There are a number of innovative medical treatments now available to accelerate the recovery from an injury. Platelet -rich plasma (PRP) and Prolotherapy are two cutting-edge treatments sought after by athletes and individuals suffering from acute injuries and chronic pain.
PRP was brought into the spotlight last year when Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward used PRP to accelerate his recovery from a knee ligament sprain right before the Super Bowl. Allan Mirshra , an orthopedic surgeon in Northern California was the pioneer for the use of the procedure. Mirshra says the therapy shows promising results in treating patients with acute tendinitis in the elbow and knee. Chris Canty from the New York Giants used it to speed the healing of a stubborn hamstring injury and was so pleased with the result, he used it again for a calf injury.
The Platelet-rich plasma procedure involves taking blood from a patient and then spinning it in a centrifuge to isolate the platelets. The platelet rich plasma is then injected into the injured area. Platelets were first thought of as just clotting agents but research has shown that they also act as healing agents.
Surgeons are using PRP to accelerate the recovery from surgery, as well. It has been reported by USA today that NFL quarterback Steven Bono recovered from Achilles tendon surgery two to three months faster with the use of PRP during the repair.
Prolotherapy is another procedure that’s getting a lot of buzz in the athletic community for healing injuries. Prolotherapy involves injecting a sugar solution into the injured area to act as an inflammatory agent to promote healing of ligaments and connective tissue. Two time World Cup champion Bode Miller was treated successfully with prolotherapy in 2005. The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota has accepted prolotherapy as a valid treatment for dealing with chronic pain.
There is nothing more frustrating for me then being injured and not being able to perform or participate in sports and activites that I love to do. I have had my fair share of injuries over the years and have always looked for alternatives to surgery and innovative ways to recover from an injury quicker. I’m going to look into these procedures further.
If you have ever tried PRP or Prolotherapy let me know if it worked for you.
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Best – Mike Cola