If you’re considering PRP, prolotherapy, or stem cell treatment, chances are, you have many questions. You’ve come to the right place! While of course, you’ll have questions related to your specific injury and course of treatment, we find that many have similar questions.
WHAT ARE PRP INJECTIONS?
Using your own blood, we can stimulate the healing that is natural to your body. First, we’ll draw some of your blood, then we’ll spin it in a centrifuge to extract the platelet-rich plasma. We’ll then inject that solution directly at the site of your injury. Once injected, the platelets will activate and release growth factors that cause your body to repair and heal itself. Usually, you can expect results in only 1-3 injections.
HOW DOES PRP WORK?
When the PRP is injected the platelets activate and unleash growth factors. These growth factors cause a regenerative process around the area of the injury, signaling the body’s healing processes. The affected tendons and muscles are shown to be more robust and durable.
ARE THE INJECTIONS SAFE?
Yes, very. There are no foreign substances being injected into your body. No drugs. Nothing manufactured or processed. However, all medical procedures carry risks – and that includes PRP. The only possible complications are those of needle insertion, and they include bleeding, bruising, infection, and soreness.
Many people are wary about PRP simply because it’s so new. The entire arena of regenerative medicine is new. But it is also an extremely fast-growing field in medicine. There have been many publications in national and international journals that have proven over and over the safety and efficacy of these procedures (We have a long and ever-growing list if you’re interested). This is the future of medicine, and more treatments like this will continue to come around and gain traction – watch for them.
WHAT CONDITIONS CAN BE TREATED WITH PRP?
PRP can be used to treat conditions from head to toe. Below is a short list of some conditions that are treated well using PRP:
- Spine issues (neck, lower back, and mid-back) such as arthritis and disc problems
- Muscle strains and tears
- Acute and Chronic tendinopathies
- Tennis elbow
- Achilles tendon
- Patellar tendon
- Rotator cuff
- Ligament injuries
- Ankle sprains
- Elbow (little league elbow)
- Knee (MCL, LCL, PCL, ACL)
- Spine, shoulder, knee, and hip pain, even if you are “in need of surgery”
WHY USE PRP INJECTIONS TO TREAT THESE INJURIES?
It’s natural, safe, and helps the body to heal on its own! Here are just a few points to answer ‘why PRP?’:
- It’s medicine specific to YOU because YOUR body makes it!!!
- It can help you avoid surgery.
- It’s minimally invasive.
- It’s easy and safe.
- It offers a fast recovery time and quicker / deeper healing than surgery.
- It’s less painful than surgery.
- It’s less expensive than surgery.
- It’s more effective than surgery because it can help to heal – surgery does not heal.
- You can always turn to surgery later if it doesn’t work, but you cannot undo surgery.
IS THIS SIMPLY A DIFFERENT VERSION OF A CORTISONE SHOT?
No! Cortisone is a drug that is very effective at killing 3 things: pain, inflammation, and tissue. As a short-term solution it can be very good but long-term it is detrimental and will lead to surgery. Pretty good business model for it to be given by orthopedic providers don’t ya think? Cortisone is a way of managing pain by masking it, not healing it.
In head to head studies cortisone is not superior to PRP or ozone and often falls on the losing side. Due to the increased risks and expense of cortisone tie (when there is one) goes to PRP and ozone.
HOW DOES COMBINING THIS TREATMENT WITH OZONE IMPROVE THE OVERALL RESULTS?
Rather than simply being complimentary; these two are synergistic! The synergistic effect: the combined effect is greater than if you added the “things” on their own. In this case, 1+1 is greater than 2. So things will tend to get better, faster, and last longer with fewer treatments!
One prominent provider of ozone told me that he had a friend that did a lot of PRP. They swapped information with each other and dabbled in each method. When they met up again they both declared that adding ozone to PRP (or PRPR to ozone) makes things twice as good in half the time.
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER MY TREATMENT? CAN I RESUME NORMAL ACTIVITIES?
While we give lots of information on this on our What To Know Before page, we can give you a quick summary here:
- Drink plenty of fluids after the treatment.
- While we advocate that motion is lotion you should avoid overexerting yourself.
- Stay away from NSAIDs.
- Continue your treatment plan and if recommended, partake in a structured rehabilitation program.
WHY HAVEN’T I HEARD OF PRP BEFORE?
Because you don’t scour research articles like we do! This treatment is extremely new – real progress has only been made in the last decade or so. New techniques, protocols, and trials are ongoing every day. In some ways it’s like the Wild West. Because this treatment is so cutting edge, it’s not even school curriculum . . . yet. Did you know that the latest textbooks contain information that is generally 10 years old?
You can help us to spread the news!
WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF PRP?
We hope to see a day where insurance reimbursements are based on value. Value = results / time x cost. Since insurance won’t cover these treatments they seem very expensive but compared to the alternatives it is extremely cost-effective. More and more providers are picking up on the success of PRP and ozone. While we wait we’ll continue to offer exceptional value at an affordable rate.