Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP Injections): How do they work?

Injections of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) are becoming increasingly popular for a variety of ailments, from sports injuries to hair loss to skin. In this article, we’ll discuss all.

What is PRP?

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) comprises two components: plasma. It is the liquid portion of blood and platelets. It is a type of blood cell that aids in wound healing. 

Platelets are well-known for their clotting properties, including growth factors. It can induce tissue regeneration and repair in the treated region. Platelet-rich plasma is the blood that has a higher concentration of platelets than average.

To make platelet-rich plasma, physicians take a blood sample from a patient and place it in a centrifuge. This centrifuge quickly spins the blood, separates the platelets from the rest, and concentrates them inside the plasma.

What is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection?

The solution is injected into the target location, such as an injured knee or a tendon after a patient’s blood sample creates platelet-rich plasma (PRP). 

The goal is to increase the concentration of particular bio proteins or hormones in a specific location to speed up the healing process. 

Increased concentrations of growth factors in platelet-rich plasma have been shown in studies to stimulate or speed up the healing process, reducing injury healing time, pain and even increasing hair growth.

The PRP treatment procedure

PRP treatment consists of three steps. PRP therapy usually involves three treatments spaced four to six weeks apart.

Every 4–6 months, maintenance treatments are necessary.

1st Step

Your blood is extracted and spun in a centrifuge, usually from your arm (a machine that spins rapidly to separate fluids of different densities).  The doctor applies numbing cream before extraction.

 

2nd Step

Your blood will have divided into three layers after around 10 minutes in the centrifuge:

  • Platelet-depleted plasma
  • Plasma with a high concentration of platelets
  • Platelets and red blood cells

3rd Step

The platelet-rich plasma is collected in a syringe and injected into regions of the scalp where hair growth is needed.

What is the purpose of PRP treatment?

PRP injections uses are as follows:

Injuries to the tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints

PRP injections treat a variety of injuries. 

It heals from muscles and skeleton disorders.PRP can speed up the healing process of chronic tendon injuries, reduce discomfort and allow you to return to your favorite activities sooner. 

In addition to helping wounded tissue repair, PRP injections have been shown in specific trials to reduce discomfort and improve mobility in persons with rotator cuff problems.

Healing after Surgery

Doctors initially utilized PRP to speed up the healing process in jaw or plastic surgery. Doctors also use PRP  after surgery to assist mend muscles, tendons, and ligaments, which have notoriously long recovery rates. 

It accelerates the healing of injured areas like tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints. It is also effective in healing sports injuries.

Osteoarthritis

According to an early study, PRP injections may help treat osteoarthritis pain and stiffness by altering the joint environment and lowering inflammation, but further research is needed.

Loss of hair

PRP injections can help prevent hair loss and promote new hair growth in men with male pattern baldness. PRP can also help with hair growth stimulation following hair transplants. 

Hair loss in men and women with male or female pattern baldness appears to be reduced by PRP injections.

Facial rejuvenation 

PRP injections are also used as an anti-aging therapy by accelerating collagen production. 

Vampire facial is also PRP to treat skin conditions like uneven skin tone, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles. It changes gene expression in skin cells, promotes skin cell proliferation and differentiation, and rearrange the structure of skin tissues

Before Getting PRP Injections

Before getting PRP injections, you’ll probably need to cease taking blood-thinning drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen. 

Specific vitamins or supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids, may also require a pause. Your doctor will be able to inform you exactly how to prepare for these shots.

If you have the following conditions, you will not be able to receive PRP injections:

  • Low platelet count
  • Anemia
  • Cancer
  • A bacterial infection

Adverse impacts

PRP injections use a person’s own platelets. That’s why it has no negative responses.

It is minimally invasive but can cause discomfort, pain, or bleeding at or around the injection site.

After receiving a PRP injection, most patients can resume their daily activities immediately.