Platelet-rich plasma therapy is a type of regenerative treatment that uses the healing properties of platelets to restore tissue damage in the body. Also referred to as PRP therapy, this treatment can help people who suffer from tendon injuries, ligament injuries, and various other chronic health conditions, including erectile dysfunction (ED).
If you are interested in platelet-rich plasma therapy, our facility offers this treatment to our patients in Florida. We can assess your physical health in an appointment and explain how this therapy may be able to treat your condition.
How Does Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy Work?
PRP therapy works by injecting platelet-rich plasma into an area of the body that is either inflamed with pain or has damaged tissue. In certain therapies, PRP can be combined with stem cells to regenerate tissue growth. For example, PRP and stem cells combined can be used to treat hair loss because they can be injected into hair follicles to restore growth.
The Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology notes the pros and cons of platelet-rich plasma therapy as a regenerative medicine but ultimately points out that the effectiveness of PRP therapy is based on the fact that platelet concentrations naturally produce in healing in the body. However, to understand these principles, it may be worth noting what platelets do in the body.
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Platelets are First Responders During Healing
Let’s say you fall and scrape your knee. You may notice some bleeding from the wound and clean it. At this moment, platelets—also referred to as thrombocytes—will form blood clots to stop the bleeding and begin tissue restoration.
Platelets regulate bleeding and other healing properties in the body, and they can even help people heal from chronic diseases, including cancer or serious injuries. They are produced in the bone marrow and exist in the blood, alongside red and white blood cells.
Through a centrifugal process, they can be separated from the blood into a plasma. Many people donate platelet-rich plasma to the Red Cross or another blood donation program to help people with low platelet levels, such as cancer patients.
How PRP Therapy is Performed
By extracting platelets from a patient and injecting it into an area where there is damage, we can encourage healing in that area.
To do this procedure, a physician will do the following:
- Get a blood sample: Because platelets exist in your blood, the first step is to take a sample of your blood. Unlike blood donation, this therapy does not require a significant amount of blood.
- Extract the platelets from the blood: Your blood will go into a centrifugal machine to extract the platelets from it. As mentioned, platelets can be separated from the blood into a plasma.
- Inject plasma into the damaged area: We will then use this plasma to restore tissue in your body by injecting it into the affected area.
If you are also getting stem cell therapy, we would combine PRP and the stem cells, which are extracted from fatty tissue, before injecting it into the treatment area.
What Does Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy Treat?
PRP therapy has been used to treat various health conditions. However, the University of Miami Health System notes that PRP is best suited for ligament and tendon injuries, which are frequently experienced by people who engage in sports activities.
PRP therapy has been used to treat:
- Osteoarthritis, such as in the knees, hips, or joints in general
- Muscle pain or injuries, such as hamstring strains
- Tendon injuries, such as tennis elbow
- Ligament injuries, such as in the ankle
- Erectile dysfunction and other sexual health dysfunctions
- Sports hernias and other athletic injuries
- Hair loss in both men and women
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PRP Therapy is Still Undergoing Research
Platelet-rich therapy is still considered a new form of treatment in medicine. Recent studies have shown its efficacy, but there is still more to be discovered in terms of how much platelets can be used as regenerative medicine.
Some of the latest findings include:
- The Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery found a significant reduction in hair loss after a series of PRP treatments on patients in 2014.
- Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine found PRP therapy to be a safe and effective treatment for knee osteoarthritis in 2018.
Mayo Clinic also reports on current clinical trials using PRP therapy to treat conditions, ranging from spinal cord injuries to cancer.
Schedule a PRP Therapy Appointment at Anti-Aging & Regenerative Associates
At Anti-Aging & Regenerative Associates, we don’t treat your symptoms—we treat you. We aim to look at your whole physical health and help you reach your health goals.
If you want to learn more about what platelet-rich plasma therapy is and what it can do for you, call our facility at (386) 366-7418 to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians. We can explain PRP therapy in more detail during your consultation, including how long effects may last and whether you might need more than one session.