Were you recently injured during sports or athletic performance? You are not alone. More than 3.5 million sports injuries occur each year, and this statistic only accounts for children and teens.
Most sports-related injuries happen due to non-life threatening sprains and strains. But even a minor ankle sprain requires recovery time, which can majorly affect your performance.
The good news is that PRP for sports injury rehabilitation can help you get back to practice faster. PRP therapy is a treatment for musculoskeletal complaints, including muscle strains and injuries.
What exactly is PRP, and why is it the top choice among athletes undergoing physical therapy? We are answering these two questions and more below, so keep reading.
What Is PRP?
PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma. Let’s break that term down. The first thing to understand is that blood consists of two components:
- Blood cells (e.g., red blood cells and white blood cells) and platelets
Plasma is the medical term for the liquid part of blood. The average person’s blood consists of about 55% plasma. The remaining 45% consists of blood cells and platelets.
The components that make up plasma are water, protein, and other macro- and micro-nutrients (e.g., fats, vitamins, and mineral salts). Blood plasma is about 92% water. Proteins and nutrients make up the rest.
But what is platelet-rich plasma? As mentioned, platelets are a component of our blood. Scientists also refer to platelets as thrombocytes.
The purpose of platelets in our blood is to coagulate. In other words, platelets are the primary ingredient in blood clots. And blood clots are critical to reducing bleeding and promoting healing, especially after an injury.
Another fact about platelets is that they come from our bone marrow. Our bone marrow is home to stem cells, which can form any cell type in the body.
The Benefits of PRP for Common Sports Injuries
PRP therapy has two main goals. First, PRP delivers platelets to the site of injury. Secondly, these platelets help promote faster and more thorough healing of that injury.
You can imagine that this has implications for sports injuries. But exactly how does PRP therapy benefit sports injuries in ways other rehabilitation services can not?
We’re talking about the unique benefits of PRP for sports injury treatment next.
PRP Is Non-Surgical and Non-Invasive
The best thing about PRP is that it does not require you to go under the knife. This treatment only requires the sports injury doctor to inject platelet-rich plasma made from your own blood into the site of injury.
The non-invasive nature of PRP therapy is particularly promising for conditions like rotator cuff tears. You will still need surgery for a full tear. But PRP can be highly effective if you are dealing with a partial tear or bursitis.
PRP Has Little to No Side Effects
Surgery requires downtime and comes with potential complications. And nearly all sports injury treatments present the risk of side effects. But PRP therapy is different because it has little to no side effects.
PRP’s lower risk of side effects comes from the fact that the PRP injection is produced from the patient’s blood. This significantly reduces the risk of allergic reactions or other inflammatory responses.
The most commonly reported symptoms experienced after PRP therapy are injection site bleeding and bruising. In rare cases, people can experience injection site infection and/or nerve injury.
PRP Has No Downtime
One of the biggest problems with sports injuries is downtime. Athletes have to refrain from practicing and even exercising while recovering from an injury. But with the help of PRP, athletes can recover faster.
Many people have reported immediate relief from PRP therapy alone. You could also receive PRP therapy alongside other traditional sports therapies to speed up recovery timelines and get back to normal faster.
PRP May Benefit Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis is quickly becoming one of the most common sports injuries treated with PRP therapy. This is good news not only for athletes but also for the one in 10 people who develop this condition during their lifetime.
But what is Plantar Fasciitis? This chronic injury is common among runners, leading to pain in the heel. Over time, the condition can worsen and require surgery to treat.
The early stages of this condition are notoriously treatment-resistant. Yet, in research studies, PRP therapy has been shown to reduce subjective pain scores in people suffering from plantar fasciitis.
What to Expect from PRP Therapy for Sports Injury Rehabilitation
Do you think PRP is the right treatment for your sports injury or pain after a sports injury? Then you are probably wondering what to expect from your first treatment. Here is a breakdown of the PRP therapy process.
Step 1. The Blood Draw
As mentioned, PRP injections consist of your own platelet-rich plasma. Doctors get access to this plasma via the blood they draw from your arm at the start of the visit.
Once the healthcare professional draws your blood, he or she will place it in a machine called a centrifuge. This machine helps to separate the platelets in your blood from the plasma and other components.
After undergoing centrifugation, the result is a highly concentrated injection of platelets in a small volume of plasma.
Step 2. The Treatment
The first step of your treatment is to numb the injection site. Like dentists, PRP therapists numb the site with lidocaine. Next, the doctor or therapist will perform the injection.
The entire process — from blood draw to treatment — only takes about half an hour. As mentioned, there is no downtime either. That means you can get your treatment and get back to your workout in no time.
Rejuvenate Your Health in Allentown, PA
PRP therapy for sports injury rehabilitation is an excellent alternative to more invasive treatments. PRP is non-invasive, relatively risk-free, fast-acting, and beneficial for treatment-resistant conditions like plantar fasciitis.
Are you searching for ‘PRP treatments near me’? RejuvenateYourHealth is a cutting-edge regenerative medicine clinic serving the Allentown, PA area. Call our offices today to schedule an appointment!