About Platelet-Rich Plasma

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been used to treat muscle injuries as well as joint, tendon, and ligament injuries. Platelets and plasma are part of the blood, and platelets have a special role in healing injuries. PRP, which contains white blood cells and growth factors, is retrieved from a person’s own blood and then injected into the affected area.

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The healing phases

After an injury to the muscle, healing time is often slow. In the initial stage of injury, inflammation, and hematoma take place. In the next phase, also known as the regenerative phase, new muscles are formed. By the second week, remodeling and fibrosis happen, which is a pathological wound-healing process. One way to speed up the healing process is by using PRP therapy.

The usual treatment

A muscle injury is usually treated conservatively. The RICE approach can be used right after an injury and includes rest, ice application, compression, and elevating the affected limb. Over-the-counter medications can also help with inflammation and pain. If needed, the healthcare provider may recommend a brace or splint. Very rarely, a muscle injury will require surgery.

The PRP process

PRP is a new approach that uses a person’s own blood to treat injuries. This approach has been gaining popularity in recent years. After blood is drawn from the patient, the platelets are separated from the rest of the contents. The step of separating and concentrating platelets is done in a centrifuge device. The concentrated platelet-rich plasma is then injected into the affected site.

Effectiveness of plasma

Although current treatments provide relief to muscle injuries, researchers have specifically been studying the use of PRP for muscle injuries. Studies have concluded that PRP injections for muscle injuries are effective. PRP treatment tends to hasten the healing process and allows people to return to sports sooner. Due to the natural growth factors, PRP can also lessen the pain and swelling much faster.

PRP and rehabilitation

Although PRP is effective in healing muscle injuries, combining plasma treatment with other modes of treatment may be helpful. One research study showed that PRP treatment combined with a hamstring rehabilitation program resulted in positive outcomes for the participants. The combined treatment was effective on the duration of return to play.

The after-effects

Since PRP is derived from a person’s blood, the autologous cells do not pose a risk of allergy or immune reaction. Like any other medical treatment, PRP therapy does have some side effects. These risks include soreness, increased pain, and bruising at the site. Some lesser-known risks are infection, bleeding, and damage to nearby nerves and tissues.

Response to treatment

PRP can help treat various conditions but may not be effective for every patient. The determination about whether PRP should be used is based on the severity of the injury, the patient’s overall health, and the area requiring treatment. For people who choose this approach to treat muscle injury, the benefits can be fantastic. Speak to a doctor if contemplating PRP for muscle injury.

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