By Philomena Marcus, CNP
Platelet rich plasma (PRP), therapy was first introduced in the 1970’s and has been used in many medical specialties, including orthopedic surgery, plastic surgery, sports medicine, wound care, and pain management, since the 1990’s. PRP therapy involves injection of concentrated platelets, into the area in need of regeneration.
PRP has been used for numerous conditions. In interventional pain management, it is commonly used for acute and chronic conditions such as tendinosis, muscle strain, muscle fibrosis, ligamentous injury, arthritis, arthrofibrosis, articular cartilage defects, meniscal injury, and chronic synovitis or joint inflammation.
The initial popularity of PRP grew from its promise as a safe and natural alternative to surgery. PRP advocates promoted the procedure as an organically based therapy which enables healing through the use of one’s own natural growth factors.
In recent years, scientific research and technology has provided a new perspective on platelets. Studies suggest platelets contain an abundance of growth factors and cytokines which can affect inflammation, postoperative blood loss, infection, osteogenesis, wound, muscle tear and soft tissue healing. Research now shows platelets also release many bioactive proteins responsible for attracting macrophages, mesenchymal stem cells and osteoblasts – not only to promote removal of degenerated and necrotic tissue, but also to enhance tissue regeneration and healing.
The PRP concentrate is made from the patient’s own blood. After the blood goes through a process, it will separate into the serum or top coat. The platelets and white blood cells are the middle layer, and the red blood cells are at the bottom layer.
There are literally thousands of studies on the safety and efficacy of (PRP) and its use in a variety of medical treatments with no reported side effects. PRP has shown to be a break-through in the stimulation and acceleration of bone and soft tissue healing.
Some of the conditions PRP is used are:
Pain relief with healing and regeneration of many areas, tissues, joints, muscles, ligaments, to the specific area
- Hair Regeneration
- Cosmetics Surgery
- Wound Healing
- Female and Male sexual problems and function
- Urinary Incontinence
PRP is one type of regenerative therapy. Biological Allograft (BA) is another.
Biological Allograft is a tissue product taken from several sources within the umbilical cord. This mixture is rich in growth factors, cytokines, platelets, collagen, exosomes and many other wonderful signals which can stimulate cells into action. Our bodies are still rich in these no matter our age. The BA simply adds a higher concentration than our bodies are producing.
Stem cells are special cells which are capable of two key functions. A). Self-renewal, creating cells of the same type (clones); B). Asymmetric division, creating a different division, creating a different cell type. Since these cells are baby cells, they are not yet committed to any specific area and will do what the body is in need of repair. The truth is, you are NOT receiving an injection of someone else’s “stem cells”. You are receiving an injection of components that will send messages to your own dormant stem cells to increase their activity levels, increasing the healing activity of your own body.
What does the allograft do? Think of the capabilities of fertilizer to help seeds sprout and grow; the allograft increases signals which are transmitted to your own various cells (including your own stem cells) through a process known as cellular communication.
These products send out a call to action to your body’s dormant stem cells to wake up and get moving! Once your body receives its marching orders, your own natural repair and regenerative systems begin the healing process. The goal of BA is to speed up those natural processes.