Is a PRP Injection Worth It?

Studies have shown that increasing the concentration of growth factors in platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can stimulate or accelerate the healing process. But not all clinical studies support the use of PRP injections. Learn more about the potential benefits and risks.

Is a PRP Injection Worth It?

Studies have shown that increasing the concentration of growth factors in platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can stimulate or accelerate the healing process, shortening the healing time of injuries, decreasing pain, and even encouraging hair growth. However, not all clinical studies support the use of PRP. Some research suggests that PRP injections don't work better than placebo treatment. Even in studies that do provide evidence that PRP works, not all patients benefit.

And while many studies show that PRP therapy is low-risk, at least one study reports that patients' symptoms worsened after PRP treatment. More studies are needed to determine under what conditions PRP can work.So far, research has shown that PRP speeds healing after injury or surgery for certain conditions, such as tendon tears. In addition to helping to heal injured tissue, some studies show that PRP injections reduce pain and increase mobility in people with rotator cuff injuries. PRP injections also seem to reduce hair loss in people with male or female pattern baldness.

However, it's not clear if facial PRP injections relieve visible signs of aging, such as wrinkles and sagging skin.Treatment helps tissues repair, causes new cells to form, and helps reverse tissue damage. It also reduces pain and inflammation, which helps improve mobility and quality of life. Research shows that these results can last for 2 to 5 years. There are no high-quality studies showing positive long-term benefits of PRP injections.PRP is a promising therapy for those suffering from tissue damage or hair loss, but there is still some controversy surrounding this type of treatment.

The idea is that injecting PRP into damaged tissues will stimulate the body to develop new, healthy cells and promote healing. You may have heard of athletes trying sports medicine or advanced therapies, such as PRP injections or stem cell therapy, to treat their injuries.It seems that PRP injections are not as helpful for pain that supposedly comes from damage to soft tissue. PRP therapy is a procedure in which blood is drawn, processed, and then injected into the scalp. You may need to stop taking certain blood-thinning medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, before you get PRP injections.

PRP injections are used to treat tendon tears, tendinitis, muscle injuries, arthritis-related pain, and joint injuries.In this case, preparing for PRP injections would involve following the surgeon's recommendations prior to surgery. Since there are few useful non-surgical alternatives for some conditions where PRP is being implemented—such as osteoarthritis of certain joints—and PRP so far does not appear to pose significant risks in some orthopedic settings, some patients may feel that it is worth the cost and risk.Sometimes PRP is offered as a standalone therapy, while in other cases it is combined with several types of stem cells for injection. My general “meta feeling” right now is that PRP could have some moderate benefit in specific cases but this will depend on how it is prepared, how it is injected, who is manufacturing and injecting it, as well as your training—and for what conditions and in which patients.There are very few high-quality studies that demonstrate any positive benefit of PRP injections for soft tissue problems. Although PRP appears to be effective in treating chronic tendon injuries around the elbow, the medical community needs more scientific evidence before it can determine if PRP therapy is truly effective in other conditions.As a functional movement coach who focuses on muscle balance and proper movement patterns, I'm generally not a big fan of PRP injections.

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