3 Prevalent Sports Injuries That May Benefit From PRP Therapy
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections or therapy is a form of regenerative medicine that treats various injuries among professional athletes and weekend warriors. Your Genesis Regenerative Sports and Aesthetic Medicine doctor will extract a small blood sample, spun in a centrifuge machine to separate your red blood cells, plasma, and platelets. The resulting solution of plasma has a high concentration of platelets. Your health provider then injects the rich concentration of platelets into the area affected by an injury.
Platelets or thrombocytes are cell fragments from the bone marrow and are essential for forming clots and stopping or preventing bleeding. Platelets also contain growth factors, cytokines, and nutrients that promote tissue repair and regeneration. Growth factors are vitamins and hormones that support cell and tissue restoration, reduce swelling, improve cell growth, and enhance immune system communication. Cytokines are small proteins that control the growth and activity of blood cells and immune system cells.
Consequently, below are common sports injuries that may benefit from platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections.
- Tennis elbow
Tennis elbow, medically known as lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition resulting from overloading the elbow tendons due to repetitive and straining motions of your wrist and arm, especially when you play tennis. You can still develop tennis elbow if you have a job that weakens your elbows, such as plumbing and carpentry. Mechanics, climbers, butchers, and painters are also at risk of inflaming the tendons of their forearms.
Tennis elbow may benefit from platelet-rich plasma injections because the tendons in your forearm receive a limited supply of blood and nutrients. Therefore, healing of the tendons happens slowly.
Other potential treatment options for tennis elbow include ice therapy, resting, and anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Rotator cuff injuries
The rotator cuff consists of a group of tendons and muscles holding the shoulder joint in its correct position, allowing you to move your shoulder and arm freely. However, repetitive movements and overuse of your upper arm, like when you shoot baskets or throw a baseball, may lead to irritation and damage to the rotator cuff. You may also injure your rotator cuff due to an accident such as a fall.
A rotator cuff tear may cause pain, weakness, and reduced range of arm and shoulder motion.
Partial tears and inflammation of the rotator cuff can benefit from PRP treatment. But, if you have a completely torn rotator cuff, you must undergo surgery.
- Plantar fasciitis
The plantar fascia is a strong, fibrous ligament that connects your heel to the ball of your foot and toes. Exerting too much pressure on your feet can cause the degeneration and inflammation of the plantar fascia, which causes plantar fasciitis, also called the policeman’s heel. Plantar fasciitis is one of the leading causes of heel pain; therefore, it is common among runners and those who play sports.
You risk heel spurs when you do not subject your plantar fasciitis to platelet-rich plasma injections or other effective treatments.
Other sports injuries that may also get relief from platelet-rich plasma injections include hamstring injuries, golfer’s elbow, and jumper’s knee.
Contact Genesis Orthopaedic and Spine today to schedule an appointment with sports medicine specialists.