Stemtexx PRP Therapy
In order to comprehend Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP), it is first necessary to have an understanding of two foundational concepts. Firstly, what is plasma, and secondly, what are platelets?
Plasma is the liquid component of blood. In other words, it is the mechanism that enables the red and white blood cells, and a host of other materials, to live and travel through your blood stream. While it is primarily composed of water, plasma is also made up of nutrients, proteins, glucose and antibodies.
Platelets are tiny blood cells that are important in the clotting process. Platelets promote healing by secreting substances known as growth factors, in combination with proteins that stimulate tissue reconstruction. They also accelerate tissue regeneration by attracting stem cells to aid in the repair of a damaged area.
While there is no official or universally accepted definition of PRP therapy, the inclusion of both ‘platelet’ and ‘plasma’ in its name provide some hint as to the purpose of this procedure. By taking advantage of human blood’s inherent healing properties, PRP therapy is used to mend damaged cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscles, or bone.
To understand the necessity for such a procedure, it is first important to comprehend the human healing process. Tendons and ligaments are made up of fibres of collagen and are vascular structures, i.e. they contain blood vessels. As such, these structures are easily stretched, pulled, torn, sprained or strained. When this happens, they bleed, and if there is enough bleeding, it causes visible bruising.
The body responds to this type of injury by increasing blood flow to the affected area. This process is an attempt by the body to increase the platelet and growth factor tally, and thus create new collagen fibres to repair the tissue. For this repair process to work correctly, and to allow our ligaments and tendons to regain full strength and flexibility, these new collagen fibres need to be organised in a layered form.
However, when the injury is too large or severe, this healing process cannot completely reverse the damage. Instead, a significant amount of scar tissue builds up, and there is a lack of healthy collagen fibres. This scar tissue then inhibits the body’s ability to send blood to the areas that need healing, causing further scar tissue to develop. This creates a vicious cycle, where the increasing amounts of scar tissue continually block proper blood flow, causing further scar tissue to develop.
Unlike anti-inflammatories, pain medications, gels, braces, acupuncture and many other traditional therapies, which aim to treat the resulting symptoms, PRP therapy resolves this cycle by addressing the underlying issue. It does this by helping to heal the scar tissue, increase the level of blood flow to the area, and reorganise collagen fibres that are in disarray.
The process of obtaining PRP is relatively simple. First, the patient’s blood is taken with a simple and relatively painless blood draw. Using a special centrifuge machine that spins the blood at a high velocity, the growth hormones and platelets are isolated from the rest of the fluid, thus creating a high potency PRP fluid.
This fluid can then be injected directly into the affected area of the patient, in order to promote healing. This injection is performed with millimetre accuracy, and once these platelets and hormones enter the affected area, they become activated. The healing and regeneration of the damaged tissue then begins.
The most beneficial aspect of Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy is that it lacks any antibiotics or other synthesised materials. It is unnecessary to add any additional substances to the patient’s blood to create the PRP solution, and it is thus a natural process that relies on the body’s existing healing properties. For this reason, there is also no risk of rejection, reaction or allergy. PRP therapy thus represents a safe and relatively accessible treatment protocol, with many potential applications.