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PRP Stem Cell Therapy Might Help You Heal Quicker And Provide Pain Relief From A Tissue Injury

If you have pain from a muscle or tendon injury that's not healing well, you might want to talk to your doctor about stem cell therapy or PRP injections. These treatments might trigger your body's own healing response so your injury heals faster and you can get back to your routine of working or playing sports quicker. Here's a look at how these treatments work and how they differ.

PRP Injections Rely On Platelets To Work

PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, utilizes the platelets in your blood to stimulate the natural healing of injured tissues. The blood that flows through your arteries and veins contains plasma, which is a protein-rich watery fluid, blood cells, and platelets. PRP injections use platelets taken from your own blood.

A blood sample is drawn during your office visit, and the sample is placed in a centrifuge where the blood cells are separated and removed while the plasma and platelets are left behind to form a concentrated solution that is injected into your injured muscle.

The PRP sample is injected right away so there is no need to store or transport it. Because the PRP is taken from your own body, the risk of complications from the injection is low. To receive the therapy, the doctor injects the platelet-rich plasma directly into your muscle near the injury. The doctor might need to use an ultrasound to help guide the needle to the exact spot where the platelets are needed.

Stem Cell Therapy Uses Stem Cells For Healing

Stem cell injections work in a similar manner, but they rely on stem cells to generate healing. Plus, the cells are harvested in a different way, although they still come from your body. Stem cells don't come from your blood. Instead, they come from your fat or from your bone marrow.

Your doctor decides which type of stem cells are best for your case and harvests them right before they are injected into your body. Stem cells aren't specific cells, but they have the ability to become the cells needed to help an injury repair itself in many places in the body and in different types of tissue.

PRP Stem Cell Therapy Combines Both Procedures

Your doctor may want to give you both PRP and stem cell injections so you have a chance at the best recovery from your injury. Each case is treated differently. Your doctor considers things like your age, the nature of your injury, your general health, and your usual level of activity when deciding whether PRP injections and stem cell therapy together or alone are right for you. If so, you might enjoy pain relief that lasts for months, but maintenance injections could be needed for long-term pain relief and healing.