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PRP Injections: Healing With Platelet Rich Plasma

Jan 23, 2022
PRP Injections: Healing With Platelet Rich Plasma

Healing from injury, disease, or dysfunction is an incredibly complex process – yet we take it for granted as an expected result of unseen biological forces.

Content with standing idly by, most assume that we cannot use the tools we now have available to take proactive and decisive steps to enhance (or in some cases, begin) the healing process. If we are going to try and flip the script and take charge of our healing, it makes sense to start with the center of how the body heals physically  – platelets which leads to PRP injections. 

Your platelets are one the first responders to injury. They are immediately drawn to the site and go to work releasing their granules filled with growth factors and an inflammatory cascade then ensues – kicking off the healing process. Growth factors, proteins, and various other substances released by the granules enable the body to heal, enable us to heal. Harnessing this innate power is easier than you think, and platelet-rich plasma injections (PRP) show incredible promise in the field of regenerative medicine.

There is still a lot to find out about this cutting edge technique that has been used to remedy all kinds of cosmetic issues, musculoskeletal injuries, joint dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, and more, but you can bet you should at least consider looking into a treatment if you have any of these issues.

Due to a current lack of standardization and consensus in the research, there is no definitive answer as to whether or not you as an individual should try PRP, or whether it will be effective for you and your unique issues. However, based on the incredible safety profile of PRP, it’s simple mechanisms of action, and the potential it has for healing various tissues, we recommend reading on and deciding for yourself. 

How PRP Injections Works

When you break it down to the nuts and bolts, the functional properties of PRP are mainly based on the creation and secretion of the many growth factors that are released by platelets after activation.

Platelets (or more technically, thrombocytes) are the body’s first response to injury and they quickly arrive at the site of damaged tissue to begin their work clotting blood and releasing various growth factors and other substances needed for repair. Some of the major growth factors released by the granules within platelets include:

  • PDGF (platelet-derived growth factor)
  • TGF-B (transforming growth factor – beta)
  • VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor)
  • EGF (endothelial growth factor)
  • IGF (insulin-like growth factor)
  • FGF (fibroblast growth factor)

After a patient’s own blood is drawn, it is placed in a centrifuge and spun to separate the blood from the plasma and its constituents, then the concentrated plasma is then reinjected into the targeted tissues. This process creates a concentration of platelets up to 10x what is normally found in whole blood and with all this growth-factor power concentrated into one specific area in the body, the healing process is able to be kickstarted or enhanced greatly. 

It is important to note that a greater concentration of platelets does not necessarily mean better results!

PRP Injections: Healing With Platelet Rich Plasma

Based on this incredibly straightforward (and yet, also complex) mechanism of action, it is easy to see why PRP may have the potential to change the way chronic pain, joint disintegration, wrinkles, erectile dysfunction, and many more disorders will be treated in the near future. Mechanisms aren’t the only impressive feature of PRP. In fact, there is plenty of clinical application for both musculoskeletal pathologies, as well as aesthetic use of PRP injections.

PRP may be instrumental in dealing with an incredibly pressing issue – one that impacts an estimated 50% of American adults. 

Musculoskeletal Restoration

PRP has been used extensively for the treatment of many musculoskeletal disorders but results have varied depending upon the individual and their specific issues. Research has concluded that PRP treatment can improve healing in soft tissues and bone – showing the most promise for afflictions like:

  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • MCL injuries

Unfortunately, there currently exists a lack of standardization amongst research techniques, effectively hindering any consensus from developing regarding the efficacy of PRP treatment. That hasn’t stopped those at the forefront of regenerative medicine from restoring tendons, ligaments, and joints at a fundamental level by releasing the potent growth factors available within PRP. To ensure the successful application of PRP for treating musculoskeletal dysfunction or degradation, a skilled practitioner will often utilize an ultrasound to guide the procedure. This technical prowess, as well as a thorough screening process to verify that PRP will be effective for an individual, is key to the successful application of a platelet-rich plasma treatment. 

PRP injections can reduce recovery time in tendon injuries such as patellar tendinitis

As PRP treatment advances and becomes more widely utilized, more and more benefits have begun to emerge – many of which are entirely backed by research and have been proven effective by actual application.

PRP And Aesthetic Rejuvenation

Taking into consideration the fact that the term rejuvenation can be used as a vague and generic defining characteristic, let’s start by clearly explaining exactly what we mean by it.

Rejuvenation is “the action or process of making someone or something look or feel better, younger, or more vital”. In this sense, PRP absolutely does rejuvenate tissues – allowing them to heal, and objectively improve based on a wide array of parameters. 

It is widely known that the stimulative effects of PRP on fibroblasts (cells that create collagen and other connective tissues), as well as its ability to promote the secretion of hyaluronic acid and Type I procollagen are just a few of the mechanisms by which these treatments are able to vastly improve both the appearance and health of skin. PRP has even been used to enhance sexual function in both men and women. Basically, there are few tissues found thus far that won’t respond favorably to the skillful application of PRP. Luckily, there is plenty of objective research supporting it’s aesthetic efficacy. 

PRP Injections: Healing With Platelet Rich Plasma

In a systematic review of the cosmetic applications of PRP by Motosko, et. al., they concluded that platelet-rich plasma injections can reliably result in:

  • Improved skin texture
  • Color homogeneity
  • Increased firmness/elasticity
  • Increased volume
  • Enhanced dermal thickness
  • Reduced solar elastosis (sun damage)
  • Decreased wrinkles
  • Reduced severity of nasolabial folds
  • Minimized acne scars
  • Alleviated erythema
  • And last but not least, satisfied patients

Overall, the majority of studies fully support the use of PRP as a beneficial treatment for facial aesthetics. It is also important to note, in most studies that have a wide age group, there is no significant difference found in positive response rates between those of younger age, and subjects of an advanced age.

This highlights the fundamental power PRP has to work with our bodies, not against them like many modern approaches to “healing” tend to do. Our need to try any means of augmenting the healing process becomes increasingly dire as we age, due to our growing inability to complete the complex processes involved in restoring our bodies. You can certainly say that the research behind PRP is promising, but it is no less rife with disagreements. 

No Standard Opinion

Without a doubt, the largest obstacle to PRP being entirely proven effective (or disproven), is a lack of standardization within the research. Methods of concentrating platelets can vary greatly, resulting in subjects essentially receiving different doses in different studies. Also, there exists great individual differences in platelet numbers on any given day, which means those disparities will need to be controlled for in future research. This field is evolving rapidly and a more evolved understanding of the complex interaction between the immune system and signals from injured tissues has been accompanied by an increase in the use of PRP therapy to help heal musculoskeletal injuries, kickstart the rejuvenation of skin, improve sexual function, and a whole lot more.

Conclusion To PRP Injections

To enhance the benefits of your PRP injections and boost your overall health, consider adding Glutathione to your regimen. Glutathione is a potent antioxidant that supports cellular repair, reduces inflammation, and promotes faster recovery. By choosing to buy Glutathione from Invigor Medical, you invest in a high-quality supplement that complements PRP treatments effectively. Experience the synergistic effects of Glutathione and PRP therapy for optimal wellness and rejuvenation. Visit Invigor Medical to buy Glutathione today and take the next step towards improved health.

PRP Injections: Healing With Platelet Rich Plasma

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the recovery time for platelet-rich plasma injections?

The recovery time for platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections varies depending on the specific condition being treated and the individual’s response to treatment. In general, patients may experience mild discomfort, swelling, or bruising at the injection site immediately following the procedure. This typically resolves within a few days to a week. However, it’s essential to follow post-injection guidelines provided by your healthcare provider to optimize healing and minimize complications.

What is the downside of PRP?

While platelet-rich plasma therapy is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, there are some potential downsides to consider. These may include the risk of infection at the injection site, temporary discomfort or pain, bruising, and the possibility of no improvement or limited effectiveness for certain conditions. Additionally, PRP therapy may not be covered by insurance and can be costly, especially if multiple sessions are required.

How can I make my PRP more successful?

Several factors can contribute to the success of PRP therapy, including proper patient selection, optimal preparation and administration of PRP, adherence to post-injection guidelines, and addressing any underlying factors contributing to the condition being treated. Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including adequate nutrition, hydration, and rest, may support the body’s healing response and enhance the effectiveness of PRP treatment.

Does PRP speed up healing?

Platelet-rich plasma contains growth factors and other bioactive molecules that may promote tissue regeneration and accelerate the healing process. By delivering concentrated platelets to the site of injury or tissue damage, PRP therapy can stimulate cellular repair mechanisms, enhance tissue regeneration, and expedite healing. However, the extent of healing acceleration may vary depending on the specific condition being treated and individual factors.

Disclaimer
While we strive to always provide accurate, current, and safe advice in all of our articles and guides, it’s important to stress that they are no substitute for medical advice from a doctor or healthcare provider. You should always consult a practicing professional who can diagnose your specific case. The content we’ve included in this guide is merely meant to be informational and does not constitute medical advice.
Joshua Lewis
Author: Joshua Lewis

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