A strain (tearing of a tendon or muscle) and sprain (twisting or wrenching of a ligament within a joint) are both acute injuries that can benefit from platelet rich plasma therapy. Tendinitis (tendon inflammation arising from rheumatic illness or infection) is a chronic injury that PRP can treat. The vast majority of these injuries are tendon and ligament injuries (TLIs), so PRP is sometimes discussed in those terms.
How Chronic and Acute TLIs Benefit from PRP
People in the United States suffer 16.4 million tendon and ligament injuries annually, making these health issues one of the most prevalent among US residents.
When ligaments or tendons experience damage, they often fail to fully recover their proper biomechanical and biological characteristics because of the development of adhesions or scars. (An adhesion results from injury or inflammation; it is an abnormal fibrous band, internal scar tissue connecting two bodily membranes that are not typically connected.) Damage may recur within the body following recovery because of these structural deviations. Additionally, ligaments and tendons are not speedy in repairing themselves following TLIs – probably because they are less vascularized (containing fewer blood vessels) than other connective tissue. These issues represent a challenge for doctors who want their patients to be able to heal as rapidly as possible.
In the past few years, an increasingly popular treatment is the use of platelet rich plasma therapy. It is being offered at many clinics throughout the United States to treat tendon and ligament injuries. Autologous blood (blood derived from the same person) with elevated levels of growth factors and platelets, in its plasma (liquid part of whole blood) fraction (obtained via blood fractionation), is platelet rich plasma.
Once PRP is activated, it brings a broad set of growth factors to the damaged tissue, such as fibroblastic growth factor (FGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β), insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). The majority of the growth factors aid in the healing of TLIs, so it is assumed when larger volumes of the growth factors are present, you will see faster recovery from these types of injuries.
As the tissues recover, growth factors (whether produced locally or sourced through circulation) help the tendons and ligaments; and the majority of those growth factors are contained in platelet rich plasma. Because that’s the case, PRP therapies are increasingly advised as a way to improve a patient’s ability to recover safely and effectively from a TLI.
This treatment has proven effective in the treatment of both chronic pain conditions (such as tendinitis) and acute injuries (such as sprains or strains) – TLIs and related soft tissue injuries.
At Advanced Wellness & Rehab, our mission is to help you experience a pain-free life again. With platelet rich plasma therapy, we can use stem cell markers and growth factors from your blood to heal your tissue and grow new cells. See our PRP treatment.