The Revolutionary Way PRP Treatments Are Getting Athletes Back in the Game
From athletes embracing vegan lifestyles to those who tout the benefits of yoga and meditation, the field of sports has certainly entered into a new and more enlightened era. And part of this enlightenment is the way athletes are having their injuries treated. Not only do athletes obviously seek a full recovery due to this often being their livelihood, but they want to be healed as quickly as possible. One of the revolutionary ways that many athletes are getting back in the game as themselves, version 2.0, is with PRP Treatment.
First of All, What are PRP Treatments?
PRP therapy – or platelet-rich plasma therapy – is a regenerative treatment that uses your body to your advantage. It’s a regenerative treatment that uses your cells to foster a faster recovery process. Again, this is crucial for athletes. Your blood is drawn and then centrifuged in order to separate it into its various components. Platelets and growth factors are then injected directly into the injury site through a process called autologous blood therapy.
How Does PRP Work?
The blood that flows through your body is naturally filled platelets, bioactive proteins, and a variety of chemical factors. Platelets are blood cells that form clots in the presence of damaged tissue – such as you’d see in an injury – in order to stop the bleeding. The injected PRP solution has 5-10 times the amount of platelets and growth factors as you’d see in normal blood, which is what stimulates the healing process in your body.
PRP Treatment Benefits for Sports Injuries
There are many benefits to using PRP treatments for sports injuries, and some of them are as follows:
- It speeds along the healing process, getting you back to your sport of choice faster than many other treatments (surgery requires a lot of rest and recovery)
- It helps ligaments, tendons, and muscle healing
- The noninvasive nature of the treatment equates to a significantly reduced risk for complications such as those you might experience with surgery
- There is no risk for allergic reactions, as your own cells are being injected
- There is no downtime after treatment, thus maximizing your time even further
- It’s a versatile treatment, which means there are benefits to using PRP therapy to speed the healing of just about any injury
- Many patients report feeling immediate relief after the first PRP injection, although some people do need follow-up injections over the coming weeks or months
The Use of PRP Treatments on Plantar Fasciitis
While PRP treatments are effective on a number of injuries – including but not limited to achilles tendinopathy, UCL (Ulnar Collateral Ligament) tears, and hamstring injuries – plantar fasciitis is one of the most common injuries treated effectively with PRP.
Commonly experienced by runners, plantar fasciitis is a chronic condition that results in severe heel pain and, if left untreated, can progress to bone spurs that necessitate surgery. It’s also resistant to many forms of treatment, which is why PRP therapy has become such a life-saver when it comes to runners who need to get back to their sport. And while cortisone injections have been known to help temporarily, they do not heal the injury. In fact, what many in the field have begun to notice is that multiple cortisone injections can cause calcaneal fat pad atrophy, which can actually increase heel pain. Unlike with cortisone shots, PRP injections begin the healing process on the band of tissue known as the plantar fascia. Most patients are able to fully restore the function to this area with PRP treatments.
If you’re an athlete that’s been sidelined due to an injury, call Dr. Nik today to use PRP treatments to get back to your sport as quickly as possible.