Professional athletes, including Kobe and Alex Rodriguez have been doing it for years. Is it right for you? We are talking about PRP injections.
Many of you may have heard of PRP- Platelet Rich Plasma – for the healing of many common musculoskeletal injuries like tendonitis, muscle strains, and ligament strains. But is the marketing hype greater than the results?
First the basis for this therapy: Platelets are components of blood that deal with clotting, healing, and regeneration of damaged tissue. So if platelets are needed for healing, let’s spin some blood in a centrifuge, collect a bunch of platelets, and inject them where it hurts. Sounds logical on some levels. There has been a huge marketing campaign surrounding PRP injections because it’s very lucrative (injections can cost between $600 and $800 each and often multiple are recommended).
However, the science is not in convincing. Most studies have shown that PRP injections are not supported in the literature as highly as they are touted by the marketing campaign. Brings up the next logical question: But can it hurt and is it worth a try?
There does not appear to be any major negative side-effects of PRP injections except to the wallet. The choice is yours :)
~Ed Deboo, PT
Bellingham, Physical Therapy,