Platelet rich plasma therapy

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a revolutionary new treatment that relieves pain by promoting long-lasting healing of musculoskeletal conditions.

by Dr. Fred G. Arnold — 

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a revolutionary new treatment that relieves pain by promoting long-lasting healing of musculoskeletal conditions. The healing properties of PRP therapy are attributed to the increased concentration of growth factors and secretory proteins that enhance the healing process on a cellular level. PRP therapy has gained recent popularity due to the many professional athletes who have found its beneficial effects. It enables them to return to the playing field with rapid healing of their conditions.

What conditions are treated with PRP?

Common orthopedic conditions treated with PRP include: shoulder disorders involving arthritis; bursitis and rotator cuff repairs; tendonitis, such as tennis elbow; Achilles tendon; heel spur syndrome; osteoarthritis of the knee, including anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries; hip and spine issues; pelvic pain and instability; back and neck injuries; ankle sprains; tendonitis; and ligament sprains.

How does PRP therapy help?

Platelets, a normal part of the blood, are called into action when there is damage to blood vessels in the body. These specialized cells are packed with numerous growth and healing factors that initiate repair and attract the assistance of stem cells, which also greatly promote healing. PRP therapy’s natural healing process intensifies the body’s efforts by delivering a higher concentration of platelets. This platelet rich plasma promotes a three- to five-fold increase in growth factor concentration.

The PRP process involves the collection of a small sample of blood (similar to a lab test sample). The sample is placed in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from other cells in the blood, such as red and white blood cells. The concentrated platelet rich plasma can now be collected and injected into and around the point of injury, jump-starting and significantly strengthening the body’s natural healing signal. Because the individual’s own blood is used, there is no risk of a transmissible infection and a very low risk of allergic reaction.

The procedure takes approximately one to two hours and is performed safely in a practitioner’s office without the risks of surgery, general anesthesia or hospital stays. In fact, most people can return to their jobs or usual activities right after the procedure.

What are the expected results?

Because the goal of PRP therapy is to resolve pain through healing, it could prove to have lasting results. Initial improvement may be seen within a few weeks, gradually increasing as the healing progresses.

Research studies and clinical practice have shown PRP therapy to be highly effective at relieving pain and returning patients to their normal lives. Both ultrasound and MRI studies have shown definitive tissue repair after PRP therapy, which confirms the benefits of this healing process.

The need for surgery also can be greatly reduced by treating injured tissues before the damage progresses and the condition becomes irreversible.


Fred G. Arnold, D.C., N.M.D., specializes in prolotherapy/pain rehabilitation services. He is one of the few physicians in the nation with both naturopathic and chiropractic degrees, and is trained in PRP. 602-292-2978

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 31, Number 4, August/September 2012.

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