Nursing an Overuse Injury? Get Back in the Game Faster with PRP Therapy

Do you have a muscle, tendon, ligament, or joint injury from overuse or years of normal wear and tear? Some soft tissue injuries take a long time to heal. Whether you’re an athlete waiting for your injury to heal or an individual whose work makes you prone to an overuse injury, you want to get back in the game or back to work as quickly as possible.

Board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jonathan Shults with Coastal Empire Orthopedics treats many patients with overuse injuries. When appropriate, Dr. Shults recommends platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, to help hasten the healing process. PRP is also effective on mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis, which can also be an overuse injury since your knees carry you so many miles throughout your life. 

How does platelet-rich plasma treatment hasten healing in the body? 

Doctors began using platelet-rich plasma to help patients heal faster after surgery. It’s now on its way to becoming a common, if not standard, practice in orthopedics. 

Platelets are the tiniest blood cells in your body. They contain substances called growth factors that contain healing properties. 

When soft tissue is injured, platelets receive a signal from the blood vessels at the site of the injury. The platelets travel to the damaged tissue, change shape to contact the blood vessels and rush healing nutrients to the area. 

PRP uses your blood to speed up the healing of your body. Our staff draws a sample of your blood, which is then placed in a centrifuge machine. The centrifuge amasses a large concentration of your blood’s platelets and uses that concentration to inject at the site of your injury. Because the PRP contains a large mass of platelets with healing properties, your body can heal faster than it would otherwise. 

Benefits of PRP 

Following are some of the major benefits of PRP when used for overuse injuries. 

Calms inflammation

Overuse injury or knee osteoarthritis causes inflammation; your joint swells with blood and fluids, causing pain. Chronic inflammation may lead to chronic pain and further damage to a joint or tissue. PRP’s healing properties calm inflammation quickly. 

Offers natural pain relief 

Doctors have traditionally offered cortisone shots to quell pain for many overuse injuries. However, sometimes, a cortisone shot doesn’t work. Too many cortisone shots can damage soft tissue. PRP offers an all-natural form of pain relief. 

Non-surgical minimally invasive procedure

PRP is a low-risk procedure. It’s minimally invasive and uses your blood to help heal your injury. 

Return to sports or work faster 

Soft tissue injuries can take a long time to heal. Tendons and ligaments are poorly vascularized, meaning they have no blood vessels that go through them, which limits the amount of blood that can reach the injured site. PRP rushes large platelets to your injury, calming inflammation and pain and allowing you to return to play or work faster than you would without the treatment. 

Research on PRP 

Studies on PRP show that it contributes to faster healing and shows significant promise in becoming a standard practice in orthopedics. More research needs to be done, but studies show that PRP yields promising results for tennis elbow, partial rotator cuff tears, ligament tears, certain forms of tendonitis such as patellar and Achilles, and mild to moderate arthritis. 

Call Coastal Empire Orthopedics or book an appointment today through our online portal for all your orthopedic needs.

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