Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a revolutionary treatment that uses injections of a concentration of the patient's own platelets to accelerate healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints. This innovative approach utilizes the body's own healing system to improve musculoskeletal problems. PRP injections are used to treat a wide range of ailments, including tendon tears, tendinitis, muscle injuries, arthritis-related pain, joint injuries, and even hair loss. In addition, some dermatologists offer PRP treatments for the face, often referred to as a “vampire facial”.
The idea behind PRP is that injecting it into damaged tissues will stimulate the body to develop new, healthy cells and promote healing. Studies and research suggest that this is a good standard for how long PRP injections work in the body. However, it is not clear if facial PRP injections relieve visible signs of aging, such as wrinkles and sagging skin. Before getting PRP injections, you may need to stop taking certain blood-thinning medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen.
The effectiveness of a PRP treatment depends on the specific condition for which it is being used. Recent research has shown that certain tendon problems can improve outcomes with PRP injections. In addition, patients who participated in this study reported that their pain levels improved for six months after PRP injections. In general, PRP injections are an attractive option for managing and treating arthritis pain because often the alternative is living with pain or undergoing invasive surgery.
However, very few insurance plans offer reimbursement for PRP injections. Ultimately, every person is different and how a patient's body responds to the first of the PRP injections will be decisive in terms of how the patient will respond to treatments in general and whether or not they will see significant gains.