Myths and Facts About PRP Therapy

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has grown in popularity over the last few years, thanks to its ability to rapidly heal sports injuries. This minimally-invasive treatment uses your own blood to help you heal quickly. Even celebrity athletes like Tiger Woods and Rafael Nadal, have used PRP therapy to help get them back on the playing field. 

You’ve probably heard a lot about PRP therapy. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell fact from fiction. Don't worry, our team at Mountain Spine & Pain Physicians are here to help you learn the truth.

FACT: PRP therapy uses blood with almost 10 times more growth factors

Your blood contains plasma, which is a liquid that carries cells and proteins through your body. Turns out, your blood is also made up of tiny solids. These solids are better known as platelets, red cells, and white cells. Platelets help your body form blood clots. They also consist of proteins called “growth factors” which play a vital role in healing injuries.

Platelet-rich plasma uses blood with five to 10 times more growth factors than what’s found in normal blood. Brian J. Fuller, MD, at Mountain Spine & Pain Physicians, begins PRP therapy by first drawing blood from a patient’s arm. Dr. Fuller then separates the platelets from the other blood cells and combines the platelet-rich concentrate with a normal blood sample. Once the sample is ready, Dr. Fuller injects the PRP into the injured tissue using guided imagery.

MYTH: PRP is a risky procedure

Although the name might sound scary, PRP therapy is a safe, minimally-invasive and low-risk procedure. PRP only uses blood that is entirely your own, so your body won't reject the PRP therapy or react poorly. 

Most PRP therapies are completed in one to two hours and most patients can resume their normal activities following the procedure. There are only minimal side effects associated with PRP, like dizziness and mild nausea.

FACT: PRP has been used since the 1970s

PRP may have gained popularity in recent years, but doctors have used the therapy since the 1970s. PRP is a term created by hematologists, or blood specialists, who used platelet-rich plasma to first treat patients with thrombocytopenia. Since then, the therapy has grown to help patients with a wide variety of musculoskeletal disorders and sports injuries.

Even though PRP dates back to over forty years ago, you might have heard skeptics claim PRP therapy is unproven. PRP therapy has become popular because of its scientific evidence and patient testimonials. In one study, PRP injections helped minimize osteoarthritis knee pain and in another, the treatment helped reduce the symptoms of a knee injury called chronic patellar tendinopathy.

Is PRP right for you?

Many factors can help decide whether PRP is the right therapy for you. Patients of all ages have found great relief from chronic pain or a severe sports injury as a result of PRP.

If you’re tired of living in pain or have tried physical therapy with no improvement, you may be a good candidate for PRP. Call us at 303-355-3700 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Fuller today.

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