Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP): Not just for joint pain

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has been popular for treating joint pain, but there are other conditions that we treat with PRP at Team Health Care Clinic. After we saw how effective PRP could be for our patients with knee pain, tennis elbow, arthritis and other joint pain, our medical team decided to explore some of the lesser known uses for PRP. Research has shown that PRP can be used for conditions such as dry eyes, chronic sinus congestion, and acne. In today’s blog, we take a look at how PRP can help people suffering with these conditions.

What is PRP?

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a regenerative medicine derived from your own blood. It is obtained by drawing your blood and spinning it in a special device to separate the plasma from the red blood cells. By separating it in this way we can get concentrated levels of your own platelets, growth factors and other ingredients which stimulate a healing process. We then take all those concentrated ingredients and use them to supercharge your healing ability.

What are some of the lesser-known conditions that can be treated with PRP?

PRP is an all-natural treatment option for people who suffer from dry eye syndrome, chronic sinusitis, and acne.

Dry EyesDry eye syndrome: The PRP is mixed with normal saline to create a pH similar to that of natural tears. It is put in eye drop bottles and can be instilled into the eyes 3-4 times per day. The most common side effect is some minor burning to the eyes right after the eye drops have been instilled. It also feels cold when applied because it needs to be kept refrigerated. Some patients have shared that it feels soothing and moisturizing when applied. My patients who have been using PRP eye drops have noticed a reduction in their dry eye symptoms, less eye irritation, and have been without symptoms for longer periods of time.

Chronic sinus congestion: A PRP nasal spray can be made by mixing the PRP with normal saline and put in a nasal spray bottle that can be sent home with you. It can be used 2-4 times per day. If you suffer from chronic sinus congestion and frequent sinus infections then this could be the treatment for you. Patients who have used the PRP nasal spray have shared their surprise at the reduction in congestion just shortly after starting the treatment.

Acne: PRP used for acne is not mixed with anything. It is just the plasma itself, sent home in syringes for you to apply topically to the affected sites. It is applied at night before you go to bed, then washed off in the morning. Topical PRP for acne should remain on your skin for at least 8 hours. There are not any risks to this treatment. People who have used this treatment for their acne have reported a reduction in open and closed acne lesions and a reduction in redness within the first few weeks of treatment.

How it is stored

The PRP only maintains its effectiveness if kept refrigerated or frozen. It lasts for 1 week in the refrigerator and 3 months in the freezer. Each week you will use a new container of PRP for your treatment. When you choose to use PRP to treat your dry eye syndrome, chronic sinus congestion, or acne, you will be sent home with a 12 week supply.

PRP is a perfect fit for the Team Health Care Clinic wellness model and philosophy. It is 100% natural using each patient’s own healing properties. To find out if PRP is right for you, contact us to set up your consultation with one of our medical providers.

 

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP): A Natural Treatment Option for Joint and Other Pain

What can be more natural than using your own body’s natural healing properties to stimulate healing? Instead of taking drugs or another artificial means of treatment, Platelet Rich Plasma makes use of your body’s natural ability to heal itself. By concentrating healing properties and applying them directly to injured tissue, we can initiate or speed up healing in a previously unresponsive tissue or joint.

At our mutli-specialty wellness clinic, we have seen an explosion of interest in Platelet Rich Plasma procedures and we’re excited to offer another treatment option that supports our mission of natural healing. Our patients have experienced fantastic results since we began offering Platelet Rich Plasma in mid 2017.

PRP treatment requires a 2-step procedure: Harvesting and AdministrationWhat conditions can PRP treat_

The PRP is harvested initially by drawing blood from the patient’s own body and spinning it down in a high-speed centrifuge. This divides the blood into red blood cells at the bottom and plasma at the top of the tube. In the middle is a thin layer of platelet rich plasma that contains super concentrated healing constituents such as growth factors, cytokines, and platelets. These goodies are then carefully extracted and drawn into a tube, ready to be injected in inflamed, injured and degenerative ligaments, muscles or joints.

The second step is administering the PRP concentrate with an injection (in most cases). Our clinic uses an ultrasound to guide and confirm the medical provider is in the exact, desired location. Seeing the needle in the right location removes the chance of a patient having a variant in their anatomy that causes the provider to miss their mark. You won’t find an ultrasound guided injection in some other clinics, and I believe that this has a tremendous impact on the outcome of treatment.

The entire procedure is not particularly painful. Since the injection is actually less uncomfortable than the blood draw, patients don’t worry that the procedure is more than they are willing to tolerate. We have never had a patient refuse a second injection due to pain.

How many treatments are needed?

The PRP protocol in our clinic is 2 injections per region with approximately 3 weeks between each one. Some clinics have a 3 injection protocol but we have found most cases respond in 2 injections with an occasional patient that needs three. This may be due to the ultrasound guidance.

What is recovery like?

Generally, patients will return to work or normal activities after the injection, though loading the joint unnecessarily is discouraged. For example, if a knee is injected, deep knee bends such as squats and lunges are restricted for a few weeks following the procedure. Walking and using the stairs is allowed.

We advise patients do some physical therapy to have expert guidance in rehab exercises that will stabilize the joint or tissue without interfering with the healing process of PRP. The PRP and physical therapy combination is a one-two punch that has proven and exciting results.

Who is a candidate?

PRP is an effective and an all-natural option for patients of all ages. It has become our first option for patients suffering with achilles tendonitis, ligament tears, knee osteoarthritis, muscle strains, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff tears, Morton’s neuroma and more.

Future blogs will compare PRP with other procedures that have been used to treat similar conditions. Our clinic routinely provides cortisone, viscosupplementation (Euflexxa, for example), trigger point and PRP injections. Our observation is PRP out performs all the other procedures. This is why athletes such as Tiger Woods, Ray Lewis, Kobe Bryant and countless others have chosen this option even though they could afford other, more expensive treatments.

If you’re interested in a treatment option that is successful, natural and affordable, I encourage you to consult with your medical providers to determine if PRP is an option for you. Not sure who can help? Contact us to schedule a consultation in our clinic.

Joe Bertsch, DC

Joe Bertsch, DC