PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) Therapy is not new, but it is effective for a very diverse range of problems. It started to be used in the 12970s by dentists and then later it was used in open heart surgery. More traditionally, it has been used to heal sports injuries, but it has numerous other uses as well and there are still new uses being discovered.
PRP is not synthetic, it is actually derived from your own blood. Typically, the blood is taken from your arm and then placed in a centrifuge where it is spun down at high speeds, which separates the blood into different layers with the blood cells collecting at the bottom and the platelets collecting above it. This layer of platelets is then taken and spun down again resulting in the pure form of plasma. This plasma is packed with concentrated platelets, cytokines, mesenchymal stem cells, growth factors as well as other healing compounds that your body created naturally.
Platelets: these are components in your blood that form clots to stop bleeding.These platelets are the basic framework for rebuilding tissues. Within the platelets are things called storage factors (dense storage granules and "a" storage granules.
Dense storage granules: the components you see when you're starting to clot wound. Contained within the dense storage granules is adenosine triphosphate, which store the energy needed. There is also adenosine diphosphate, which helps to transfer energy between cells. There is also serotonin, which helps promote pain relief and finally, there is calcium, a mineral needed for cell regeneration.
"a" Storage Granules: assist in healing since they contain growth factors and cytokines, which act as messengers between cells.
Together, the granules work to heal injuries in 3 stages:
Proliferation (quick growth on new cells for healing)
Remodeling (to replace tissues that were damaged)
There are all several other components of PRP:
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors (helps grow the cells that line the inside of your vasculature, blood vessels)
Epidermal Growth Factors (help with skin regeneration)
Transforming Growth Factors (creating formation of new cells)
Fibroblast Growth Factors (aids in rebuilding the collagen layer beneath the skin)
Hepatocyte Growth Factors (cells that repair the liver)
Insulin-like Growth Factors (involved in the creation of tissue and bones)
So, how does PRP work, and what can it be used for?
The PRP serum contains all the components included above and has approximately 8 times the growth factor found in normal blood plasma resulting in a much greater potential in healing wounds and healing them quickly.PRP can be used in acute (new) injury/pain, chronic injury/pain, hair treatment, acne scars, cosmetic surgery, musculoskeletal injuries (tendons, muscles), sports related injuries (elbows, knees, heels, ankles, aesthetics and a host of other things without fear of negative side effects.
Though costs can vary somewhat, it is typically covered by most insurance companies and is reasonably affordable for someone without insurance.