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Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Couple runningPlatelet-rich Plasma may seem like a newer treatment, but PRP was first developed in the 1970s and first used in Italy in 1987 in an open heart surgery procedure. PRP therapy began gaining popularity in the mid-1990s. It has since been applied to many different medical fields, such as sports medicine, pain management, cosmetic surgery and dentistry.

PRP treatments influence the body’s ability to heal itself. It can help enhance the healing process for soft tissue injuries, joint pain, and other injuries. PRP can be an effective treatment option for people looking for accelerated healing. In particular, injured athletes, people with injuries who lead active lifestyles, and people with arthritis are some groups that may benefit significantly. PRP treatments are an in office procedure and can help lead to faster healing and recovery.

PRP is made of plasma enriched with blood platelets.

A small amount of blood is drawn from the patient and put in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the red blood cells and other blood components. This process aims at isolating and enriching the plasma, which has five times the amount of platelets found in whole blood. Platelets are tiny cells that are responsible for wound healing. By concentrating platelets from your body, we are able to amplify the healing capabilities your body naturally produces. Within PRP, there are anti-inflammatory proteins called cytokines in addition to growth factors that help your body heal efficiently. Another advantage of PRP treatment is that it carries a very minimal risk for negative reactions or disease transmission. This is because it is derived from your own blood. This natural treatment avoids some of the risks associated with other treatments for injuries. The injections do not involve any synthetic painkillers or other medications. It actually leaves your body healthier afterward instead of further degenerated.

Tiger Woods was one of the first pro athletes to use PRP injections. It helped him heal an ACL injury. Tennis star Rafael Nadal has also used these injections to help heal his knee. Many other professional athletes use PRP such as Stephen Curry (NBA), Troy Polamalu (NFL), Cristiano Ronaldo (Soccer), and Maria Sharapova (Tennis), just to name a few.

PRP does not fall under the usual FDA regulations, but under the support of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. Therefore, it is not currently covered under most insurance plans.

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