The human body is an amazing machine that has the capability to heal itself. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapies are two exciting regenerative medical treatments that are changing the face of medicine. But while there are many similarities between PRP and stem cell therapies, there are a number of differences, too. Read on to learn about these two treatments that are changing how we heal.
Platelet-Rich Plasma – PRP – therapy employs the body’s own resources are employed to heal an injury. Our blood is made up of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Platelets have healing properties that help the body heal. Think about the last time you got a paper cut. It probably stopped bleeding quickly because your blood started clotting around the wound. Platelets play an important role in the blood clotting as well as the healing process of wounds. When you get an injury, the platelets in the blood work with the body’s natural healing system to heal it. Our Platelet-rich plasma therapy involves using a concentrated amount of platelets to heal an injury.
To do PRP therapy, a doctor extracts a small amount of blood from the patient and places it in a centrifuge to isolate the platelet-rich plasma from the rest of the blood. The concentrated plasma is then inserted into the patient’s desired area through an injection. The plasma then signals the body’s healing system to heal the injury.
Why PRP? Consider how long it takes for a wound or injury to heal. PRP therapy can help you heal faster after surgery, an accident, or sports injury. PRP therapy became popular initially within sports medicine because of its ability to help the body heal faster so athletes could return to playing their sports quicker. Additionally, PRP therapy is also effective in treating old injuries. Sometimes the body does not finish healing an injury and it’s left partially unhealed, causing pain and other unwanted symptoms to disrupt your life. PRP therapy is effective in treating such injuries and pains because the platelet-rich plasma can encourage the body to finish healing itself.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cells are the raw materials of the body that lay dormant in places such as fat and bone marrow. Stem cell therapy is a regenerative medicine treatment that involves healing the body’s conditions rather than treating the symptoms. Unlike specialized cells, stem cells do not perform specific functions. However, stem cells have the ability to transform into specialized cells that can perform the function that the body needs.
To perform stem cell therapy, a doctor extracts stem cells from the patient’s body. These cells are then multiplied and transformed into the specific type of cells the patient needs. For example, the stem cells can be transformed into heart muscle cells to treat a heart condition. The new specialized cells are then reinserted into the desired area of the body where they begin to perform their newly assigned functions.
While both of these treatments involve healing the body and using the body’s own materials to do the healing, they are very different. In order to determine which of these treatments is right for you, it’s important to speak with a doctor who understands your condition and the capabilities of these treatment methods to heal it.
Please contact our office at (516) 419-4480 or (718) 215-1888 to arrange an appointment with our Pain Management Specialist, Dr. Jeffrey Chacko.