Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
Professional athletes’ success with PRP therapy has generated widespread attention. Naturopathic Physicians Group has been using PRP since 2004.
PRP is effective for numerous orthopedic conditions including arthritis, bone spurs, tendonitis, muscle spasms, popping or creaking joints, bursitis, and torn ligaments and cartilage. PRP is especially effective for advanced degeneration, and joints that resist healing, such as osteoarthritic hips, knees and shoulders. Ankle and foot problems, including sprains, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis, respond well to PRP.
Ligaments, cartilage, tendons and joint capsules have limited circulation, which impairs their ability to heal naturally. (Platelets are a normal response to trauma, so they are not activated by chronic pain conditions.)
PRP therapy delivers concentrated platelets and proteins (growth factors) directly into pain sites (ligaments and other injured joint tissue). The platelets attach to injured collagen fibers and release their healing growth factors. These molecules generate a chemical signal that attracts stem cells, which develop into the different types of cells (tendon, ligament and/or cartilage) needed to repair the injury and create healthy new joint tissue.
The injected platelets continue to secrete additional growth factors for three to five days. This launches a healing process that continues over 4-8 weeks.
To apply PRP therapy, we begin with a small sample of your blood that is centrifuged to concentrate the platelets, creating the PRP. Your doctor will discuss a treatment plan that may combine the cost-effectiveness of prolotherapy with the increased effectiveness of PRP to optimize your healing in severe joint disease.