What is Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy?
Platelet rich plasma therapy explained by Denver, Golden, Aurora, Boulder, Broomfield, Jefferson, and Littleton Colorado’s top pain doctors
Platelet rich plasma therapy is an innovative treatment approach that relieves pain and regenerates soft tissue, which promotes healing in the body. Platelet rich plasma is also called autologous platelet gel, which refers to centrifuging a small amount of plasma in order to increase the platelet concentration. Large amounts of proteins called growth factors are contained within platelets and these proteins are involved in hemostasis. Clinical research also indicates that these growth factors have the ability to stimulate wound healing and the growth of healthy tissue.
Injuries that occur during sports activities are among the most commonly reported injuries. The incidence of becoming injured during physical activity is almost the same for professional athletes, amateurs, young people, and old people. Common injuries include torn ligaments or tendons, skeletal fractures, and strained muscles. Injuries that persist for long periods of time may eventually result in arthritis or back pain and it is often difficult to treat these types of injuries because they generally require lengthy recovery periods.
Research is still being conducted in order to evaluate the beneficial effects of platelet rich plasma therapy, but there is increasing evidence that indicates that the growth factors contained within the plasma effectively promote the repair of bone fractures and torn connective tissue. In addition, various sources, including the media, have continuously reported that many professional athletes are starting to undergo platelet rich plasma therapy in order to treat their injuries. One of the major advantages of this treatment approach is that it provides patients with their own natural growth factors, thereby eliminating the possibility of disease transmission.
How is Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy Performed?
The preparation of the platelet rich plasma involves obtaining a blood sample from the patient. Next, a centrifuge is used to separate the platelets in order to increase the plasma’s concentration. After the centrifugation process, the residual blood is combined with the highly concentrated platelet rich plasma and then injected into the affected region of the body. A local anesthetic may also be added to the mixture to help reduce the patient’s pain.
This entire procedure, including the preparation of the blood and the recovery period, takes approximately one to two hours. This therapeutic approach is effective at reducing pain without causing the complications that are associated with surgery and has a brief recovery period. Patients have reported feeling a moderate amount of discomfort after receiving the plasma injection that may last for several days. If the pain persists after the procedure, a patient may be prescribed a pain reliever that has a low dosage.
Tenderness at the injection site is one of the most common side effects of this treatment. Patients are advised to refrain from physical activity for at least 24 hours after receiving the injection, but patients can usually return to their daily routine almost immediately. However, it may take a few weeks for the full effect of the platelet rich plasma injection to be noticed. Physical therapy is recommended during this time and it is critical that a patient follow this regimen. Furthermore, patients who do not experience positive results from the injection can undergo additional plasma injections.
Conditions Related to Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy
According to clinical studies, platelet rich plasma injections effectively treat ligament or tendon injuries, torn muscles, back pain, knee arthritis, fractures, Achilles tendon tears, and arthritis. This treatment method can also provide significant pain relief for patients who undergo surgery for an injury. More specifically, platelet rich plasma has demonstrated the ability to promote healing after the surgery and this reduces the recovery period.
Patients who receive platelet rich plasma injections have reported a rapid decrease in pain, a quick recovery, and increased mobility at the injury site. Additionally, the risk of developing an infection or experiencing harmful side effects is low because the procedure involves the use of the patient’s blood.
Platelet rich plasma therapy is an innovative treatment that is quite effective at reducing pain that is associated with injuries that occur during sports and other physical activities. Extensive clinical research has repeatedly indicated that the growth factors contained in the platelets promote both the regeneration of tissue and rapid healing. Obtaining a sample of the patient’s blood and then injecting the concentrated plasma also reduces the risk of developing an infection. Furthermore, this procedure is being performed more often because it is a minimally invasive approach that helps patients avoid surgery.
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