How Can a Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment Relieve Your Bodily Pain Using Your Own Blood?
We’ve all heard of the ancient medical practice of bloodletting, or intentional bleeding, as a mostly unsuccessful attempt to treat illnesses within the body. While modern western medicine has thankfully left this approach in the history books, it might surprise you to know that these early pseudo-doctors were in fact on to something. Well, they at least had half of the equation right. What they failed to realize is that reinserting a patient’s blood after removing it through a process known as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments can actually alleviate an astounding number of ailments. And PRP treatment for pain relief is one of the latest revelations in the research behind this phenomenal procedure.
PRP injections took the form of non-surgical cosmetic procedures in the last few years through popular treatments known as the vampire facial and vampire breast lift. The aims of these procedures are to provide alternatives to surgery through natural, non-synthetic injections. While the vampire facial has led to some very positive outcomes, the use of PRP as a non-surgical breast lift is far less impressive. Still, doctors have continued to seek new and varying ways to utilize PRP. The recent results of PRP treatments for pain relief are very promising to say the least.
To be sure, platelet rich plasma treatments have been utilized as an aid for wound healing for several years now. It’s just that recent developments within the cosmetic enhancement industry have led to more plastic surgery centers and MedSpas taking advantage of this “miracle cure”. Whereas before, PRP treatments focused primarily on specific athletic-type injuries, current practices have adopted a more liberal and catch-all approach to PRP for pain management.
Who Uses PRP for Pain Now? Is it Right for You?
The earliest and most prominent adopters of PRP for pain relief have been professional athletes and those involved in high-performance activities, including the likes of tennis star Rafael Nadal and golf legend Tiger Woods. This makes sense, considering the treatment appears to be somewhat intensive or extreme at first glance. Highly optimized physical performers are typically the first to learn of and experiment with new scientific approaches to physiological enhancements. However, what most non-athletic people misunderstand is that PRP procedures are actually incredibly simple and are not confined to the realm of the professional. Every day women and men can easily undergo PRP treatments for nearly all types of physical ailments.
What Does a Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment Actually Entail?
What’s in Our Blood? Platelets, PDGF, and More…
Let’s take a quick look at the general composition of our blood. Blood consists of a combination of plasma and cells. The solid blood cells are suspended within the plasma, which is the liquid form that we see from a non-microscopic viewpoint. Platelets are a type of blood cell that are responsible for general growth, hemostasis, and clotting. One of the general growth factors that platelets are involved in producing is predictably known as platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF).
PDGF is an agent within our blood which scientists have discovered actively stimulates the creation and upkeep of our extracellular matrix. So what does that mean? Well basically, the extracellular matrix is the infrastructure that holds together our cellular networks, or rather, the scaffolding that ensures our cells maintain collective structure and support. PDGF actively grows and maintains this special cellular scaffolding, which then repairs and regenerates connective tissue.
What Happens in a PRP Treatment?
A PRP treatment begins with the extraction of blood from a patient. The blood is then kept in a tube, sterilized, and spun within a centrifuge-type device. During this process, the platelets are effectively corralled within a portion of the plasma. That Plasma Rich portion is then separated from the rest of the plasma and is reinserted into the patients problem areas. While this all might sound fairly complicated, it’s mostly just a matter of drawing blood, spinning it, and then injecting it back into the body. It’s actually almost too simple to be believable, but to most people’s amazement, it truly works.
How Does a Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment for Pain Relief Work?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections have shown to dramatically improve the pain related to musculoskeletal disorders. These are the types of ailments that relate to joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and smaller limbs – i.e. arthritis, sprains or tears, and tendonitis to name a few. A platelet rich plasma treatment works by stimulating the growth factors (such as PDGF) within the afflicted areas. The highly concentrated solution of platelets essentially overwhelms the area with growth factors. This regenerates any damaged connective tissue and improves the surrounding extracellular matrix mentioned above.
PRP as an Effective Alternative to Pain Killers and Prescription Drugs
PRP treatments are an all-natural remedy for physical pain of practically any kind. This treatment is a godsend for any potential patient seeking alternatives to dangerous, unhealthy, and addictive prescription pain killers. With the recent epidemic of opiate addiction spanning the U.S., effective alternatives to pain relief such as PRP are few and far between. Fortunately, platelet rich plasma treatments are easy, harmless, and offer astoundingly potent pain relief.
Will a Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment Work For All Types of Bodily Pain?
A Platelet Rich Plasma treatment provides relief to nearly any part of the body that is experiencing pain due to damaged or injured musculoskeletal elements. This is practically everywhere that chronic or disease related physical pain exists. Due to the ubiquity of natural platelet-induced growth factors throughout the body, PRP is a viable non-surgical injectable treatment for practically any area that ails you.
Are PRP Injections Painful?
A platelet rich plasma treatment hurts only as much as a typical blood drawing or vaccination. The amount of discomfort felt is dependent on the individual patient and the sensitivity of the treatment area. It’s safe to say that the PRP injections are virtually painless, and there is only relief from preexisting pain after the treatment is over.
Downtime or Recovery Time Involved?
There is virtually no recovery or downtime involved with a PRP treatment for pain. As long as there are no unusual side effects (which is extremely unlikely considering the process only utilizes the patient’s own blood), then there will be no downtime whatsoever. However, the preexisting condition that is being treated with PRP will still need to be monitored and cared for in order to ensure optimal results.
How Long Do the Results From PRP Treatments Take?
A patient can start to feel relief from their musculoskeletal related pain almost immediately after receiving their PRP injection. The actual boost in growth factors that are spurred from the platelet rich plasma won’t begin to take full effect until 4-6 weeks after the initial treatment. Yet, within the interim period, many patients experience subtle and evolving relief from their musculoskeletal discomfort. During this time, proper care and attention must be paid to the treatment area in order to minimize any recurring damage to the surrounding tissue.
Can I Combine PRP Treatments With Other Procedures?
Absolutely! This is one of the reasons why the CosmetiCare team is so excited about PRP treatments for pain. As a non-surgical procedure, a Platelet Rich Plasma treatment can be paired with nearly any other type of cosmetic enhancement. It’s the perfect addition to your treatment plan and requires practically no additional preparations. In fact, the treatment is so minimally invasive and easy to undergo that you can use it as a preemptive means for stopping musculoskeletal pain before it occurs.
Getting a Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment at CosmetiCare
It’s important to understand that while PRP is conceptually rather simple, a successful outcome for the actual procedure requires advanced knowledge of platelet quantities, injection sites, and the specific techniques used for these types of injections. Even if your general practitioner understands the basics of PRP treatments, proper care and consideration for PRP necessitates an advanced level of experience and expertise in this realm of patient care. Fortunately, the board certified surgical experts at CosmetiCare have years of hands-on experience utilizing regenerative medicine techniques.
Dr. Michael Price is our resident PRP expert at CosmetiCare’s Newport Beach offices. As we mentioned above, PRP treatments work extremely well as additions to your existing cosmetic enhancement plans. However, it’s also very common for patients to come in specifically seeking PRP pain relief via Dr. Price. Call 949-386-2773 or click here to learn more about a PRP treatment and to schedule an appointment today!