Summer is here, and for plenty of Texans, that means more time enjoying the great outdoors. But unfortunately, it also means more chances to get injured, especially if you spent most of the winter in a less active state.
With offices in Houston and Sugar Land, Texas, J. Michael Bennett, MD, PA, helps patients recover from muscle injuries using advanced treatments and innovative techniques, like PRP therapy. If you’re dealing with a soft tissue injury, here’s what you should know about PRP therapy.
How PRP works
PRP is an abbreviation for platelet-rich plasma, a healing product derived from your own blood. Platelets are blood components that contain tiny proteins called growth factors. These proteins play essential roles in tissue healing and recovery.
Once injected into the site of an injury, PRP’s growth factors go to work repairing damaged tissues, recruiting stem cells, and other cells essential for new tissue growth. PRP also supports the development of new blood vessels to improve circulation in and around the injury site, another mechanism that supports rapid healing.
PRP is appropriate for most patients because it doesn’t rely on drugs or surgery, both of which pose their risks. Instead, it taps into your body’s natural healing cascade to stimulate healing and recovery naturally.
Your PRP treatment: What to expect
Because PRP is made from your own blood, treatment begins with a blood draw to extract a sample of your blood. The sample is placed in a special device called a centrifuge to separate the platelets and plasma from the rest of your blood. Separation concentrates the platelets, magnifying their benefits.
After preparing the PRP, Dr. Bennett injects it into the injury site, sometimes using a mild anesthetic to keep you comfortable. You’ll probably have some soreness and mild swelling in the area for a while afterward, similar to what you’d have with any injections. You can apply some ice to the area to reduce swelling if needed.
Although PRP goes to work triggering healing responses immediately after injection, it takes some time to notice the results. Most patients find they experience the benefits of their injections in a few weeks, once the growth factors have had a chance to heal and restore the damaged tissues. Bonus: PRP injections can be repeated if needed for more complex injuries.
Muscle injuries aren’t the only orthopedic issue treated with PRP. It can also be a good choice for people with:
- Tendon injuries, including golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow
- Arthritis and other cartilage injuries
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Jumper’s knee
- Sprained or strained ligaments
PRP therapy can be used alone, but it’s often used with other treatments, like physical therapy. It can also be administered right after surgery to jump-start the healing process.
Learn more about PRP therapy
Don’t let an injury sideline you this summer. To learn how PRP can help you get back to the activities you love, book an appointment online or over the phone with Dr. Bennett today.