PRP injections are used to accelerate the healing of a variety of tissues including tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints. They may be done with or without the guidance of ultrasound and can be used with a multitude of conditions including Tennis elbow, Golfer’s Elbow, Rotator Cuff Tears, Achilles Tendon injuries, and Osteoarthritis.
How is it done?
Platelets are a type of blood cell that is present is the plasma, or liquid portion, of our blood. They serve to cause blood clots and other necessary growth healing functions. In preparation for PRP injections, blood is taken from the patient and then run through a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets. These platelets are then taken and injected directly into the injured or diseased body tissue. This causes a release of growth factors and stimulates an increase in the number of repair cells your body produces to accelerate the healing process.
The use of PRP injections is becoming more common and there is some evidence that shows they help to improve function and decrease pain with tendonitis or chronic tendinosis1. There are limited side effects as the injection is created from your own blood. One important note to consider is that anti-inflammatory medications should be stopped before and after the PRP injections because they can interfere with the healing response that the PRP injection produces.
Physiotherapy can play an important role before and after PRP injections. Guided flexibility and strengthening exercise can help influence the healing process and tissue adaptation that occurs with the injections.
If you have any further questions in regards to PRP injections and the role of physiotherapy, we would love to help you out.
~ Trevor, Physiotherapist
1 Hospital For Special Surgery website, 2020