Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is a concentrate of your own blood that contains a high number of platelets.
Platelets are cells that promote the clotting and healing process. The body has natural healing powers and PRP treatments harness and enhance some of those powers found in the platelet cells of the blood. PRP has proved effective for treating osteoarthritis, muscle and tendon injuries and vaginal pain, dryness and urinary control.
PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma. This is a relatively new approach to helping the body heal and to slow down degeneration. The body has natural healing powers and PRP treatments harness and enhance some of those powers found in the platelet cells of the blood. These cells have many different healing factors in tiny granules which are released and multiplied during the preparation of the PRP treatment. This “super healing” plasma, which has been taken from the patient being treated, is then injected into the area requiring care. There are no foreign chemicals or additives during this process; we simply use the enhanced natural healing powers of the patient’s own body. The advantage of this is that there are no allergic or immune reactions ever documented to PRP treatments and the risk of infection is extremely low (we have yet to see one in over 1000 patients).
PRP was initially used by cardiac surgeons during operations, to improve healing. It was then adopted by both dentists who used it to prevent dry socket following extractions and vets who started to use it to treat joint problems in animals – particularly racehorses. It was then it became popular with orthopaedic and sports doctors. Since the early 2000s, PRP has been used for many sportsmen, including large numbers of soccer players in the UK and AFL players in Australia. Famously Rafael Nadal, the tennis player, Kobe Bryant, the NBA basketball player and Tiger Woods the golfer, have all had successful PRP treatments for their knee injuries or following knee surgery. Most recently. PRP has been widely accepted and used by the dermatology and anti-ageing field to reduce facial signs of ageing and improve both the appearance and the flexibility of scars.
What is in PRP
The plasma extracted from your blood is in many ways unique to you and that is its advantage. You will not react to your own plasma and furthermore, you can improve its quality by being well hydrated, eating healthy food and avoiding smoking, junk food and alcohol – especially for the few days before the treatment. However, consistently we find growth factors from granules inside the platelet cells of the blood which have been released by the action of the centrifuge as it spins the blood at high speed. This spin not only releases the growth factors but causes them to multiply and concentrate. Some of these growth factors are PDGF-AB, TGR-b1, PDAF, VEGF, EGP, IGF, IL, and fibronectin. They are responsible for the growth of many different body tissues and blood vessels. This plasma treatment has been approved by the International Olympic Committee and the World Doping Agency as being safe for sports people and allowable for elite athletes. This is not blood doping.
Uses for PRP
PRP is now used in all of the fields mentioned above and its ongoing uses are still being explored. It is the simplest way to access the regenerative powers of your body and direct them to the area of need. PRP is used at Airlie Women’s Clinic to treat arthritis, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, bursitis, muscle tears, back and neck pain, lichen sclerosis, vaginal atrophy, painful or slow healing scars and some forms of urinary incontinence. We have also found PRP helpful in treating migraine associated with neck muscle spasm.
- Osteoarthritis treatments
- Muscle Injuries and Tendonitis
- Vaginal pain,dryness and urinary control