PRP as used in regenerative orthopedics is a non-surgical healing treatment for healing soft tissue. PRP is injected into the affected region to stimulate and enhance healing. PRP is your own blood concentrated so that more platelets (AKA growth factors) that are normally found in your blood are obtained.
PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma. Plasma is the fluid portion of blood which contains cellular components such as red cells, white blood cells and platelets
PRP or PRP Prolotherapy is a treatment for acute or chronic musculoskeletal injury or pain. The main difference between PRP Prolotherapy and dextrose Prolotherapy is the solution being used.
The use of concentrated growth factors is considered by many to be an exciting and new cutting edge therapy that can stimulate tissue repair, and regenerate weakened torn or damaged ligaments, ligaments and joints.
PRP is derived from your own blood. After filtering out the rest of the cells and plasma, a small amount of platelets remain. This highly concentrated amount of platelets — from 3 to 10 times that of normal blood — can be injected into the damaged areas and catalyze the growth of new soft-tissue.
Blood platelets contain potent growth factors necessary to begin tissue repair and regeneration at the injury site. Concentrated platelets contain large reservoirs of growth factors that have the potential to greatly accelerate the normal healing process, naturally.
Most organizations, and the physicians associated with them, that teach Prolotherapy and PRP agree that Prolotherapy should be tried first.
Since Prolotherapy can usually fix at least 80 - 85% of injuries, it is the first best choice. If healing is not attained with Prolotherapy, then PRP would be your next logical choice.
Prolotherapy is a natural non-surgical method of assisting the body to heal injured or weakened joints, ligaments and tendons. With Prolotherapy, the weakened areas are injected with a solution that stimulates the growth of healthy, strong tissues. As the tendons and ligaments grow stronger and vibrant, the pain is alleviated and motion is restored. Whether a joint, ligament or tendon is causing you pain or limited movement, Prolotherapy might be the right choice for you. Prolotherapy can help with arthritis, knee injuries, tendinitis (tennis elbow), hip dysfunction, bulging discs, lumbar or cervical spine instability, bursitis, ACL Tears, rotator cuff injuries and more.
Prolotherapy's modern model was founded in the 1950s by Drs. George Hackett and Gustav Hemwall, but the notion of irritating an injured area to stimulate the body to heal itself goes back to ancient Greece. Prolotherapy helps your body make new cells, which strengthen lax or torn tendons and ligaments (ligaments are the tough tissues which connect bones to bones and tendons are the same kind of tissue which connect muscles to bones).
You might wonder why you still have pain in an injured area or why that area remains weak, even after a healing period of weeks, months or years. The answer lies in the fact that both ligaments and tendons have very poor circulation and it is this lack of blood supply which deprives them of the nutrients they need to heal properly. These weakened areas may have little or no blood flow, but they have lots of nerves. That’s why you may feel a significant amount of pain. When ligaments become relaxed and weak this may lead to increased cartilage degeneration and finally bone-on-bone friction, which may result in arthritis type pain. Additionally, nerves around the soft tissues become stretched and irritated, also producing pain.
The Prolotherapy technique involves the injection of a proliferant (a mild irritant solution – dextrose, phenol, glycerin, etc.) that causes an inflammatory response which stimulates the healing process. A local anesthetic is used so there is minimal discomfort with the injections. This results in a stronger or larger tendon or ligament that can hold body structures in place more effectively. The weakened area heals, and the patient's pain is reduced or eliminated. Prolotherapy is an excellent alternative to cortisone injections, which long-term studies have shown can actually weaken tissue.
Most patients require about 4 to 6 prolotherapy treatments to restore function and relieve pain, but many find improvement after only one session. The treatments are usually given at two to four week intervals.
In addition to chronic (and in some cases acute) back and neck pain, shoulder, knee and other joint pain, tendonitis and bursitis, prolotherapy has been shown to be effective at eliminating the pain of such conditions as sports injuries, tendonitis, arthritis, sciatica, some headaches, degenerated joints, fibromyalgia, and more.
Prolotherapy is a non-surgical treatment heartily endorsed by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, who himself was a prolotherapist. The late diet guru Robert Atkins, M.D., also used "prolo" at his New York clinic and called it a miraculous treatment.