by Rob Seals, DMS-c, PA-C, Salud Spa
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is an autologous (cells or tissues from the same person) treatment for regenerating, increasing our own bodies response and improving outcomes. It is done by drawing blood from a person, spinning down the blood and extracting the platelets to inject in the body.
We know that platelet rich plasma in blood has several properties to increase recovery, regenerate, increase collagen and increase blood flow to injured joints or surgery sites. It has been done with success in many applications now with years of studies. (Amable et al., 2013)
Several disciplines use this treatment, including orthopedics, podiatry, dentistry and even cosmetics. The process requires only a blood draw.
The healing properties of growth factors, lysosomes and platelet cytokines cause angiogenesis (formulate new blood vessels). (Everts et al., n.d.) PRP has regenerative properties that can rewind or reset the aging clock.
When we inject the platelet rich plasma into a joint, the joint fluid called synovial fluid increases, it decreases inflammation and increases the regenerative properties of tissue repair in arthritis, injury and disease.
Regenerative medicine is rapidly growing, and we are finding ways of increasing the bodies healing properties. The safety and adverse events are almost zero because it is derived from our own blood.
We can use stem cell therapy from the placenta or cord blood that is not autologous. The undifferentiated cells perform to create an environment to heal and repair. We continue to study the properties and efficacy in many different uses.
The use of PRP is widely accepted but not yet covered by insurances. As we progress and learn more ways to help prevent surgery or prompt speed recovery, it will most likely change.
There are no guarantees with platelet rich plasma or stem cell treatments, but worth consideration to prolong surgery or speed healing with injuries.