Regenerative medicine is the practice of harnessing the body’s innate self-healing ability. One type of regenerative medicine that’s becoming increasingly popular is called platelet-rich plasma therapy, or PRP therapy for short.
If you have stubborn hip pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, back pain, or some other chronic joint pain, or if you’re hoping to recover quickly from an acute injury, PRP therapy may be an ideal treatment to add to your individualized pain management program in Indianapolis.
PRP therapy isn’t new, but it became much more popular within the past several years after many professional athletes started using PRP therapy to alleviate acute and chronic sports injuries.
While people may refer to PRP therapy as “stem cell therapy,” this is actually a misnomer. PRP therapy uses injections containing a high concentration of your own platelets. Platelets are important compounds your body uses to help heal tissues which are produced in the bone marrow and can be found floating in your blood.
To make a PRP injection, a physician extracts a small amount of blood from the patient. This blood is then run through a device called a centrifuge. The centrifuge separates the heavier platelets from the rest of the blood components. The platelets are then collected and formulated into a special PRP solution, which is then injected directly into injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, or joint tissue. These injections stimulate the body’s natural healing process
One PRP therapy session takes about 30 to 60 minutes. It’s normal to have a minor increase in pain for one to a few days after a PRP injection, but this usually improves within a week. While unlikely, side effects may include pain and irritation at the injection site and infection.
Repeat injections may be necessary to produce the most benefit. Research also shows that PRP therapy is more effective when provided in addition to other pain management techniques like physical therapy.