Famous athletes like golfer Tiger Woods and tennis star Rafael Nadal have been raving about platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. And why not? It has helped them successfully recover from their injuries and quickly get back in the game.
PRP therapy has shown to have beneficial effects on a vast variety of musculoskeletal conditions and sports injuries, including Achilles tendonitis, arthritis, bursitis, meniscus tears, rotator cuff tears, tennis elbow, and plantar fasciitis.
If you’re suffering from any of these orthopedic problems and contemplating getting PRP therapy, here are some things you need to know about this innovative treatment modality.
How Does PRP Therapy Work?
The procedure involves extracting a small sample of your blood and processing it in a centrifuge for about 10 minutes to separate the plasma (the liquid portion of blood) and platelets (blood cells containing essential growth factors) from the other components.
Once the solution is ready, your specialist will then get a syringe to extract the platelets and inject them into and around the site of injury to trigger the immune system to react to the PRP and begin the healing process to repair and rebuild the damaged tissue.
Are There Risks Involved?
Since PRP therapy is autologous, meaning the solution is derived from your own body, it is very safe. Complications, such as infection and nerve damage, are extremely uncommon. You may experience side effects, such as pain and soreness at the injection site, but these are usually only minor and are expected to subside within a few days.
Preparing for PRP Therapy
After a thorough assessment to determine your eligibility for PRP therapy, your regenerative medicine specialist will provide you with specific details on how to prepare for the procedure and what to expect afterward.
Seven days prior to your procedure, you should stop taking any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, and you should not take these medications again for at least seven days after the procedure. This is because they can block the action of the growth factors present in PRP, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the treatment.
If you’re taking blood thinners, be sure to notify your provider beforehand. Oral steroids and cortisone shots should also be avoided for a minimum of four weeks prior to your session, as they may interfere with your body’s ability to heal. It is also recommended that you stop smoking prior to your treatment to optimize its effectiveness.
Certain foods and supplements, such as turmeric and garlic, should also be avoided at least seven days before your treatment.
On the day of your procedure, drink plenty of water and eat a healthy and hearty breakfast.
What to Expect After Your Treatment
You can resume your normal day-to-day activities following the procedure, but you should avoid strenuous exercises for at least five to seven days.
Depending on the type and severity of your injury, you may have to wait up to four weeks to fully see the effects of PRP therapy. Three sessions at four- to six-week intervals may be necessary to achieve the best possible outcome.
Your regenerative medicine specialist will assess your symptoms and functional improvements every two to three weeks to determine whether you need further treatment.
PRP Therapy in Dallas, TX
At Reagan Integrated Sports Medicine, our highly qualified regenerative medicine expert, Dr. M. Zann McMahan, works in tandem with our licensed chiropractors to administer PRP therapy and regenerative cell therapy, helping patients with a vast variety of musculoskeletal injuries recover safely and successfully without heavy reliance on medications.