich plasma (or PRP) injections. Platelet rich plasma injections are a specific type of therapy that involves injecting someone’s platelets into their body in order to speed up the healing process for certain types of injuries. Platelet rich plasma injections are designed to speed up and improve upon the natural healing process for certain types of injuries in the body.
PRP injections are created by first taking tubes of a patient’s blood and putting them through a special machine which concentrates the platelets inside the blood; the platelets, which are activated through this process, can then be injected into body tissue. The platelets need to be injected directly into the tissue to be the most effective. The injected platelets stimulate and increase the number of regenerative blood cells in the body. Typically, providers will use special ultrasound imaging in order to make sure that the injections are guided to the correct spot.
Benefits of PRP Injections
There are many benefits to using PRP injections as a medical therapy for various injuries to the body; the primary benefit is that PRP has been shown to boost the healing process for many types of injuries while also improving the restoration of mobility and reducing pain in those injuries. PRP injections have very few side effects, and most patients do not experience significant side effects aside from some pain at the injection site. PRP injections can help reduce the necessity of medications and anti-inflammatories as well.
PRP injections are especially beneficial for injuries such as rotator cuff tears, Achilles tendon ruptures, tendinosis, tendinitis, and other soft tissue injuries. These types of injuries typically require heavy doses of anti-inflammatories and opoid medications, so using PRP injections can help reduce the need for these medications and their potential side effects.
Platelet rich plasma injections can be beneficial for many types of injuries. If you believe your injury may benefit from these types of injections, consult with your providers about the availability of these injections as part of your treatment plan. Call Hygia at (575) 205-0280 for more information.