Medical treatments continue to evolve to give patients a better chance of recovery or feeling better while battling an illness. One such treatment is platelet-rich plasma therapy or PRP therapy. This treatment injects a patient's own concentrated platelet for faster healing. To determine if PRP therapy is right for you, it important to understand some facts about this option.

What Do PRP Injections Treat?

These injections accelerate the healing of injured joints, tendons, and ligaments. The therapy uses the patient's own healing system to treat and improve musculoskeletal problems.

Research shows that PRP injections can regenerate cartilage in the knee, so it has promise as an effective treatment in a patient with osteoarthritis. This treatment also assists in healing after the reconstruction of knee ligaments.

PRP injections are also used to treat other conditions, such as:

  • Muscle Injuries
  • Tendinitis
  • Arthritis pain
  • Joint injuries
  • Alopecia

Dermatologists also use PRP injections for the face to stimulate collagen production, also known as a vampire facial.

What Are The Side Effects Of PRP?

Most treatments do have side effects, and PRP injections are no exception. There are certain steps to take as you heal to minimize these effects as well.

Some possible side effects of PRP Injections include:

  • Pain in the injured area
  • Allergic reaction
  • Blood clot
  • Infection
  • Skin discoloration

There are also some guidelines to follow to help patients healing go smoothly.

  • Don't apply ice or heat to the injection site for 3 days
  • Don't sit in a sauna or take a hot bath for a few days
  • Don't consume alcoholic beverages for at least a week after injections.

How Long Do PRP Injections Last?

While these injects have proven successful for certain illnesses and other uses, the effects are not permanent. The doctor can decide how often a patient requires more injections. In most cases, the patient needs injections once a year.

How Does PRP Differ From Stem Cell Therapy?

Stem cell therapy is different from PRP. Unlike PRP that uses the patient's own cells, stem cell therapy uses cells from other sources. Stem cell therapy uses sources like bone marrow and cord blood from umbilical cords.

Certain patients are not good candidates for PRP. This includes patients with active infections, metastatic diseases, and certain skin diseases.  

If you believe you are a candidate for PRP injections, you and your doctor can discuss your treatment options based on your current health. Together, you can find the best course of treatment. For more information about PRP injections, talk to a local physician.