Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP)
You may have heard about professional athletes in golf, tennis, baseball and football who are getting back into the game after receiving platelet rich plasma injections. Have you been wondering about PRP as a treatment option for your own injuries? PRP therapy can be helpful for relieving the pain of certain injuries, aches and pains, whether they have been around for weeks or even years.
In platelet rich plasma therapy, we inject your own platelets into the painful areas of the body to help stimulate healing.
How do PRP Injections work?
The process to harvest platelets from the body is very simple. We draw several tubes of your blood, just like a normal blood draw for labs. Then, we place the blood in special tubes in a centrifuge machine which spins around rapidly. As the tubes spin, the blood separates into layers, leaving the platelets at the bottom. We mix those platelets with sterile liquid and inject them where you feel pain, especially in areas like joints, ligaments and tendons.
The Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy Process
Typically the PRP therapy process takes several treatments. At The Golden Stethoscope, we generally perform a test injection with lidocaine to make sure we are treating the correct area.
If this injection is helpful, we then do PRP injections to the same area 1 month apart for 2-3 treatments. These injections often cause soreness and pain. The pain generally lasts 2-5 days from the injection. Patients begin to see benefits in their condition in about 3-4 weeks but will see full benefits at 5-6 months from the final injection. If the PRP therapy is helpful, we generally will do maintenance PRP injections every 6-8 months.
What are platelets?
Platelets are a small pieces of blood cells without a nucleus that are a component of blood.
Blood is mostly made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma. Platelets are most well known for stopping small bleeds by clumping together but are also full of growth factors that help aid in healing.
Who Can Benefit from PRP Injections?
This therapy can be used for both recent injuries and chronic pain, including rotator cuff tears and tendinopathy, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, hip arthritis, knee arthritis, knee ligament and tendon issues, plantar fasciitis and even certain types of low back pain.
Researchers believe that the addition of growth factors from platelets to injured areas helps promote the body’s natural healing processes.
Are PRP injections effective?
A modest amount of research has been done on PRP therapy to test its effectiveness for different injuries. For instance, some studies show it is helpful as knee pain treatment, while others do not. However, for people who have already tried many different ways to improve their pain, PRP is another option to consider. The risks of PRP therapy are quite low because you are receiving injections with your own blood products.
The Cost of PRP Injection Therapy
At The Golden Stethoscope’s office near Denver, PRP treatment is included in your monthly direct primary care membership.
At other facilities, PRP treatment ranges in price from around $400 or more per treatment or around $2500 for 2-3 treatments.
At the Golden Stethoscope, we see PRP as another treatment option to help with your acute or chronic pain. We offer several options for pain management, including steroid injections and working with medications for pain. At our Denver-area Direct Primary Care Practice, PRP therapy is included in your membership along with your other medical care. Please contact us to schedule a free consultation to see if PRP therapy through The Golden Stethoscope is right for you.