- Posted on: Feb 19 2020
What are PRP injections, and what are they used for?
PRP, or platelet-rich plasma protein, are injections that are derived by drawing the patient’s own blood, then separating platelet-rich plasma from the drawn blood and re-injected this PRP into the site of the patient’s injury. PRP is rich in enzymes and growth factors which act to promote healing of damaged soft tissue structures, such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments. PRP injections are most commonly used to treat tendon injuries because tendons have minimal blood supply which results in poor healing properties. With the injection of PRP, tendons are provided with necessary enzymes and growth factors required to stimulate tissue healing. Because of the proven healing properties of PRP injections, they are useful as a less invasive alternative to surgical interventions.
Following PRP injections, a period of inflammation can occur, causing swelling and limited range of motion of the involved joint. During this period, patients are often advised to restrict activity. Depending on the individual recovery protocol prescribed by the physician, activity restrictions can range from 7-10 days. It is important to note that injections on their own will improve pain and mobility, but may not return patient to maximal function. Physical therapy is therefore encouraged as an important element of the recovery process in order to maximize tissue healing and return the patient to functional mobility by rebuilding strength and flexibility. While positive effects of PRP injections can be felt soon after injection, 6-8 weeks should be allowed for full effects to take place as this is the typical time frame for soft tissue healing. Physical therapy is important following injections to assist in preventing future injury and helping return the patient to normal activity levels.
Posted in: Physical Therapy