Platelet rich plasma therapy is more than a passing fad. In fact, a platelet rich plasma injection can lead to significant pain reduction and healing, particularly for orthopedic conditions. Platelet rich plasma injections are nearly painless in the hands of a trusted doctor. Plasma rich platelet therapy, in conjunction with stem cell therapy, is part of a rising practice called regenerative therapies. Platelet rich plasma treatment not only relieves pain, it can lead to complete healing.
Thanks to a number of celebrities, platelet rich plasma therapy has amassed quite a following. But Keeping up with the Kardashians is far from the best reason to learn more about platelet rich plasma treatment. Platelet rich plasma is a very real and beneficial alternative to surgery, backed by science, that’s healing patients of all ages around the world.
Even though the number of famous and influential athletes who swear by plasma rich platelet therapy continues to rise, you don’t have to be rich to benefit from these ground-breaking treatments. These treatments have a definite advantage over surgical options because there is no associated downtime for recovery.
More Than Pain Management
Platelet rich plasma injections are a concentration of platelet-rich protein that’s derived from your own blood. Plasma is the liquid part of your blood. And your platelets make it possible for your blood to clot. Your platelets contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors. Your growth factors promote healing, and they’ve been proven to be a safe and effective method of treating damaged joints and soft tissue — naturally.
Platelet rich plasma injections are increasingly being used as a non-surgical alternative for orthopedic conditions, injuries and chronic pain management, including:
- Chronic lower back pain
- Injuries to ligaments and muscles
- Acute, chronic tendon issues
- Spinal stenosis
- Tennis elbow
- Medical collateral ligament (MCL) tears
- Chronic, acute neck pain
- Rotator cuff tears
- Plantar fasciitis
These conditions typically are treated with medications, physical therapy or surgery. Many top athletes have credited platelet rich plasma injections for their faster healing times following injuries that could have previously cost them the season or their careers.
What All the Hype’s About
When there’s an increased concentration of growth factors, your body’s natural healing process can be turbo-charged. There are a couple of ways that platelet rich plasma treatment is being used for pain and injury:
- Platelet rich plasma can be injected directly where it hurts. If you’re suffering from tendonitis, for example, your New York pain management physician may inject you with a mixture of a local anesthetic and platelet rich plasma. Your pain may persist for a couple of weeks until your natural healing process has the time to prove beneficial.
- Platelet rich plasma therapy can also be used to speed up healing following a surgical procedure. If you suffered a complete tear to your rotator cuff and surgery was required, a platelet rich plasma injection can significantly improve the speed and quality of your recovery.
- The most popular method of using plasma rich platelet therapy is in conjunction with stem cell therapy. Platelets and stem cells form your body’s repair system. But age and injury make it difficult for your body to deliver these healing components to where they’re most needed. This school of treatment is known as regenerative therapy because it helps your body heal itself the way it was designed to.
Platelet rich plasma has been used in the medical field for more than 20 years. Surgeons have used it to accelerate healing, enhance bone grafting, and reduce the risk of infection following surgery. Now the benefits are being extended to treat joint pain, disc issues, soft tissue injuries, degeneration and arthritis.
Since platelet rich plasma is derived from your own blood, any associated risks are non-existent. Tenderness at the injection sites seems to be the worst side effect, and it only lasts a couple of days.
What to Expect
Once your NY doctor or experienced platelet rich plasma specialist identifies the exact nature of your pain or injury, he draws some blood. Then, your blood is spun in a centrifuge to separate the different components. Once complete, the platelets rich plasma is extracted. Your platelets are then injected directly into your problem area so they can begin to enhance and promote your body’s natural healing.
The entire procedure is done on an outpatient basis in the safety and comfort of your specialist’s office. It takes about an hour, which accounts for preparation and recovery. The process relieves pain without the risks of surgery, general anesthesia, hospital stays or prolonged downtime.
Natural Healing Doesn’t Happen Overnight
Regenerative medicine is innovative, not instantaneous. It promotes natural, long-term healing of injured tissue and joints. Your specialist customizes a treatment plan for you and helps you decide whether you’ll benefit more if platelet rich plasma injections are used alone or combined with stem cell injections.
You may only require a single treatment, but in some cases, a series of injections may be necessary. You’ll need a follow-up appointment after a couple weeks so your doctor can assess your progress and determine if you need further treatment.
Lots of Good Candidates
Age, condition and activity level are not limiting factors to platelet rich plasma therapy. But it’s important that you be as up-front and honest as possible with your doctor. You’re not a good candidate if:
- You’re pregnant.
- You’re anemic.
- You have a blood disorder or are on anticoagulants.
- You have a medical condition, such as an active infection, that may be spread by injection.
While these treatments have helped thousands of people over the years, they’re still not covered by most insurance plans. However, the procedure is relatively simple and therefore affordable. Ask your doctor and insurance carrier about platelet rich plasma therapy.
Start Asking Questions
Platelet rich plasma treatments have proven so naturally effective at treating pain and injury that they were removed from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned methods in 2011. It became a legal treatment for athletes around the world.
Responses to treatments can vary, depending on the type and severity of your injury and condition. Your NYC pain management doctor is ready to answer any questions you may have. Lasting relief from your pain could only be about an hour away.