Are PRP Injections Effective?
Published Dec 19, 2021
Platelet rich plasma injections, or PRP injections, are gaining popularity as a treatment for a range of ailments ranging from sports injuries to hair loss. The treatment accelerates healing in a specific area by utilizing a patient’s own blood cells.
Understanding Platelet Rich Plasma
Platelet-rich plasma comprises two components:
- Plasma – the liquid portion of blood
- Platelets – a type of blood cell that is essential for wound healing
Although platelets are well recognized for their ability to clot, they also carry growth factors that promote cell reproduction and induce tissue regeneration or recovery at the wound site. Platelet-rich plasma is just blood that has an increased number of platelets.
To make platelet-rich plasma, clinicians draw blood from the patient and put it in a centrifuge, which rapidly spins the sample, isolating the platelets from the other components of the blood and focusing them within the plasma.
PRP Injections In A Nutshell
After generating a platelet rich plasma from a patient’s blood sample, the solution is injected directly into the wounded area, such as a knee or tendon. In rare instances, the clinician may assist the injection via ultrasonography. The goal is to enhance the concentration of certain bioproteins or hormones, referred to as growth factors, in a specific location in order to expedite the healing process.
The mechanism of PRP injections is unknown. A higher concentration of growth factors in platelet-rich plasma has been shown to promote or accelerate the healing process, reducing the time required to mend injuries, alleviating pain, and even increasing hair growth.
What Is PRP Treatment For?
PRP injections may be utilized to treat a variety of ailments, including musculoskeletal injury and pain, as well as cosmetic procedures.
There is little evidence that PRP injections reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging, although they are sometimes used as anti-aging treatments.
Male pattern baldness can be successfully treated with PRP injections, preventing hair loss and promoting new hair growth. After hair transplants, PRP can also stimulate hair growth.
According to early studies, PRP injections may reduce inflammation and pain associated with osteoarthritis by modulating the joint environment. However, research is still in the early stages.
After jaw or plastic surgery, PRP was first used to accelerate healing. Currently, the use of PRP injections post-surgically has expanded to help heal muscles, tendons, and ligaments since these tissues have long recovery times after a procedure.
Tendon, Ligament, Muscle and Joint Injuries
Various musculoskeletal injuries and conditions may be treated with PRP injections. For example, because chronic tendon injuries such as tennis elbow or jumper’s knee frequently take much longer to heal, incorporating PRP shots into a treatment regimen can assist stimulate the healing process, alleviate discomfort, and allow for a quicker return to activity.
Does PRP Work?
Additional research is needed to determine the situations in which PRP is effective. So far, research indicates that it accelerates the healing process following injury or surgery for specific conditions, such as damaged tendons. Along with aiding in the healing process, several studies indicate that PRP injections reduce discomfort and improve mobility in patients with rotator cuff problems. PRP injections appear to effectively reverse hair loss in men and women who have male or female pattern baldness. However, it is unknown whether facial PRP injections can alleviate apparent indicators of aging, such as wrinkles and sagging skin.
PRP injections may take several weeks to be effective. It may take up to six months for certain illnesses to manifest fully, particularly those involving hair or skin. In some circumstances, such as hair loss, repeating the operation may be necessary to maintain the benefits.
PRP Treatment: Risks and Side Effects
A PRP injection is a low-risk therapy that seldom results in serious side effects. Because the process requires a blood draw, you should ensure that you are adequately hydrated and fed before the operation to avoid feeling lightheaded. You may suffer some discomfort and bruising in the infected area following the procedure.
Because PRP injections are essentially your own cells and plasma, the risk of an adverse reaction is significantly lower than with other injectable medications. Among the less common hazards associated with PRP injections are the following:
- Tissue damage
- Nerve injuries
Be sure to discuss the risks and benefits of PRP injections with your healthcare provider if you are considering them.
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About The Author
Krizzia Paolyn is a professional writer for several reputable digital magazines and publications. It has always been her passion to share her voice, and at the same time, to encourage other people to speak up. She has a bachelors degree in Psychology.