What Are ‘Platelets’?
When we sustain an injury to a soft-tissue area (neck, back, knees,
etc.), our body will try to send platelets
to begin the
healing process. Essentially, platelets are rich with healing and growth
factors. While they initiate repair to the injured area, they also help to draw
other repair cells (like stem cells) to rebuild damaged tissue.
The problem is that often-injured parts of the body – particularly
tendons and ligaments – have a poor blood supply. This means fewer platelets
reach the damaged tissue and consequently, results in a slower healing process.
This is where PRP injections can help – because they strengthen the
body’s healing attempts by providing a higher concentration of platelets.
Practiced since the 1990’s, this revolutionary and non-surgical procedure is all
natural and promotes long-lasting
The PRP Injection Procedure
In simplest terms – and one of the reasons why PRP injections are
gaining popularity for the treatment of chronic pain and for repairing damaged
tissue – is that the procedure involves the injection of a patient’s own blood.
The procedure begins when blood is drawn from the patient. From there,
it is put in a centrifuge, and spun until the components of the blood are
separated. The components of blood are:
- White blood cells
- Red blood cells
Once the blood has been separated, the red blood cells are drained,
leaving a highly concentrated mixture of plasma and platelets. This concentrated
formula is then drawn into a syringe while the patient is sterilized. Some procedures
may require the administering of an anaesthetic – but that depends on the
injury and the patient.
Finally, the syringe containing the platelet rich plasma is injected
into the damaged tissues (or the area causing the patient pain). In some
instances, patients may need further injections around the damaged tissue and
in the surrounding area of the injury to ensure healing and to maximize joint
From here, the platelets do the rest of the work, stimulating a natural
immune response and healing process, which allows other repair cells to divide
and rebuild the damaged tissue. This accelerated process will help reduce pain,
boost the patient’s strength – and may even improve joint functionality.
Perhaps one of the greatest incentives with PRP injections is that the
process takes only one to two hours and patients can often return to home or
work immediately after.
What Are PRP Injections Used For?
- Chronic neck and back pain
- Rotator cuff injuries, such as tears
- Arthritis treatment, specifically in the knee and hip
- Chronic knee pain
- Chronic plantar fasciitis
- Chronic tendon injuries (tennis elbow, jumpers knee), tendinitis
- Ligament sprains
Non-surgical Platelet Rich Plasma injection therapy is viewed by
healthcare professionals as cutting edge and its praises have even been sung by
well-known professional athletes, many of whom have been afforded with
faster-than-normal recovery times. If you’re suffering from chronic pain, but
unsure if PRP injections are right for you, you can always visit a Pain Management Clinic and speak with a chronic pain specialist.