What is PRP?
Platelet Rich Plasma injection therapy (or PRP) is a safe and natural treatment option to treat various sites of the body with our own blood cells. This facilitates accelerated healing and regeneration of the area of concern. PRP injections can be used to treat:
Blood consists mainly of liquid – called plasma – as well as small solid components which are: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Platelets play a crucial role in blood clotting. Platelets are potent, in that they also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors which accelerate tissue repair and healing.
Platelet-rich plasma is the small substrate extracted after a blood sample is drawn and centrifuged (which separates the blood into plasma, red blood cells and platelets).
The HARVEST SMART PREP PRP technology, used at Integrated Functional Medicine is exceptional in that it recovers 80% of the growth factors in a blood sample – superior to many other available PRP systems.
This translates into high patient satisfaction through optimized healing, less overall down time and cost effectiveness (as potentially less injections are required to obtain desired results).
How is PRP administered?
Approximately 60ml of blood is drawn from the patient and centrifuged (this process takes about 20 minutes), providing 10ml of platelet concentrate (PRP). The PRP is then injected into the injured or desired site. Patients generally notice an increase of pain in the days immediately following the injection, so rest is advisable. A protocol for increasing mobility with gradual strengthening will be provided and general rehabilitation will be reviewed.
Why choose PRP?
Once injected into the target area, PRP works on the principal of increasing blood flow to an injured area, which is not a new strategy for injury rehabilitation. Many people have tried needling tissue or even injecting an irritant into tissue (prolotherapy) to achieve this result.
PRP however provides injury rehabilitation with an even bigger punch – it doesn’t merely irritate the area, rather it delivers concentrated healing factors to the injured area, which may otherwise not heal or may take excessive time to heal.
Chronic injuries that never seem to go away (despite extensive physiotherapy, chiropractic or osteopathic treatments, acupuncture, etc.) and those looking to “speed up” the recovery process for acute injuries that otherwise might take 8-12 weeks to heal.
Sometimes PRP can be more cost-effective by shortening the overall rehabilitation process and need for prolonged professional rehabilitation services. It can be a great adjunct to rehabilitation interventions (i.e. physiotherapy) to ensure optimal results.
PRP has gained much attention in the last decade with its success for countless professional athletes who sought out its use for accelerating healing (and avoidance of surgery), as well as decreasing overall downtime with recovery, thus allowing a quicker return to competition.