PRP Injections: How Using Patients' Own Plasma Can Help Them Heal

Living with chronic pain takes away from a person's quality of life. Everyday aches and pains mean struggling to do everyday activities.

Chronic pain conditions are common and more common as you age and deal with an aging musculoskeletal system. If taking pain medication is not easing your pain, there are other options, like PRP stem cell therapy and PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injections.

These injections are new in the arsenal for treating pain. This means most patients have questions about PRP injections. Here is some information to help anyone consider this treatment option.

What Is PRP

Platelet-rich plasma is made from a patient's own platelets to help the body heal. The body's plasma contains proteins that help the blood clot. This plasma also has proteins that support cell growth within the body.

PRP is made by isolating plasma from a patient's blood and concentrating it into the injections. This concentrated injection is thought to help the body's tissues heal faster. The process is not yet proven effective, and studies are ongoing.

What Are PRP Injections Used For?

Doctors use PRP injections for a variety of injuries and conditions. Because of the ability to assist in healing, patients get injections for sports and overuse injuries.

  • Torn tendons
  • Muscle injuries
  • Joint injuries
  • Tendinitis
  • Sprains

Doctors also use PRP injections to treat pain conditions, like arthritis and even autoimmune diseases, like Lupus.

What Are Common Side Effects of PRP?

Most therapies or medications do come with side effects, and unfortunately, PRP injects are no exception. PRP injections are safe and effective; however, it's important to be aware of possible side effects.

  • Achiness or soreness at the injection spot
  • Infections in the injured area
  • Skin discoloration
  • Allergic reactions
  • Blood clot
  • Nerve injuries
  • Bleeding

These side effects are often mild, but it's critical to contact your doctor if you have any of these side effects after receiving a PRP injection.

Another possible reaction is no improvement in the treated area after injection. And in some cases, the injury may worsen. Just keep in mind that this isn't common and to contact your doctor right away with any concerns.

While studies are ongoing, PRP injections are a safe treatment for many patients. And like with any type of treatment, the time it takes to heal and notice improvement can vary by patient and condition. If you have questions about PRP injections, talk with your doctor to determine if the injections are right for you.