What to Expect Before, During and After Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections
Platelet rich plasma injections are used to promote healing within the body. By using cells that came from one’s own body and reinjecting them into places that are aging or are suffering from the ill effects of disease or disrepair, the unique properties of the platelets can amp up the healing effects within the body by stimulating the area to grow new, stronger and healthier cells. Research has begun showing that this therapy, known as PRP therapy, may improve healing in such areas as the joints and muscular tissues and may decrease pain through tissue regeneration.
How to Prepare for Platelet Rich Plasma Injection Therapy
The patient will have little to do to prepare for the injection. It is important to come to the appointment thoroughly hydrated, however. In addition, those who are taking certain medications that slow the clotting process, such as anticoagulants, should ask about stopping these up to five days before the injections. Other medications to be avoided before the procedure include the following:
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs;
- arthritis medications.
What Happens during the Therapy
The very first step in the process will help to eliminate platelet rich plasma therapy painful injections. The practitioner will use a topical anesthetic to numb the area approximately 30 minutes before the injections are given. Once therapy begins, a vial of blood is drawn from the patient’s arm. The blood is separated into its constituent parts in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from other cells, such as red blood cells. Once the prepared plasma is ready to go, the area to be treated is cleansed, and the PRP is injected. Usually, only a very small amount of PRP is needed to be effective.
How to Care for Oneself Following PRP Injections
Of course, once the injection are completed, the major part of therapy is over. However, the patient must still follow certain instructions to ensure that he gets the most benefit from the blood platelet rich plasma therapy. The treated area may be slightly inflamed and tender to the touch for a few days. Therefore, patients should take a few days to rest the area, avoiding vigorous activities and protecting the areas as needed with a bandage especially if the PRP was injected into an injured area. Cold compresses can also help with swelling.
Long Term Effects of Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy
PRP therapy can provide many great benefits. However, these may not be noted until several weeks to months following the injections. Depending on where PRP is injected, one may notice the following benefits:
- heals tendon injuries,
- decreases pain in pulled muscles,
- repairs joints following acute or chronic injuries,
- helps repair areas following surgery,
- decreases hair loss and promotes new hair growth,
- relieves pain.
Platelet rich plasma therapy is a smart choice because it uses the patient’s own blood cells to repair the body. Therefore, there is no chance of rejection and a highly likelihood of efficacy in treating painful skin, joint and muscle conditions. When used correctly, PRP can help patients feel more youthful and vibrant by promoting healing within their own bodies. By knowing what to expect during an upcoming appointment and being prepared to care for the treated area at home, patients will be able to glean the most benefits possible from therapy.