Sports injuries often involve strains or tears to ligaments, joints, and tendons. Ligaments and tendons are very slow to heal because of the materials they’re made of. The body tries its best to replace damaged or lost material, but the process can be slow because it takes a lot of time and a lot of nutrients and inorganic material buildup to completely repair the damage. Blood platelets can help speed up this process, and this is the idea behind platelet-rich plasma therapy, or PRP injections, in Phoenix, Arizona.
This treatment method gained a lot of exposure a decade ago when several prominent sports stars made public their speedy recovery from injury after having undergone PRP therapy. At first, these announcements were taken with a grain of salt, but the increasing number of satisfied patients who have received PRP injections to help accelerate the healing of sports-related injuries has verified the original claims by those sports stars.
How Blood Helps Heal Injuries
Obviously, blood platelets are handy to have around in the first place because they help clot the blood and stop bleeding after an injury has occurred. This is just the beginning of their magic, however. The platelets contain special growth factors, including important proteins, and these act as signaling agents when it’s time for new tissue to be created.
Blood rushes to an injury site, and that’s why the area of concern turns red and swells. The problem is, there are only so many platelets per a given volume of blood. If the platelet count is significantly increased, the healing process will accelerate.
We perform PRP injections by first drawing some blood from the patient. We separate the plasma and platelets from the red cells by spinning the blood in a specially-designed centrifuge. After activating the platelets, we then inject the PRP mix into the tissues where damage has occurred. This could be a muscle, a tendon or other ligament that’s made up of both organic and inorganic material, or even a fluid-filled bone joint.
This is not a mix of strange chemicals, and the blood belongs to the patient, so there’s no chance of a negative reaction or rejection. The healing process quickens because the body responds to this very high concentration of platelets.
To learn more about PRP injections for sports injuries in the Phoenix, Arizona area, set up a consultation at Phoenix Regenerative Medicine, conveniently located in Phoenix, AZ. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment!