Perhaps you have heard of Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP. PRP treatments have been used by quite a number of high-profile athletes, from Alex Rodriguez to Kobe Bryant, to treat injuries sustained on the playing field.
In the case of such sports-related injuries, PRP treatments are able to accelerate the healing process, getting these and many other star athletes off the injured lists that much quicker. PRP has been finding its way from the playing fields and offices of sports medicine doctors and orthopedists, into many other forms of treatment.
A new study recently published by the University of Alberta Glen Sather Sports Medicine Clinic, has found that PRP is an effective treatment for people suffering from chronic pain.
The study was aimed at those with chronic shoulder pain that was not caused by any particular injury or trauma, but just the aches and pains of “growing older.”
Lead researcher on the study, Marni Wesner, said, “We studied patients 35 to 60 years old with rotator cuff tendinopathy due to normal aging. For the first time, we were able to not only find reported improvements in pain and mobility, but also in the tissue – the MRI before and after showed structural change and a decrease in the size of tears.”
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Debbie Brown, a retired police officer who was one of the participants in the study, said:
“For the past two years, I have tried everything for my right shoulder. Physio would help for a bit but then the problem would still be there. I tried acupuncture, Kinesio tape, cortisone injections – you name it, I’ve tried it. Once I did the PRP, it really did fix everything!”
What are PRP Treatments?
Platelet Rich Plasma is created using your own blood. Platelets are cells that help blood to clot, and also stimulate healing because they contain long chain proteins known as “growth factors.”
When platelets are naturally introduced to the site of injury via your body’s healing response, they stimulate blood flow and the regeneration of tissue.
PRP is plasma that is “super-charged” with many times the number of these growth factors and platelet cells, than you would find in an ordinary drop of blood.
PRP is made by taking a little bit of your blood. The platelets and those remarkable stem cells and healing factors, are removed using a specialized centrifuge. After the centrifugal process, PRP is created as a concentrated healing solution because it is super-charged with the undifferentiated stem cells and growth factors.
PRP can then be injected anywhere that accelerated healing and improved blood flow could have a positive effect, such as at the site of a wound or injury.
Dr. Wesner’s study is significant in that the participants were older patients. As we get older, our ability to repair tissue worsens. The growth factors in the PRP treatments may have been able to “jump start” that healing ability in the older individuals by creating what she said was “an environment that fosters healing and regeneration of tissue.”
Other PRP Treatments
Treating chronic pain and degenerative joint disease is only one way PRP Therapy is being used to improve quality of life, especially for aging patients. We know that PRP improves blood flow. Since blood flow is essential to collagen production and good skin health, PRP treatments are also being used in aesthetic treatments.
But the “anti-aging” uses of PRP do not stop there. PRP Therapy is also being used to improve sexual wellness in both men and women.
For women, PRP is at the basis of the popular O-shot. The O-shot uses PRP to provide “vaginal rejuvenation.” The PRP in the O-shot, increases blood flow to the vaginal area, and provides women with increased lubrication and an improved ability to achieve orgasm.
For men, PRP is being used as a drug-free, surgery-free cure for erectile dysfunction (ED). PRP is used in the P-shot, and in my own trade-marked male enhancement procedure, the Gains Enhancement®.
In both procedures, PRP increases blood flow the penis, and the growth factors also stimulate the rejuvenation of erectile tissue.