- Dr. Jay
What Is PRP Regenerative Medicine?
More than 40% of the US population currently suffers from a chronic illness, and many of these conditions cause considerable pain. But over the last years, more and more doctors, including us at Enhanced Wellness of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico, are administering a new type of treatment, called PRP (platelet-rich plasma) regenerative medicine.
This innovative method utilizes your own body's healing powers to regenerate and regrow healthy tissues. As such, it is an effective, yet minimally invasive treatment that is unlikely to cause side effects.
PRP is derived from your own blood, so you're harnessing your cells' ability to heal themselves. It can help to address many different conditions that include skin problems, tendon, ligament, and muscle injuries, nerve damage, and even hair and bone loss.
Today, let's examine how the treatment works, what it does, and whether it might be suitable for your situation.
What Is PRP Regenerative Medicine?
Many current methods address the symptoms of your condition, but they don't necessarily consider its causes. For example, doctors might prescribe you a pill that reduces pain or they might advise the application of a cream or ointment. In most cases, these forms of relief are only temporary because they don't take away the reason why the pain is occurring.
Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, treatment is different because it aims to replace your damaged or injured cells with new and healthy ones. That way, your body will look and feel rejuvenated, and the pain you felt before is unlikely to recur. High-level athletes have been using this method for many years, but fortunately, it is now becoming more accessible for everyone else.
So, what exactly is the platelet-rich plasma substance made out of, and where does it come from? The answer is that your body produces all the necessary substances that will accelerate and encourage healing.
Platelets are cell fragments that occur naturally in your blood, and they are usually the first to arrive at the site of an injury such as a cut or scrape, where they aid with blood clotting and encourage the production of new cells. It is this second function that we are most interested in when practicing regenerative medicine.
After separating the platelets and other beneficial substances from your blood, we will inject or apply them directly to the site of the issue. That way, they are delivered to where your body needs them most. They will get to work, and over the next days and weeks, new cells will be produced and old ones will be discarded, thereby renewing your tissue.
What Can Be Treated?
Now that you know what PRP is, you might wonder in what ways it can be used. The potential of this type of therapy is almost unlimited, and we can currently use it for a number of different conditions related to your bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles, skin, and nerves. PRP can be applied to most areas of your body, so you can benefit no matter where your injury or condition is located.
Issues with the Skin
One of the primary uses of PRP is to restore the smooth and youthful look of the skin. As we age, we all experience wrinkling and sagging, and this can be distressing. By injecting or applying PRP in strategic places on your face, neck, or body, the unwanted side-effects of aging can be stopped and sometimes even reversed. You can benefit from smoother and more lifted skin, which shaves years off your appearance.
But in addition to treating aging, platelet-rich plasma therapy can also help people who have other skin conditions. For example, this method is often used to address the scarring caused by acne and other surface-level injuries. What's more, sun spots and similar types of damage can be addressed. If you are concerned about the texture or color of your skin, this could be the perfect solution for you.
Tendon, Ligament, and Muscle Problems
Muscles usually heal on their own within 2-3 weeks, so you'll only need PRP in very severe cases. This is because they benefit from a lot of blood flow, which means that platelets are naturally delivered to your muscular tissue. However, tendons and ligaments are supplied with much less blood, and injuries often take weeks or even several months to heal. If you'd like to shorten your recovery period, providing them with more platelets is the way to go.
Hair and Bone Loss
Another major problem as we grow older is the loss of certain tissues, particularly the bones and the hair. Both of these issues can be addressed with PRP, and many people have found that they start to feel stronger, and their hair is growing back thicker than before the treatment. In general, early intervention is easier, so you should speak to your local PRP provider as soon as possible.
Nerve injuries can be particularly painful, and they can be exceedingly difficult to address. In fact, many conditions like multiple sclerosis don't have a good outlook, and patients tend to get worse over time. With PRP, there is a chance that this damage can be stopped. This application in particular is why so many physicians are excited about PRP regenerative medicine and its uses in the future.
What Does a Session Look Like?
Many patients lead busy lives and are looking for results as quickly as possible. Platelet-rich plasma injections generally don't require a lengthy preparation and recovery time because they are considered minimally invasive. You simply go to your clinic on the day of your appointment and get treated by your doctor, then you can return home and resume your normal activities. Depending on the location of your treatment, you might even be able to drive yourself home.
When you first get in touch with us about having PRP treatment, we will speak to you about your issue, what you have tried before, and what your current health conditions are. This method is safe for most people, but we won't use it if you have a blood disorder or are currently pregnant or breastfeeding. If we decide that you are a good candidate, we can then discuss what medicines you shouldn't take in the week before your treatment. In general, blood-thinning drugs should be avoided, and most doctors also recommend that you stop smoking. This is because nicotine can negatively affect the healing process, so you're likely to see inferior results.
Your PRP Treatment
Your physician will book you in for your PRP session at the clinic. To begin with, they will take your blood and spin it in a centrifuge. This separates the red blood cells, which need to be discarded, from the beneficial platelet and plasma substance. At the same time, a numbing cream will be applied to the injection site, so you won't feel any pain during the process. As soon as this has taken effect, your doctor can start the injections. Your treatment might only take a few minutes if you need a small intervention, but it might take an hour or more if you need PRP in several different locations on your body.
The Recovery Process
You will be able to leave the clinic once your treatment has ended. Some people are happy to go straight back to work or their normal activities, while others prefer to take the rest of the day off and relax. However, you should be able to resume most day-to-day activities by the next day. Your doctor will let you know when you can do more strenuous exercise, as this might be contraindicated for a while.
Regenerate Your Tissues Naturally
Millions of people are suffering from chronic pain or issues with their skin, hair, and bones. For this reason, PRP regenerative medicine is an exciting new type of treatment that can potentially benefit an enormous number of patients.
Get in touch with us today at Enhanced Wellness of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM to book your initial consultation and take advantage of this innovative method.