What is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)?
Platelet-Rich Plasma or PRP is a type of regenerative injection therapy used to treat many musculoskeletal tissue injuries. PRP is commonly used for aesthetic purposes as well.
How is PRP therapy performed?
PRP therapy involves taking the patient’s own blood and placing it in a machine called a centrifuge which separates the blood into several components, one of which is called platelet-rich plasma. Platelets contain many growth factors which have been shown to be very important with regard to healing. The process of centrifuging concentrates these platelets is so that they are present in much higher numbers than what would typically be found in the bloodstream. That platelet-rich plasma is then injected at the site of the injury to induce and potentially accelerate the body’s natural healing process.
Is PRP the same thing as a cortisone or steroid injection?
No. Cortisone injections use a synthetic corticosteroid that is injected into soft tissue or joints to reduce pain and inflammation. While cortisone injections in limited amounts can be helpful in reducing the pain caused by inflammation, there are many documented adverse effects of cortisone. PRP uses the patient’s own blood which contains natural growth factors that help to promote regeneration of tissue and decrease inflammation. PRP is aimed at addressing the underlying cause of the pain, whereas cortisone is not.
What conditions can PRP therapy be used for?
PRP can be used for many musculoskeletal conditions including neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, rotator cuff injuries, tennis elbow, golfers elbow, hip pain, knee pain, chronic ankle pain, and Achilles tendinitis. PRP can also be used for aesthetic purposes including hair restoration and facial rejuvenation when coupled with microneedling.
How do I know if I am a candidate for PRP therapy?
An initial consultation and examination with our medical provider, is required before any treatment can take place. This consultation will include a comprehensive review of your medical history and current problem areas. A thorough examination will also be conducted. Imaging will be reviewed and/or ordered at this time if need be to determine the cause of your problem(s). Once a diagnosis is established, Sierra will discuss treatment options with you including if you are a candidate for PRP therapy. PRP is often just one component of a comprehensive treatment plan.
What can I do after having PRP?
It is recommended that you drink plenty of fluids both prior to and following your treatment. Your provider will advise you to limit strenuous activity such as working-out for a certain period. You should also avoid the use of anti-inflammatory medications (Ex: Advil, Motrin, Aleve, etc.) for at least 4 weeks. These medications inhibit the body’s ability to heal. Specific instructions will be provided at the time of your treatment. A structured rehabilitation program will often be included with PRP injections.