The Power of PRP- A Self-Healing Sensation?

It goes without saying that modern medicine is simply incredible. As we head further into the 21st century we are harnessing the limitlessness of science to maximize our biology and improve our health. It truly is a time to be alive as the impossible is becoming possible. 

This post will delve into a relatively new and increasingly popular procedure known as PRP to determine what exactly it can do for people.  

What is PRP?

Firstly, we have to do some Biology 101 in order to understand this therapy. Let’s start with our blood- that rich, red substance that keeps us alive. Well, it’s not all just red and white blood cells in there, but rather a whole concoction of elements. As well as salts, vitamins and other substances, there are also platelets, which are tiny cell fragments. Plasma is the river in which our blood flows or in other words, it’s the liquid part of our blood.

What Are the Roles of Platelets?

The job of these dish shaped cells (hence their namesake) is to promote blood clotting should a vessel be severed. In gory, macabre horror movie terms, they basically stop us from bleeding out. Their secondary function, which is the relevant one in PRP, is their ability to encourage growth, stimulating cell production and proliferation.  

The Procedure: The Real Secret Ingredient is You!

The amazing thing about these injections is that there are no added extras, no super chemicals or artificiality involved. It’s all about taking what’s already within you and moving it about to heal damage. 

The process is as follows:

  1. Around 30-60 milliliters (2-4 tablespoons) are extracted from a vein in your arm
  2. Your blood is placed into a machine called a centrifuge which causes the separation of  substances
  3. Platelet rich plasma is isolated and set aside
  4. It is then injected into the affected area

What is it used for? 

PRP is mostly undertaken to heal injuries or to help treat certain ailments but it is also being used in the cosmetic world. 

Most famously it has been used by top athletes such as, Tiger Woods, Hines Ward, LaRon Landry and Garry Matthews Jr to name a few. 

Medically, it aims to treat:

  • Pulled muscles 
  • Joint pains 
  • Ligament tears
  • Tendon injuries
  • Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Knee pain
  • Wounds

In regards to beauty, PRP has been said to help with everything from aging skin to hair loss. It does so by rejuvenation, lessening the appearance of wrinkles and scars and stimulating hair growth and thickness. 

All in all, PRP is receiving a lot more attention and there are ongoing studies into its effectiveness. If you’re interested in it, the best thing to do is conduct your own research and speak to professionals. That way you can be fully informed before you go for any procedure. Moreover, you’ll be able to see a breakdown of the costs and learn more about the results of PRP. And, although its success is debated and still being studied, to be our own healer is surely a positive and seriously cool prospect?!