If you’ve been an athlete for any significant amount of time, it’s likely that you’ve dealt with an injury or two. Having a highly-trained medical expert on your side can make a world of difference in your treatment options. Sometimes those injuries tend to be more chronic and harder to treat. Luckily PRP injections are creating an ideal environment to treat these more chronic conditions and get you back on the field in no time.
What Are PRP Injections?
PRP simply stands for platelet-rich plasma. Over recent years, doctors have discovered the ability of the body to heal itself through this plasma. The whole concept behind PRP injections is to allow the body to naturally treat itself with the help of amplification of the natural growth factors in the healing tissue.
If your head is spinning at the term platelet-rich plasma, then maybe understanding what plasma is can help. Plasma is simply the liquid portion of the blood in your body. It’s made up of proteins and water. The plasma in your body is where the white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets circulate throughout your entire body.
Platelets are blood cells that work to clot up the blood during the healing process. You may also hear these referred to as thrombocytes. This is a must for the body’s natural healing process to take hold. The idea behind PRP injections is using these platelets and plasma compound to inject into the body to accelerate the healing of the injured area, whether that be tendons, muscles, joints, or ligaments.
Your Body’s Own Healing System At Work
PRP therapy Miami uses your body’s own natural healing powers to take care of various injuries. This is one of the most unique forms of treatment available in the medical industry today. By using your own plasma and platelets, PRP injections are utilized to specifically deliver these healing compounds to certain areas of the body that need treatment. There’s no outside transplants or blood transfers needed with PRP injections. And you don’t have to worry about your body rejecting the treatment because it’s your own blood.
How Are My Plasma And Platelets Taken From My Body?
As you’ve learned so far, PRP therapy uses your body’s natural platelet-rich plasma. In order to move this plasma from one area of your body to another, our spine doctor Miami will remove a tube or multiple tubes full of your blood. This blood is run through a unit called a centrifuge.
This works to separate the platelets in your blood from the red blood cells. This helps to prepare the platelets from your blood for direct injection into the body. As the centrifuge prepares your PRP, our skilled physician will anesthetize the actual area of the body where the injection is going to be performed. Our trained physician will then, inject the mixture into the injured tissues of your body.
During this process, they’ll use ultrasound imaging or x-ray assistance in order to guide them to the correct injury location. When the PRP is injected into the injured tissue, it releases growth factors. These growth factors work to stimulate and enhance the number of reparative cells that your body naturally produces. Therefore, accelerating the natural rate of healing of the injured tissue. Each treatment typically takes about an hour to perform.
What Injuries Can PRP Injections Treat?
Since PRP injections use your own body’s natural healing mechanisms, they’re effective at treating many different injuries. Many individuals who have not had success with other types of surgical procedures are notating maximal success with PRP injections for spine and orthopedic issues. The most commonly treated injuries with the PRP injection method include:
- Arthritic Joints
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Degenerative Discs
- Tennis Elbow
- Ankle Sprains
- Rotator Cuff Tears
- Shouldmeniscal Tears
- Achilles Tendon Ruptures
- Many Other Soft Tissue Injuries
PRP Virtually Eliminates The Need For Medications
With all injuries, pain likes to be a major burden for the patient. In some cases, anti-inflammatories or other strong medications, such as opioids, are prescribed by the treating physician to help minimize the pain the patient feels. With PRP injections, the need for these medications is drastically reduced. Since the body is able to heal much quicker, there’s less pain involved and less need for medicated therapy.
PRP Injections And Sport Performance
Now, since you understand what PRP injections entail and what they can be used for, it’s time to think about how they can be a go-to for enhancing your sports performance. If you’ve been an athlete for long, it’s likely that you may be dealing with some repetitive injuries, such as a rotator cuff tear or tennis elbow.
Many physicians will simply prescribe medication as a long-term treatment plan. With PRP injections, you can finally fix these chronic conditions. There’s no need to just put up with these injuries like in the past. PRP injections can allow your body to receive the healing assistance it needs in order to heal the injured sector of your body.
Just imagine how quickly you can get back to enjoying the sport that you love pain-free. Most patients will notice significant changes in their injuries within a few short weeks. The healing rate will depend highly on the severity of the injury and its location in the body. However, compare a few weeks time to that of months off for surgery recovery, and we’re sure you’ll understand just how innovative this treatment is.
Will I Need Multiple PRP Injections?
It’s important to speak with our physician about the recommended number of injections that you’re going to need as multiple factors play a role in deciding what’s optimal. The location of the injury and its severity are two of the biggest factors that will determine the number of recommended injections. Age will also be a factor to consider as the body produces less PRP as we age. As a general rule of thumb, most patients with muscle injuries will need one to two treatments. Those will chronic conditions will need two to three treatments.