Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, treatment is an injection therapy made of concentrated blood platelets. This is a safe, non-invasive treatment that can treat or even cure chronic pain conditions. This is also a popular method of recovering from sports injuries in a legal and safe way.
But if you’ve never heard of PRP before, or you’ve heard it grouped in with other dangerous methods of sports-injury recovery, you may be wondering how safe the procedure really is. Like all types of treatments, PRP has its side effects. But it has become the go-to treatment for a variety of conditions, which reveals that more doctors and patients trust the procedure to deliver excellent results.
Possible Side Effects
In most cases, the risks associated with PRP treatment are few. Patients can experience an aching feeling in the injured area that was treated with PRP that goes away with time. Because PRP treatment involves injections, there is a chance of infection. While precautions are always taken by professionals, infections can happen in the injured area that can cause more pain and require more medical care.
Some people may have an allergic reaction to PRP treatment, or they may experience a slight discoloration of the skin around the injection site. Discoloration usually fades with time. In more serious cases, a blood clot might form if the PRP injection damaged a vein or an artery during the treatment. Medical care will be required to treat a blood clot.
Finally, the worst possible side effect is that in some rare cases, PRP simply doesn’t work. For a variety of factors, there are some people for whom a PRP injection does not soothe or cure the injury or chronic condition. Medical experts are still trying to learn why this happens in these rare cases.
PRP is a safe injection because it’s totally natural to the patient’s body; the platelets that are used to treat the pain are taken directly from the patient. The body doesn’t have to get used to any new matter, making the injections far less risky. And PRP has shown one of the highest success rates for treating tendonitis and osteoarthritis, where other popular treatments haven’t shown consistent results.
For example, cortisone injections are another way that patients can treat osteoarthritis pain. However, taking repeated treatments can cause a permanent weakening of ligaments and tendons.
To treat pain, many patients rely on NSAIDS, which have been shown to cause stomach ulcers, and have an unhealthy affect on blood pressure and existing heart problems. Other doctors may prescribe physical therapy to help improve mobility and get rid of pain, but the problem is that this doesn’t really treat the cause, or help pain go away – it simply numbs the mind to the sensation and allows patients to struggle through tiring activities day after day.
Sometimes surgery is performed to treat osteoarthritis or tendonitis; surgery carries its own set of serious risks, and the medical evidence shows that surgeries for these conditions are often no more effective than a placebo treatment. Replacing joints altogether can be prohibitively expensive, require years of physical therapy, and in most cases are recommended except in extreme cases.
So overall, PRP therapy is less invasive, more natural, and has shown better rates of actually curing the issue with the same amount or fewer risks as other common treatments.