What is Platelet-Rich Plasma?
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is an autologous concentrated preparation of platelets and the associated growth factors in a small volume of plasma. Platelets are a natural source of a number of growth factors in their natural and biologically-determined ratios.
Platelet Growth Factors
Upon activation, platelets release growth factors and other molecules. These growth factors are regeneration-promoting signaling molecules, such as Platelet-Derived Growth Factor (PDGF), Transforming Growth Factor group (TGF), Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF), Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF), Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) and others. These molecules are shown to regulate the healing cascade, including inflammation and cell proliferation.
How does a provider harvest PRP?
Step 1: Utilizing a specialized blood collection tube from the Eclipse PRP® kit, a practitioner draws a small amount of blood similar to what is required for a basic lab test.
Step 2: The tube is then placed into a centrifuge which spins the blood at a very high speed, causing the platelets to separate from the other components of the blood.
Step 3: Once the platelets are concentrated into the plasma they can be applied to the patient. Activation causes platelets to release essential growth factors and signaling proteins, which are responsible for the wound-healing process.
What are the growth factors and effects?
- Transforming Growth Factor (TGF) Promotes angiogenesis, which is the physiological process involving the synthesis of new blood vessels.
- Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) An important signaling protein involved in both angiogenesis, promoting the growth of blood vessels from preexisting vasculature.
- Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) Promotes angiogenesis, granulation, and epithelialization.
- Platelet-Derived Growth Factor (PDGF) Attracts macrophages and fibroblasts to the application site. Promotes collagen growth and proteoglycan synthesis and the formation of the extracellular mix, also known as fibrin mesh.
- Collagen Stimulating Growth Factor Stimulates granulocyte and macrophage proliferation for the growth of healthy tissue and blood cells.
- Keratinocyte Growth Factor (KGF) Keratinocyte migration, differentiation, and proliferations may optimize conditions.
How long does the PRP process take?
The blood draw takes just a couple of minutes, followed immediately by a 10-minute centrifugation. The time involved in the application varies based on which procedure is being performed.
Can a PRP procedure be painful?
Eclipse PRP® is close to a physiologic pH, which means the product is less likely to cause a stinging or burning sensation. There may be some temporary discomfort or possible redness and inflammation at the application site, but quickly resolves.
What Happens During a Trigger Point Injection?
In the TPI procedure, a health care professional inserts a small needle into the patient's trigger point. The injection contains a local anesthetic or saline, and may include a corticosteroid. With the injection, the trigger point is made inactive and the pain is alleviated. Usually, a brief course of treatment will result in sustained relief. Injections are given in a doctor's office and usually take just a few minutes. Several sites may be injected in one visit. If a patient has an allergy to a certain drug, a dry-needle technique (involving no medications) can be used.
When Is Trigger Point Injection Used?
TPI is used to treat many muscle groups, especially those in the arms, legs, lower back, and neck. In addition, TPI can be used to treat fibromyalgia and tension headaches. The technique is also used to alleviate myofascial pain syndrome (chronic pain involving tissue that surrounds muscle) that does not respond to other treatments.