Platelet rich plasma therapy, or PRP, provides a modern-day solution to the age-old problem of chronic pain. While PRP has been used to treat elite athletes for years, improvements in technology mean that podiatrists can now offer the same therapy to ordinary people.
What can PRP do?
While platelet rich plasma therapy has several different applications, podiatrists use it to alleviate chronic tendon and ligament pain. You may benefit from PRP therapy if you’re suffering from any of the following conditions:
- Ligament pain or joint sprains
- Achilles tendon ruptures and tears
- Arthritis or other age- and activity-related degeneration
- Plantar fasciitis, or inflammation-related pain or soreness along the arch or middles of one foot or two
- Wounds that are taking too long to heal
- General, chronic discomfort caused by scarring or injury
Conditions like plantar fasciitis—common among runners—can get worse with time and without proper treatment.
How does PRP help people with chronic pain or acute injuries?
Whether you’ve had an injury for a long time or a short while, know that chronic pain doesn’t always need never-ending treatment. Platelet rich plasma therapy can be done by an experienced, well-equipped podiatrist. The procedure itself only takes about 30 minutes—you’ll be asked to provide a small blood sample, which will be placed in a centrifuge. The rapid movement of the centrifuge will help sort out your platelets while encouraging the release of growth-promoting cells. These “rich” platelets can then be injected into a tendon or wound using nothing other than a needle.
By introducing healthier, richer platelets to a damaged area, your body will be able to heal faster.
Why should I consider PRP?
Platelet rich plasma therapy isn’t a cure-all, but it can save patients a lot of pain and money. While PRP is often followed up by a period of podiatrist-guided rehabilitation, platelet therapy can treat injuries that might otherwise require major surgery. PRP is a low-risk procedure: you’re not going to make chronic pain worse by trying. And because you’re using your own blood for your own treatment, there’s little chance of rejection or infection.