What are PRP injections?
This article is representative of a musculoskeletal format of PRP treatment. Mainly for pain and injury.
PRP stands for platelet rich plasma which is a growing popular form of treatment for many conditions. During the treatment the clinician will draw a small sample of blood from the patient (20–30, ML). The blood is placed in a centrifuge, which spins for 10-15 minutes to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the red blood cells.
After determining a thorough diagnosis and determining the best location for treatment, the clinician will then inject the platelet rich plasma in the damaged area to promote healing and restore functional tissue health.
What are platelets and how do they help?
Platelets are specialised blood cells that our body uses to clot and stop an area from bleeding. Following an injury or a wound - your body sends platelets to the area to start the clotting process. During this time, growth-factor proteins and cytokines are secreted by the platelets then increase local collagen production and stimulate new blood flow as they form clots to allow the healing processes to begin. When PRP is injected into at area of injury concentrations are increased to over 5 times higher than normal levels found in the bloodstream. This is why this form of treatment is used to speed the healing process.
Are PRP injections beneficial to anyone?
Unfortunately, quite like any treatment, not everyone will benefit from PRP injection treatment, just like all other treatment. However, the majority of people fortunately do respond extremely well. People with severe degenerative changes and in stage osteoarthritis are obviously more difficult to treat. We cannot stress enough that treatment should be performed earlier rather than later, our philosophy is joint preservation. Patients with severe degenerative changes or severe injury relating to cartilage damage often require surgery. PRP injections however, do benefit adults of all ages who experience mild to moderate joint damage and pain.
Sports medicine providers also often use PRP injections to help athletes return to their sport faster after injuries.
What conditions can PRP injections be used to treat?
PRP injections are commonly used to treat:
PRP procedures used also during surgery promote the faster recovery of the surgical repair.
Is PRP injection treatment painful?
During the PRP procedure, the clinician may administer a local anesthetic to reduce pain. However, it has been shown that local anaesthetic can affect platelets so often this is not used. Most of our patients only report minimal discomfort and are able to carry on as normal the same day. Some people feel mild or moderate pain at the injection site for couple of days after the procedure.
What is the difference between platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection treatment and Cortisone (steroid) injection treatment?
The purpose of a cortisone injection is the temporary relief of pain while a PRP injection promotes healing. So cortisone can be good short-term, but in short lived. Whilst PRP is better long-term and also PRP holds minimal side-effects in comparison to steroid.
With steroid injections, a patient may notice immediate pain reduction after. However, a person who receives a PRP injection may wait a couple of weeks before they notice a reduction in pain. Cortisone injections however, work in 3’s; One) they provide temporary relief, two) they provide short-term relief but a second one is needed or three) they are ineffective. If successful, I could sign injection can provide some relief before surgery is needed. PRP therapy is administered to promote healing and prevent further joint and soft-tissue damage. A successful PRP treatment can however eliminate the need for surgery.
What is the recovery time from the PRP injection?
Generally, recovery from a PRP injection is similar to recovery from a minimally invasive surgical procedure. But, we all heal at different rates, and post procedure rehabilitation is crucial.
Following a PRP injection we advise that you take it easy for a few days, not overexerting yourself. We advise patients to initially carry out a basic stretching and exercise routine which progress to more dynamic low-impact movements as one adapts to progression. During which point we generally advise a 4-6 week follow-up review.
Many patients need a second injection experience significant pain reduction. Some patients may require a course of three PRP injections before they feel pain-free.
Are there any side-effects to PRP injections?
PRP injections are completely natural because you are using your own cells, making side-effects practically impossible. However, mild post-treatment discomfort can be associated in 30% of patients. Also, with any injection procedure there is a chance of infection but this is very rare.
Here at Dynamic Regenerative Medicine we offer PRP injections out of our clinics in Solihull, Birmingham and Bromsgrove. We specifically use platelet rich plasma PRP treatments for:
aiding the healing and recovery of chronic injuries
to slow the progression of degenerative changes
speed up healing
help patients avoid Cortisone injections or surgery
often used in combination with hyaluronic acid
Can I get PRP treatment on my private health insurance?
Not all private health care insurance companies pay for your treatment but some do. If you are interested in platelet rich plasma injection treatment then contact your provider and we will would be happy to assist.
Further information in regards to PRP can be found here.
Further information on pain and injury treatment can be found here.
Further information on evidence based PRP practice can be found here.
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Don’t let joint pain, joint damage, sports injuries or arthritis get in the way of allowing you to do what you want. Schedule a consultation at Dynamic Regenerative Medicine today, and let us treat your condition, provide pain relief and get you back to your full and active lifestyle. We have clinics operating out of Solihull (Henley-In-Arden) and Birmingham (Edgbaston).
Call us today 01564 330773