Let’s face it. Injuries are part of life.
They get in the way of your playing with grandkids, going to movies, gardening, shopping, training, and quite frankly your day-to-day life.
They can be physically and mentally frustrating, and as you get older usually take longer time to heal than you are willing to give them.
When these injuries don’t heal patients often become frustrated. Patients may try anti-inflammatories and other pain medications, topical creams and gels, braces, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture and cortisone injections but nothing seems to work. That’s because these therapies may try to treat pain and inflammation but they don’t treat the underlying problem of scar tissue, disordered fibers and poor angiogenesis (blood flow). The result is many patients may give up and live with pain and disability or may have surgery.
PRP therapy is the solution to this problem. In PRP treatment the patient’s own blood is taken with a simple blood draw. Using a special centrifuge machine this blood is spun down to separate out and concentrate the platelets and growth factors that are essential for tissue healing. This small amount of fluid with concentrated platelets and growth factors is called platelet rich plasma (PRP). Nothing else is added to the patient’s own blood products so there is no risk of allergy, reaction or rejection. PRP therapy is a purely natural process using the body’s own healing factors. The trick is getting them to the right place.
The physician then uses a Fluoroscopy machine to identify the joint capsule, and then able to guide the needle to inject the PRP directly into the injured area. Once these platelets and growth factors are in the area of injury they then become activated. They recruit other healing proteins and factors to the area. PRP also activates your own Stem Cells and regeneration of the tissues can now begin.
This therapy has been used extensively in Europe for several years and is now becoming more popular in the U.S. as more people become aware of its potential benefits and as more research is being done. But the idea of getting blood to an injured area is not new. For years many people have tried needling tissue or even injecting an irritant into the tissue (prolotherapy) to attempt to increase blood flow to the injured area. Now with the development of PRP we can actually get the specific healing factors within the blood to the injured area. This not only allows for healing of injuries which may not otherwise heal, but it also speeds up recovery time of injuries which may eventually heal over a longer period. Thus PRP therapy is a great option for two different patient populations. One is the patient with the chronic injury that never seems to go away. The other is the patient with an acute injury which might otherwise take 8-12 weeks to heal and is looking to do something to “speed up” the recovery process. That is why PRP has become so popular among athletes and there have been many media reports of elite athletes receiving PRP treatment for injuries that occur mid-season or even right before big events such as the Superbowl. But PRP treatment is not just for athletes.
PRP therapy can be used with great success for the following conditions:
Low Back Pain, and Sacroiliitis
Acute and chronic tendon injuries (tendonitis, tendinosis, tendinopathy, tendon tears)
- Foot and ankle: Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendonitis and partial tears
- Knee: Patellar tendonitis and tears
- Quadriceps tendonitis and tears
- Elbow: Medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow)
- Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
- Shoulder: Rotator cuff tendonitis and partial tears
Acute and chronic ligament injuries (sprains)
- Foot and Ankle
- And many other conditions associated with scarred or non-healing tissue.
The latest exciting news is that PRP has recently also been shown to be effective in treating osteoarthritis (OA). Arthritis is an inflammatory condition involving the breakdown of cartilage within a joint. Although it is still unproven as to whether PRP treatment can be effective in re-growing lost cartilage or slowing cartilage breakdown, there is now evidence that PRP is effective in treating the symptoms of arthritis. In fact, several new studies have shown that PRP is more effective than typical conservative treatments and has even performed better than viscosupplementation (hyaluronic acid injections) in head-to-head studies. Thus PRP may be an excellent non-invasive alternative to joint replacement surgery in treating the symptoms of arthritis. PRP can be used to treat the symptoms of arthritis of the shoulder, hip, knee, ankle and foot.
A study by researchers from Hospital for Special Surgery has shown that platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
holds great promise for treating patients with knee osteoarthritis. The treatment improved pain and function, and in up to 73% of patients, appeared to delay the progression of osteoarthritis, which is a progressive disease. The study appears online, ahead of print, in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine.
Naperville Rehab and Medical Clinic is proud to be one of the only Integrative Medicine clinics in the area to offer PRP and Stem Cell treatment as a cost-effective, in-office, minimally invasive procedure. Naperville Rehab and Medical Clinic is a Multidisciplinary clinic with a Neurologist, Nurse Practitioner, Chiropractors, Acupuncturist and working relationship with an Internal Medicine Specialist from Edward Hospital.