How PRP Therapy Can Help You Heal After a Sports Injury
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a type of orthopedic treatment used to help patients heal from injuries more quickly. It’s been used by elite professional athletes such as golfer Tiger Woods and baseball player Alex Rodriguez. Dr. Michael C. Russonella at North Jersey Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Institute administers PRP for a variety of injuries.
What is PRP therapy?
PRP is developed from your blood. Your blood is made mostly of plasma (the liquid part), but it also contains red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
Platelets are fragments of blood cells that have high concentrations of proteins called growth factors. Growth factors kickstart the body’s healing process, stimulate cellular repair, and act as signaling molecules between cells.
Platelet-rich plasma is plasma that has a higher-than-normal concentration of platelets. It’s developed by putting your blood in a centrifuge and separating the platelets from the other blood cells. You then receive an injection of the PRP wherever required by the injury or surgery.
Who can get PRP therapy?
Just about anyone with healthy blood can receive PRP therapy. Because it’s your own blood in PRP injections, usually no reactions or side effects come from the treatments.
Benefits of PRP therapy
PRP therapy provides a great deal of promising benefits:
- Helps injury sites heal faster
- Reduces pain associated with chronic injuries
- Reduces pain associated with sports injuries
- Speeds up recovery time after surgery
- Helps athletes return to sports more quickly after an injury
- Strengthens tendons, ligaments, and muscles at an injury site
PRP therapy for sports injuries
PRP therapy can be a very effective treatment option for sports injuries, especially for soft-tissue injuries, such as in the tendons or muscles. Because it uses your body’s own blood, it aids healing in a natural way.
Chronic tendon injuries
Tendons are the thick, tough bands of tissue that connect your muscles to your bones. Tendons are typically slow to heal, and pain from tendon injuries is often chronic. PRP therapy can be used for chronic tendon injuries such as achilles tendinitis, tennis elbow, runner’s knee, and more.
Many tendon injuries involve microscopic tearing and scarring, which reduces blood flow to the injured area. PRP therapy helps tendon injuries heal faster by supplying more blood and growth factors to the injury site.
Strains and sprains
Acute sports injuries, such as strains (muscle tears) or sprains (ligament tears), can also benefit from PRP therapy. By delivering more blood, platelets, and growth factors directly to the injured area, PRP therapy speeds up your recovery process from a sprain or strain.
Sometimes, PRP therapy is used in conjunction with a surgical operation. For severe sports injuries that require surgery, PRP therapy can be administered in the post-operative stage. PRP therapy has been used after many common orthopedic surgeries, including rotator cuff repair, ACL reconstruction, and hamstring repair.
Should I get PRP therapy for my sports injury?
A qualified orthopedic specialist like Michael C. Russonella, D.O., can help you determine whether PRP therapy is a good option for you. In the case of most sports injuries, it’s an effective and relatively pain-free treatment method that can get you back on the field or court faster. Call us today or request an appointment online to set up a consultation with one of our PRP therapy specialists.