Myths and Facts About PRP Therapy

doctor speaking to female patient

Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, draws upon your body’s own regenerative ability to accelerate healing and relieve pain. Although PRP therapy is an incredibly safe option, we’ve discovered that patients at Regenerative Institute of Newport Beach have often heard many myths that painted PRP in a negative light and made them shy away from PRP therapy. 

As a leading expert in PRP therapy, we’d like to let you know the real truth behind a few of the myths.

Myth 1: PRP is a risky procedure

The fact is that PRP is an exceptionally safe procedure. For starters, your PRP therapy is autologous, so it’s made from your own blood. As a result, you don’t need to worry about negative reactions or side effects.  

Medical experts in clinical practice, as well as researchers in the field, consider PRP to be safe for two key reasons: its autologous nature and the fact that PRP has been used for many years without any major complications.

In March 2018, the Journal of Spine Surgery published the results of a study in which patients received PRP for low back pain caused by disc problems. In addition to reporting a remarkable improvement in their back pain, the researchers noted that a major advantage of PRP therapy is its safety and the fact that it doesn’t cause complications or side effects.

Myth 2: PRP is only for cosmetic problems

Patients often tell us that they heard about PRP being used for facial rejuvenation and to regrow hair in patients with hair loss, and they thought those were the only uses for PRP. Though it is highly effective for both, PRP is more often used to accelerate healing and relieve pain in many different health conditions.

PRP is widely used in the orthopedics field to treat numerous conditions, including ligament and tendon ruptures, meniscal damage, rotator cuff tears, and the full range of soft tissue injuries. Image-guided injections are often used to treat inflammatory and degenerative conditions, including tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and knee osteoarthritis.

PRP enhances bone regeneration and soft tissue healing in patients receiving dental surgery. It also helps slow-healing wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers.

Myth 3: PRP therapy requires surgery

PRP therapy is never administered using surgery. For most medical uses, PRP is injected, using real-time imaging to carefully guide the needle and ensure the PRP is placed directly at the site of your injured tissues. Skin rejuvenation is an exception. PRP can be injected for cosmetic treatments, but microneedling is often used because it allows PRP to infuse into your skin.

When surgery is needed to repair a musculoskeletal condition, orthopedic surgeons often apply PRP at the surgical site to promote healing. However, surgery isn’t done for the sole purpose of applying PRP.

Myth 4: PRP is only good for pain relief

PRP is often used to relieve chronic pain conditions such as lower back pain. And if pain relief happened to be the only benefit of PRP therapy, it would still be an extraordinary treatment. But you’ll receive much more from PRP. The platelets in PRP release growth factors and signaling molecules that:

  • Regulate inflammation
  • Recruit stem cells to the area
  • Trigger new tissue production
  • Stimulate new blood vessel growth
  • Prevent degeneration of healthy tissues
  • Produce a matrix that supports new tissue growth

These processes work together to speed up tissue regeneration and healing -- and relieve your pain. PRP therapy is especially effective when you’ve injured tissues that are slow healing or when you have a severe injury that may overwhelm your body’s healing ability.

Myth 5: PRP is a new therapy

PRP has a long history of use, beginning in the 1970s, when it was created by hematologists as a treatment for a blood condition called thrombocytopenia. It has been used in maxillofacial surgery since the 1980s, and more recently, it has been used extensively to help heal musculoskeletal injuries, not to mention cosmetic procedures. PRP is actively used or being studied for its use in nearly every medical field, including cardiology, gynecology, and ophthalmology.

When you’re considering PRP therapy, it’s important to receive your treatment from the PRP experts at Regenerative Institute of Newport Beach. If you have questions or if you'd like to schedule an appointment, call the office, or use the online booking feature.