Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelet Rich Plasma is a treatment that uses a patient’s own blood to stimulate healing. It is a therapy that combines cutting-edge technology with natural healing to repair the body without drugs, surgery or cortisone injections.
Human blood is composed of red and white blood cells, plasma, and platelets. After an injury occurs platelets are naturally activated and release healing proteins called growth factors. Growth factors help to accelerate tissue and wound healing.
Unfortunately, sometimes our body isn’t able to completely heal itself and needs a little help. Platelet rich plasma contains a six-fold concentration of growth factors including TGF-β (increases musculoskeletal connective tissue), PDGF (attracts stem cells for repairing the body), epidermal growth factor (stimulates connective tissue growth), vascular endothelial growth factors and fibroblast growth factor-2 (stimulate oxygen and nutrient flow).
Clinical studies have shown that application of Platelet Rich Plasma can help minimize pain and optimize overall healing and is an ideal treatment for osteoarthritic knees, tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), rotator cuff injuries, achilles tendonitis & patellar tendonitis.
How do I prepare for my Platelet Rich Plasma appointment?
Please bring with you any reports from imaging studies (XRAY, MRI, ultrasound) which have been preformed on the affected area. After Dr. Joanne Day has assessed your injury, she will explain and answer any questions you have about the Platelet Rich Plasma treatment.
Please stop any anti-inflammatory medications (Advil, Ibuprofen, Asprin, Naproxen) three days before the treatment.
The Platelet Rich Plasma treatment will take approximately 60 minutes. The first step is a blood draw and preparation of the blood using the Harvest(R) SmartPrep(R) Processing System. When the Platelet Rich Plasma is ready, Dr. Joanne Day will inject it into the area of injury. Some tenderness after the treatment is normal but most people can continue their normal activities that day.
Platelet Rich Plasma may be covered by your extended health care plan as a “Naturopathic Treatment”. Please note that some insurance companies have a maximum amount that they will pay per visit.
Call today 403.782.4600 to book your first appointment or for more information.
What Happens at a Cellular Level?
Before discussing how platelet rich plasma works on a cellular level, it is important to understand how the body attempts to heal itself.
First, an injury occurs. The injury might be due to a traumatic event, degenerative disease or regular wear-and-tear. The body then responds to the injury in 4 phases. The first is the inflammatory phase. Disrupted cells release chemical agents called growth factors that cause a local inflammatory response. These growth factors are important to initiate the following step in healing which is the proliferative phase.
In this phase, new blood vessels form and fibroblasts start to regenerate the precursors of connective tissue called type II collagen. The next phase is the maturation and remodelling phase where the collagen is further converted, cross linked for strength and elastin (think elastic) is formed. The last phase involves healing of the skin & fascia surrounding the injury.
Often when we injure ourselves this wound-healing cascade kicks in and totally heals the injury. But other times the wound healing-cascade can’t effectively heal the injury, resulting in a chronic injury. This is where Platelet Rich Plasma comes in, treating injuries that the body can not heal itself.
Although the blood is mainly a liquid, the plasma portion, also contains cells such as red cells, white cells and platelets. The platelets are best known for helping the blood to clot, however platelets also contain growth factors. By removing most of the plasma, red and white cells, Platelet Rich Plasma is a rich source of growth factors. Platelet Rich Plasma is a way to re-initiate the natural wound healing cascade in the body with concentrated growth factors. It can be used for a wide range of injuries including tendonitis, osteoarthritis, and soft tissue recovery.
Dr. Joanne Day provides Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), Naturopathic Medicine and Regenerative Injection Therapy at Healing Hands (403.782.4600) in Lacombe, Alberta. She also provides Regenerative Injection Therapy (Prolotherapy, PRP) at Care Chiropractic (403.309.2292) in Red Deer, Alberta one day a month.