We’ve been recording professional athletes using platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections for a while now. It is safe to say that athletes of every major sport – and even smaller olympic ones – use PRP. The reason athletes turn to regenerative medicine is due to the versatile nature of the treatment. Over the past several years platelet-rich plasma has been used for a large number of orthopedic sports medicine injuries.
More and more players gravitate towards PRP because of its speed and effectiveness. Each game, fight, and season missed means players losing out on large sums of money. However, reports show that teams and organizations also lose millions of dollars when athletes are inactive with injury. So there is a desire by both teams and players to find the most efficient healing method possible for a quick recovery. Their attention is now on PRP to solve injuries.
What is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a regenerative therapy that using the patient’s own blood to treat an injury. All blood contains small solid components: white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. The platelets in your blood contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors. These growth factors have the ability to stimulate new cell growth and healing inside the body.
PRP is blood plasma with a higher concentration of platelets than a typical blood sample – about 5 to 10 times higher (richer). To create platelet-rich plasma, a small sample of blood is drawn from the patient. Using a centrifuge, the blood is separated into layers. The platelet-rich layer is carefully removed from the sample, then injected back into the patient directly into the damaged tissue, where the concentration of growth factors can get to work repairing and healing the injury from the inside out.
Since the treatment uses the patient’s own blood, PRP has very low risk factors. It can increase the body’s regeneration process up to eight times more than normal because of the high concentration of platelets and growth factors.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Popular with Professional Athletes
Many famous players and fighters have received platelet-rich plasma as part of their treatment. This includes the likes of the following:
- Tiger Woods (Golf)
- Rafael Nadal (Tennis)
- Hines Ward & Troy Polamalu (Football)
- Daron Rahlves (Olympic Skier)
- Daniel Cormier (MMA)
- Steph Curry (Basketball)
As you can see from this short list, the sports are wide ranging. While the contact sports make sense on the surface, even the non-contact sports cause serious injuries. Just last year, NY Yankees pitcher Chris Capuano received a PRP injection in his right quadriceps after a strain during a game against Boston. Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Knicks guard Jose Calderon received a platelet-rich plasma injection for his ailing left achilles.
More news outlets are sharing information about professional athletes receiving PRP and its benefits keep improving with new research. Platelet-rich plasma therapy has been around for a while, and its popularity continually increases amongst athletes. Thanks to its low risk factors and high potential to speed recovery time, it appears PRP is going to be around for a while.
At Metropolitan Pain Consultants, our experienced physicians have been effectively using PRP to treat pain caused by arthritis in joints, tendonitis, muscle sprains and tears, ligament injuries, and other conditions. If you would like more information about platelet-rich plasma, please give us a call at 201.729.0001.