We all rely on our bodies in everyday life, whether for work or for recreation.
For some, as is the case with professional athletes, it is quite literally
their livelihood. In any case, injuries are unpredictable and can drastically
affect our lives. Depending on the severity of a given injury, the road to
rehabilitation can involve complicated treatment plans and sometimes even
surgery. In recent years however, a new method to treat chronic pain and sports
injuries has gained popularity: PRP
Platelet Rich Plasma injection therapy is viewed within the Canadian
Healthcare System and in the Sports Medicine community as a potentially
miraculous treatment for certain sports-related injuries like tennis
. Other ailments treated with PRP Injections include:
- Golfers elbow
- Jumpers knee (inflammation of patellar tendon)
- Muscle tears, rotator cuff tears
- Ligament injuries to the knees, ankles, elbows, wrists and pulled
hamstrings in the thigh
- In some cases, arthritis treatment
In PRP injection therapy, a patient will have their blood drawn so that
a highly concentrated formula of platelets and plasma can be extracted and
subsequently injected into the damaged tissue. Platelets contain many growth
properties that will stimulate the repair process while drawing on other cells
to help rebuild the tissue. This can result in a faster and long-lasting healing
method. After an injury has healed, further injections are not required.
PRP injection therapy is considered to be a safe and simple alternative
to surgical processes and is especially great for patients who are looking for
a natural approach to treating injuries and chronic pain.
Considering that the platelets come from the patient’s own body, there
is little risk that the immune system will reject the injections. Furthermore,
as only a needle is used, the risk for infection in PRP injections is
drastically reduced when compared to surgery.
As a highly-concentrated dose of platelets can regenerate ligaments and
tendon fiber, patients could be looking at a shorter rehabilitation process,
while possibly avoiding surgery altogether. For this reason, some team
physicians for major sports teams in Major League Baseball and the National
Football League, as well as leading doctors in sports medicine, have elected to
try PRP injections.
The emergence of PRP injection therapy was initially greeted with
controversy – but when trials suggested that soft tissue injuries (that have
poor healing properties) were improved with the procedure, injection therapy
gradually gained more traction – and acceptance. Perhaps this is best
exemplified in the World Anti-Doping
Agency’s (WADA) decision in 2011 to remove PRP injection therapy from their
list of banned substances and treatments.
Despite the popularity of PRP injections in the world of professional
sports, everyday people with limited access to a full medical staff and
dedicated trainers are not excluded from its benefits. In fact, PRP injections
are offered at many Pain
Management Clinics in Ontario.
Before treatment begins, it is crucial for patients to have a detailed
consultation. Specialists may wish to examine the injury further – with MRI or
CT Scans, X-rays, or ultrasound scans – to ensure the diagnosis is correct, and
that PRP injections are the best treatment for the injury. As with most treatments,
PRP injection therapy works best when it is part of an overall rehabilitation