Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is one of the most popular methods of regenerative medicine today. Using elements of your own blood, PRP therapy maximizes your body’s natural healing ability to repair damaged tissue, relieve pain, and restore healthy function.
With a low risk of side effects and customizable treatment, PRP therapy shows great promise for common shoulder, elbow, hand, and wrist injuries. That’s why Kristopher Downing, MD, & James Andry, MD offer PRP injections and regenerative orthopedic care at Upper Extremity Specialists of Ortho 1 Medical Group.
So if you’ve heard about PRP and you’re wondering if it’s a good option for you, you’re in the right place. In this blog, Dr. Downing shares all the ways PRP can support orthopedic recovery.
How PRP therapy works
The power of PRP therapy lies in the platelets. Platelets are special cells that help your blood clot. They contain proteins, called growth factors, which stimulate healing within your body. In the healing process, growth factors attract extra oxygen, collagen, and other elements to repair damaged tissue.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy can accelerate natural healing, because this treatment involves harvesting platelets from your own blood and administering them directly to the injured or diseased area. The PRP then goes straight to work, helping to generate new cells and spur healing. And by boosting the healing process, PRP therapy can help:
- Reduce pain
- Repair soft tissues
- Increase joint function
- Improve mobility
To perform PRP therapy, we take a small sample of your blood. Then we spin it in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the rest of your blood’s components. Then we take the resulting solution and inject it into the areas that need treatment. Then, as the platelets encourage healing over the following weeks, you should notice less pain and increased ability.
What PRP therapy can do for you
Because PRP therapy taps into your body’s healing power, it can accelerate recovery from many of the most common orthopedic injuries and even address chronic pain conditions. Dr. Downing and our team specialize in regenerative therapies, and we can help you decide if PRP is right for you with a consultation in our office.
First, we perform a physical exam, discuss your symptoms, and review your medical history. We often recommend PRP therapy for a variety of conditions, including the following:
- Muscle and ligament strains
- Post-surgery recovery
Dr. Downing works with you to develop a treatment schedule, which may include a series of PRP injections. Since PRP injections contain elements from your own blood, the risk for side effects is low.
Platelet-rich plasma injections are also drug-free, which means PRP is generally safe to add as a complementary therapy alongside other treatments. Dr. Downing may also recommend other treatments, such as physical therapy or pain medication, depending on your condition.
Orthopedic pain and injury can be tough to treat, but PRP therapy has helped many people get better. To find out if PRP therapy can help you, book an appointment online or over the phone with Upper Extremity Specialists today. We have offices in Chula Vista and La Jolla, California.