Two of the most exciting, innovative treatment methods currently used by orthopedic and pain management clinics are platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy and stem cell therapy. This article explores what these advanced healing modalities are and how they specifically help you to recover from injury.
What is PRP therapy?
There are three types of solids within the blood, which otherwise consists of the liquid plasma: platelets, white blood cells, and red blood cells. Platelets are of great importance whenever the circulatory system is compromised by injury: they are essential to blood clotting and are rich in a diverse spectrum of proteins known as growth factors – promoters of injury healing.
PRP injections were developed so that people could benefit from a high concentration of platelets, resulting in blood that has “5 to 10 times” its share of the growth factors. The blood that is used is sourced from the patient’s own body, enriched with platelets via centrifugation, and reintroduced to the injured area.
How do PRP injections boost healing?
Famous athletes, including Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant and Alex Rodriquez have used PRP therapy to recover from injuries.
Back in 2009, Carina Storrs wrote a great piece http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/platelet-rich-plasma-therapy-dennis-cardone-sports-medicine-injury/ for Scientific American on this topic. She wanted to understand why doctors were increasingly focusing on this form of medicine with patients, so she spoke with joint specialist Dennis A. Cardone, D.O., of New York University.
Dr. Cardone explained that increasing the number of platelets available near chronic injuries is powerful because typically blood flow is restricted (as with tendinitis), so platelets are minimal. Asked how his patients were responding to PRP injections, Cardone replied, “I’d probably say that maybe 60 percent of my patients do better.”
What is stem cell therapy?
Stem cell therapy is a form of regenerative medicine. The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine – an organization with a membership of 26,000 medical practitioners and researchers from 120 nations – defines regenerative medicine as an effort to improve the way that tissue within the body functions by using stem cells to create live, healthy tissue.
How do stem cell injections boost healing?
In May of 2014 a study published in the US National Library of Medicine titled, Intra-Articular Injection Of Mesenchymal Stem Cells For The Treatment Of Osteoarthritis Of The Knee: A Proof-Of-Concept Clinical Trial. by Jo CH et. al (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24449146 ) substantiates the efficacy of stem cells and joint regeneration. The conclusion of the trial indicated that when stem cells are introduced into the knee joint at moderate to high levels the cartilage showed significant signs of rebuilding and the overall affects from osteoarthritis were depressed. This proved that when introduced into a joint with degenerative disease and injury that the stem cells will eventually turn into specialized cells (cartilage, ligament, tendons, etc.). In turn, the environment (the site of injury) becomes healthier, and healing occurs.
Regenerative therapy specialist
Both PRP and stem cell therapies are relatively new, so it’s critical to know that your healthcare providers are experts at these forms of medicine. At Flexogenix, regenerative therapy is one of our primary points of focus, and we customize every program specifically for you.
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