The Benefits of PRP Therapy
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Medical specialists have begun using platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy to treat several types of injuries and conditions in their patients. Using your own blood cells, doctors can concentrate and inject a solution of platelet-rich plasma into the targeted area of your body so you can experience the benefits of PRP therapy.
While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve PRP therapy as a medical treatment, studies have shown that it can significantly improve recovery time, swelling, promote hair growth, and relieve pain.
But what can PRP therapy actually do for you, and what purpose do medical researchers recommend it for? Here are five benefits of PRP therapy.
1. Promotes Tendon Healing
If you play sports or are athletic, tendon and musculoskeletal injuries are common. Sports-related injuries typically impact the Achilles and patellar tendons and are usually slow to heal. In many cases, if you have tendons that don’t recover properly, it can lead to further injury down the road.
Patients who receive PRP injections to treat their tendon or muscular pain may see improved tissue regeneration from PRP’s properties.
Although medical researchers currently cannot pinpoint how PRP therapy targets tendon recovery, they suspect it stimulates collagen generation and contains special proteins that reduce pain.
2. Stimulates Hair Regrowth
Hair loss can negatively impact a person’s mental health and self-esteem. However, while research is still in its infancy, PRP therapy has given many people who suffer from hair loss a new hope.
The procedure has shown encouraging results in stimulating hair regrowth in people whose hair is thinning for various reasons. If you decide to pursue PRP therapy for hair loss, doctors who specialize in PRP therapy will inject the solution into your scalp.
Medical researchers believe that the PRP properties trigger hair growth by enhancing blood supply to a person’s hair follicles. Recent studies have also indicated that PRP injections in androgenic alopecia patients may prompt hair restoration.
Treatments for androgenic alopecia are limited, making PRP therapy a more affordable and viable option for patients to try.
3. Boosts Post-Surgery Healing
The activated platelets in PRP injections contain several anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling and pain. When injected into the targeted area, PRP begins the process of repairing and regenerating tissues.
For this reason, doctors have given this therapy to patients who have had musculoskeletal or osteoarthritic surgeries. The goal of injecting PRP is to cut down on lengthy and painful recovery times and rehabilitation.
Medical specialists may offer PRP treatments to you if you’re recovering from shoulder surgery, as well, such as to repair a torn rotator cuff. Doctors have also given PRP therapy to patients recovering from surgery for torn knee ligaments.
To date, the research aims to uncover how PRP can heal the meniscus; however, results are mixed.
4. Relieves Osteoarthritis Pain
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the bones in your joints—for example, your hip, knees and thumbs—starts to deteriorate over time. This bodily breakdown usually begins when you’re middle-aged or older. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is considered an autoimmune condition and can occur at any age.
Research shows that you may benefit from PRP therapy if you have an arthritic condition. In one study, patients with rheumatoid arthritis saw improvement after eight weeks of receiving PRP injections and could sustain those results for up to a year.
In another study, patients with knee osteoarthritis saw an improvement in their quality of life and continued to have reduced pain after one year of receiving PRP therapy, as well.
If you’ve undergone various therapies for rheumatoid or osteoarthritic conditions without success, perhaps your doctor may recommend an alternative treatment like PRP therapy.
5. Natural Healing
Medical specialists have long researched ways to improve and speed up the healing process. PRP therapy has shown that it can tap into the body’s ability to heal itself naturally.
Many patients and medical researchers believe that PRP is a promising development in alternative medicine. Because the PRP solution comes from your own blood, there is a minimal risk of having an allergic reaction, your body rejecting it, or for you to experience abnormal bleeding.
More research is necessary to understand better how PRP therapy works for your body. However, it’s unlikely most would argue that it’s a capable natural treatment option that works with your body’s ability to heal and regenerate tissue.
Are the Benefits of PRP Therapy Worth a Try?
Because PRP therapy is deemed safe with very few risks involved, it may be worth trying. You should speak with your doctor to find out more about this treatment option, if it may be beneficial in treating your condition and whether or not they specialize in it.
However, it’s important to remember that it’s not a cure despite some patients having had success with PRP therapy. Instead, you may consider trying PRP with other non-surgical treatments to treat injuries and conditions. These could include making healthy lifestyle changes, physical therapy, or anti-inflammatory medicines.