Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a therapy that has a growing list of applications. It’s been used to help in the healing of traumatic injuries and joint injuries for some time, and more recently to treat hair loss and various other cosmetic concerns.
At the Osteopathic Center for Healing, Neil Spiegel, DO, and Jennifer Gularson, PA-C, offer PRP therapy for some soft tissue injuries, for thinning hair, and in some other situations. We’ve seen impressive results from PRP therapy.
Plasma and platelets
One of the amazing things about PRP therapy is that it makes use of the components of your own blood. Plasma is the liquid portion of your blood, and platelets are a specialized type of cell in your blood.
Platelets help your blood clot, and they contain certain types of proteins that help you heal.
In PRP therapy, we draw a small amount of your blood and process it with a machine called a centrifuge, which separates various components of your blood, concentrating the platelets in the plasma.
We then remove the concentrated plasma from the rest of the blood and use it to tap into the body’s natural ability to regenerate tissue, thereby stimulating healing or hair growth.
When we use PRP therapy for a soft tissue injury or joint problem, we inject it precisely where it’s required. The growth factors in the platelets then stimulate healing by helping to regenerate tissue. We may use an ultrasound to guide the injection.
Similarly, when we use PRP therapy to treat thinning hair, we inject it into the area where you want hair to grow. The platelets stimulate the hair follicles, which then are more capable of growing hair.
To achieve optimal results, you may need a series of injections before you notice a significant difference.
Because PRP therapy uses components of your own blood, it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll experience an adverse reaction. It’s not completely risk-free, because any injection poses some small risk, but overall PRP therapy is considered very safe.
You’re also less likely to need anti-inflammatory medications or pain relievers when you have PRP therapy. By avoiding those medications, you eliminate your risk of having reactions to them or potential addiction issues.
If you’re wondering whether PRP therapy might be the approach for you, schedule an appointment with us at the Osteopathic Center for Healing in Rockville, Maryland. We’re always happy to answer your questions.