Every drop of blood in your body has a certain plasma content contained within. The platelets making up the plasma content in your blood are known as platelet-rich plasma (PRP). It’s generally understood that the platelets in plasma are necessary for allowing our blood to clot, but with certain clinical methods, their clotting ability can be harnessed into a reliable form of medical intervention. The process of using PRP as a healing resource is referred to as platelet rich plasma therapy.
To fully understand the merit of platelet-rich plasma rehabilitation, there needs to be a firm grasp on the role of human tendons. Just about every bit of muscle tissue in your body is linked to connective tissue made up of collagen. In addition to your muscle tissue, collagen also connects to your bones.
The collagen content in our tendons serves as the medium through which force gets transferred to facilitate all of the movement that we’re capable of. Without tendons, we’d all be about as mobile as scarecrows.
We need healthy tendons for even the slightest kinds of motion, and so naturally, taking significant damage to your tendons makes athletic activity an incredibly difficult thing to do.
When your tendons have been compromised to the point of failure, what’s likely happened is that they’ve become inflamed. The formal name for this inflammatory condition is tendonitis. If you compare your tendons to the rubber on tires, then tendonitis is like the rubber on tires being stripped off and forcing the rims to directly scrape the pavement.
An important thing to note is that not all tendon injuries are directly related to an issue with inflammation. While tendonitis itself is indeed an inflammatory condition, there are certain severe tendon problems that might actually persist without any inflammatory cells being involved in the process. When a person is suffering a tendon condition in which there are no inflammatory cells involved in creating discomfort, then the proper term to use is tendinopathy.
It is estimated that just about over 100 million annual visits to physicians’ offices are due to injuries that compromise people’s tendons. Not only are the annual visits for tendon injuries already quite high, but there also predictions that the number is prone to keep on climbing in the future.
For people who are suffering through tendinopathy, the use of PRP treatment to bring vitality back into their connective tissue can be invaluable. The reason that platelet rich rehabilitation is often so vital for those with tendon issues is due to the fact that, under normal conditions, the tendons generally receive a relatively insubstantial blood supply.
Platelet rich plasma rehabilitation is basically a way for medical care provider to intravenously supplement the tendons with the kind of blood that normally wouldn’t be provided to them. Once the platelets have been injected into the site of tendon damage, the healing process begins.
At the very start of PRP therapy, a small blood sample must be drawn from the patient. Depending on the scale of the area affected by tendinopathy, the amount of blood drawn from the sample may vary accordingly. With a centrifuge, the blood is then essentially separated into three different parts:
The essential goal of PRP therapy is to isolate the PRP layer so that it can be exclusively used for the procedure. After all of the layers have been separated, the PRP layer is taken and injected into the area where the tendons have been compromised.
On occasion, the injection process might be reserved for the radiologist physician. Because a radiologist physician has the ability to gain insight through ultrasound technology, they may be able to more accurately determine the most optimal site for the injection point.
Following the conclusion of the on-sight injection, the patient is normally advised of a few things to ensure that the recovery process can be undergone with minimal complications. For starters, it’s generally advised that the patient make a point not to subject the affected area to any kind of unnecessary stress or pressure for about two or three weeks. While keeping the affected area secure from any unnecessary strain, the patient will also be advised to return to the physician’s office for a follow up after about a month has passed.
While the patient is advised not to put their recovering tendons under the stress of any unnecessary activity, there are still often control exercises suggested to be done for strengthening the extremity in the early phases.
When the treatment reaches its final phases, the patient is given the green light to work on restoring a slightly more dynamic range of control that’s more in-line with what they might be used to during an athletic competition.
No matter what specific kind of athletic competition the person who has undergone the PRP treatment might normally be involved in, the progression of the treatment is often held up to a time frame-based standard. The time frames are based on factors of age, injury severity, any other possible injuries, normal activity level, and their general state of health.
In the best case scenario, the platelet rich plasma therapy model of treatment used for tendinopathy could potentially be used to remedy other types of serious collagen injuries as well. Any condition related to cartilage deficiency or cartilage being compromised, which is often the case with knee injuries or osteoarthritis, can be improved by initiating inflammatory action.
No matter what the affected area is, platelet rich plasma therapy can help to gradually guide patients back into restoring full functionality with a steady restoration of collagen tissue.