What is PRP Injection and What Are the Benefits of PRP Treatment?
PRP injections are an effective treatment for chronic musculoskeletal injuries of the ligaments and tendons and some types of arthritis. They also work to promote skin rejuvenation.
A member of your care team will draw a small sample of blood, then put it in a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma.
PRP injections contain high concentrations of blood platelets that promote healing and contain growth factors that are beneficial for skin rejuvenation. Patients often see reduced wrinkles, tighter skin and a more even complexion after treatment. While the research is promising, more study is needed to understand the long-term effects of PRP in skin rejuvenation.
When it comes to musculoskeletal pain and injuries, PRP injections are showing promise as an alternative to surgery for some patients. PRP has been shown to boost the healing of rotator cuff tears, Achilles tendonitis and other tendon injuries. In one study, PRP injections helped reduce pain from knee osteoarthritis and allowed a patient to return to normal activity sooner than expected.
Because PRP is derived from the patient’s own blood, there is no risk of rejection or infection. The treatment is also considered minimally invasive and requires little downtime, making it an attractive option for busy patients who want to reduce pain and restore youthfulness.
During a PRP injection, the doctor will draw a small amount of blood from the patient. Then the sample is placed in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from other blood components. The platelet-rich plasma is then extracted and put into a syringe that will be used for the injection. The doctor may use ultrasound imaging to guide the injection and help locate the exact site of the injury or pain. Lidocaine or another local anesthetic may be injected before the procedure to numb the injection area.
While most doctors use PRP injections for musculoskeletal injuries, some use it to treat hair loss and other cosmetic conditions. The technique is also being studied for the potential to boost hair growth in thinning areas and for slowing the aging process in people with early stage Alzheimer’s disease.
Although the technology behind PRP has been around for a while, researchers are just now beginning to understand how it works in skin rejuvenation and hair loss treatments. As a result, the treatment is considered experimental by the FDA and may not be covered by insurance.
Plasma is the liquid medium that carries red and white blood cells, platelets and other vital substances throughout your body. It enables blood clotting, maintains your blood pH balance, supports cell growth and regeneration, and promotes healing after injury or disease. PRP therapy takes concentrated plasma, which contains high levels of platelets and other growth factors, from your own blood and injects it at the site of an injury or disease to stimulate and promote healing.
The treatment is done in the office and typically lasts only about 30 minutes. First, your doctor will draw some blood from a vein in your arm. The blood is then spun in a centrifuge to concentrate the PRP, which takes around 10 minutes. The PRP is then injected into the injured joint or tendon using ultrasound guidance for more precise placement.
Afterwards, you may experience pain at the injection site for a few days. This is normal and a good sign that your body is working hard to heal the area. It is important to drink plenty of water after the procedure to stay hydrated and support your body’s natural healing process. It is also important to avoid taking any medications following the treatment, unless otherwise directed by your physician. Medications can interfere with the body’s natural healing process and cause harm.
PRP is not a magic bullet and will not eliminate pain from every patient, but it is an excellent option for many. The treatment is quick, easy and effective. Many patients report significant improvement in symptoms and can return to regular activities immediately after the procedure. Unlike steroid injections, PRP therapy is safe for most patients. However, because the treatment is relatively new, few insurance companies cover it. It is still considered experimental, and more scientific research will need to conclude its effectiveness before it is covered by more insurance plans. Because of this, patients should expect to pay out-of-pocket for the procedure.
The platelets found in your blood contain specialized chemicals called growth factors that help promote healing and regeneration. These growth factors stimulate collagen formation, which is a protein that makes up your skin, nails and hair. As we age, our production of collagen slows down and this is when fine lines and wrinkles appear. PRP injections help boost the production of collagen and help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The treatment is safe and relatively painless, although some patients experience discomfort at the site of the injection. Since the procedure involves a blood draw, it is important to be hydrated and have eaten before going to the appointment to avoid feeling lightheaded. Depending on the area being treated, the treatment can take up to 30 minutes to complete.
During the treatment, your doctor will draw blood from your arm and then use a machine to separate the plasma containing the platelets from the rest of the blood. The doctor will then inject the plasma into the injured area of your body. The doctor may also use ultrasound technology to ensure the correct placement of the plasma.
There is a very small risk of infection at the injection site, but this is unlikely to occur because the injection is done with sterilized equipment. There is also a small chance that your body may reject the injected serum, but this is extremely rare because the injection is made from your own blood components.
One of the biggest risks associated with PRP injections is that the treatment could damage nerves or blood vessels if it is not performed by a skilled and experienced healthcare professional. Another risk is that the plasma may not reach the exact site of the injury, which could lead to a failure to improve your condition. Finally, there is a chance that the treatment may not work, but this is highly unlikely given that the treatment has been used by many high profile athletes. It has been shown to increase recovery time and prevent infection following surgery, as well as improve healing of injuries involving ligaments and tendons.
When you have a medical condition, the body starts healing itself with growth factors that promote tissue regeneration. Unlike medication, PRP is natural and uses your own blood, so there’s no risk of allergy or side effects.
You can get PRP injections for a variety of conditions, from hair loss to joint pain. Doctors use ultrasound imaging to guide the needles to the area being treated, so you won’t experience a lot of discomfort.
A few weeks after treatment, you may notice the growth factors in your blood are promoting more cell regeneration at the injection site. As the cells regenerate, your body’s elasticity improves, and you could see a difference in hair loss or skin health over time.
For chronic injuries to tendons, ligaments, and muscles, PRP injections are a great alternative to surgery. These injections can help heal the damaged tissues and alleviate pain by building new tissue and stimulating the regrowth of new blood vessels. In many cases, patients can return to their normal activities within a few days after treatment.
Doctors also use PRP for joint problems, such as arthritis, bursitis, and injuries. The procedure can help to relieve inflammation, stimulate the regrowth of new blood vessels, and increase joint lubrication to reduce pain and stiffness.
The best results from PRP treatments come when you schedule multiple sessions over the course of a few months. The exact number of sessions will depend on the treatment you’re receiving and the severity of your condition.
PRP is an outpatient procedure, and the whole process should only take about an hour or less from preparation to injection. You can expect some minor discomfort during the injections, but there are no major risks or side effects.
Before getting the injections, talk to your doctor about what medications and supplements you should avoid for a week or two before the treatment. Some medications, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, suppress the effects of growth factors in the blood, so you’ll need to stop taking them ahead of time. You’ll also want to avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and taking certain herbs or supplements that might cause blood thinning.