Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (Infographic)

Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) may be the solution you’ve been looking for to rid yourself of chronic pain without getting surgery. If you’ve been suffering from acute or chronic joint, tendon, or soft tissue injuries, consider this option that gives your body the essentials it needs to begin healing itself. PRP injections are comprised of plasma, platelets, growth factors, and cytokines that help accelerate healing wherever it’s injected. This therapy centrifuges plasma from your blood to isolate the platelet-rich portions of that plasma. If you’re looking for pain relief, this non-surgical option may be the alternative you’ve been looking for. Here is how the procedure plays out:

How Do PRP Injections Work?

If your doctor has recommended this treatment for your injury, you may be wondering how the Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy process works. Once you’ve made an appointment, you’ll need to make sure that your health is in good condition prior to the injection. This is due to the fact that your own blood has to be carefully taken to create the PRP, so feeling under the weather could negatively affect that procedure. Other important things to consider are:
  • Notifying the doctor if you have any blood disorders or blood thinners ahead of time.
  • Avoiding taking corticosteroid in the month prior to your injection.
  • Not taking any NSAID’s one week prior to your appointment.
    • This includes Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Excedrin Migraine, or Aspirin.
During the procedure, you’ll be set up on an IV to withdraw the correct amount of blood needed for the injection. Once this is complete, a local anesthetic may numb your skin so the doctor can make a safe injection. To ensure the proper positioning of the needle to your injured area, your doctor may use an Ultrasound, Fluoroscopy, or dye. This is when the platelet-rich plasma will be injected to begin the healing process of your soft tissues or injured joints. After your recovery time has passed, your doctor may suggest a series of 2-3 injections, done 4-6 weeks apart to get the best pain relief results.

Post-Procedure Recovery

It’s common for people who have had this therapy to feel varying levels of unease and stiffness after the injection. One way to combat this is to use Tylenol and heating packs to help alleviate discomfort. However, corticosteroids and ice should not be used for 2 weeks, and NSAID’s should be avoided for 4 weeks. During the first couple days, the recipient of the PRP procedure should avoid exertion of any kind, as to not agitate the healing tissues. After 3 days you should be able to do light exercises for injuries with controlled durations. By 15 days, your tolerance should be built up enough to resume normal daily activities and exercises. One of the many reasons why the Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy is highly recommended is its quick recovery time.

Is This Procedure Right for You?

Sometimes it may feel like you have limited choices when it comes to non-surgical treatments, which is why Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy is such a refreshing option. Not only is it cost-effective in the long run, but it’s a safe and simple treatment that Arrowhead Health Centers is proud to offer. PRP is a great way to take advantage of your body’s potential to heal itself, but each PRP patient’s experience may differ based on the degeneration of their injury, age, current tobacco use, your individual platelet levels, and general health. Physicians at Arrowhead Health Centers can help you pick the treatment that will benefit you best. For more information on Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy, contact a Arrowhead Health Centers provider today at 602.900.8556.

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