When All You Need is a Blood Type: The Benefits of Platelet Rich Plasma

Platelet Rich Plasma is a name commonly used to describe the process of using a patient’s own plasma, that has a higher concentration of platelets to help promote healing and repair the body’s injuries. This type of therapy continues to be practiced by a growing number of patients who would rather incorporate PRP into their healing instead of resorting to surgery or heavy medication use. It is becoming a standard of treatment for people suffering from orthopedic conditions. This plasma comes directly from the patient’s own sample of blood, guaranteeing that the body won’t reject it. It’s your blood; there is little worry (if at all) of an allergic reaction or harmful side effects. This medical treatment is as “organic” as it gets. And because it is a natural source, PRP promotes a holistic approach to healing. It is a type of blood therapy that allows the patient to eliminate the need for aggressive treatments like long term medication use or surgery. You can use your own blood for regeneration therapy! 

The way it works: The doctor takes a small amount of blood and places it in a centrifuge. The spinning from the centrifuge automatically filters the rich concentration of platelets for the injection. Then that rich plasma is injected back into the joint that may have been injured, speeding up the growth factor for reparative cells to do their work. Once a treatment reserved for famous athletes, PRP has becoming steadily available to patients who don’t have their own reality shows. Still a go-to therapy for athletes, however patients with non-sports related injuries are also indulging. Chronic conditions, like persistent wounds, or joint damage caused from car accidents can be addressed with PRP. When conservative attempts at healing, such as physical therapy or yoga have not been successful, PRP is a solid option. It has even been used to facilitate successful transplants of ligament tissue. The patient does not have to worry about rejection, because it’s their own tissue circulating to promote healing. Currently, PRP is used to treat osteoarthritis in knees, and has been shown to have positive results. Patients suffering from arthritis in their knees have the PRP injected into their cartilage, reducing pain and stiffness. Allowing for more mobility, patients can return to a more active life without being encumbered by their chronic pain. While there is no 100% guarantee that this is the cure all, the majority of patients have responded well.  Other patients, who may not have had the same results after getting PRP injections in their knees were at least able to state that the pain had been minimized, and that the degeneration of their cartilage had not progressed. 

Plasma rich platelets are intertwined in the body’s own healing process. It only makes sense for us to try and utilize its healing properties and regenerative medicine, instead of hoping drinking bone-broth will help.