Plasma Therapy Can Work Wonders: Dr. Paul Stallone writes about how platelet-rich therapy uses the body's own ability to heal
Jan 31, 2014 09:01AM
By Dr. Paul Stallone
Damaged tendons, muscles, ligaments and other structural tissue can be difficult for the body to repair, resulting in considerable pain and decreased quality of life. Many factors can have an impact on how the body heals; diet, exercise, smoking, drinking and genetics are a few factors that figure in why the body may not be able to repair itself completely. There are suggestions a physician can make to help the body heal itself naturally, but they can take months or years, and usually other modalities must assist with the progress. Some patients may need a little more help or may want faster results, and one option is platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP).
PRP treatments take advantage of the body’s own ability to heal and have been around for decades, but were only used in hospital settings until advancements in the procedure and technology allowed thousands of patients to have this treatment performed by their doctor in the office. When an injury occurrs, blood flow is increased to the area to bring material the body needs to repair itself. One critical component of blood is platelets, which release proteins called growth factors that help repair damaged tissue. These growth factors can be harvested and concentrated, and then injected into an injured area for significantly improved tissue repair by stimulating and optimizing the body's capacity to heal itself.
Treatment is fairly straightforward. After a consultation, PRP is prepared by drawing blood from the patient and placing it in a spinning centrifuge to separate the different blood cells. The platelet-rich part of the blood is extracted and injected into the same patient. Almost any joint can be injected with PRP. The whole procedure takes about 30 to 60 minutes, with little if any down time for the patient. Moderate to major side effects are rare, but some inflammation and minor pain at the injection site are common. Many patients opt for this therapy because it uses the patient’s own biological matter, so the risk for infection or rejection is extremely low.
PRP treatments have been used safely and successfully for many years in sports medicine, dentistry, orthopedics, urology, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, wound healing, cosmetic enhancements, maxillofacial surgery and other medical fields. The body is very capable of healing itself, and in the right environment, it contains everything it needs to do so. PRP takes advantage of this self-healing process and magnifies it for faster, better and more complete recovery.
Paul Stallone, NMD, founded the Arizona Integrative Medical Center, located at 8144 E. Cactus Rd., Ste. 820, in Scottsdale. He combines natural/alternative/conventional treatments to best fit and benefit each individual patient’s needs. For more information, call 480-214-3922 or visit DrStallone.com.