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3 Common Sports Injuries That Benefit from PRP Therapy

Mar 10, 2023
Whether you’ve got a new sports injury or you’ve been nursing the same overuse injury for a while, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy facilitates accelerated regeneration and healing to help you get back in the game with confidence.

When you’re injured and bleeding, powerful microscopic blood cells called platelets rush to the area to coagulate the wound and initiate the healing process. The natural regenerative power of platelets is precisely what makes platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy such a potent treatment solution for many common sports injuries.

As orthobiologics experts who offer a full scope of sports medicine services at Advanced Spine and Pain Clinics in Minneapolis, Minnesota, our skilled team uses PRP therapy to help heal your sports injuries faster and more completely, so you can get back in the game quickly and confidently. 

Here, we explain how PRP therapy works and how it treats musculoskeletal trauma to promote accelerated healing, restore pain-free mobility, and help you overcome sports injuries without delay. 

A short tutorial on PRP power

PRP therapy is a holistic approach to injury care that mobilizes your body’s innate ability to repair and renew itself. It involves injecting a concentrated serum of your own powerful blood platelets into an injured or damaged area to foster rapid cellular regeneration and accelerated tissue healing. 

Your smallest blood cells

By volume, your blood is mostly a colorless fluid called plasma. Suspended within that clear liquid, however, are a variety of solid bioactive components, including red cells, white cells, and platelets. Named for the disc-like shape they take when they’re idle, platelets are your smallest blood cells — a platelet is about half the size of a red blood cell. 

A shapeshifting healer

In the presence of tissue damage, platelets spring into action, morphing from their inert, oval shape into their active form by sprouting long “tentacles” that make them appear more like an octopus or spider when viewed through a microscope. These agile arms allow the blood cells to attach to a damaged area and begin healing repairs. 

It’s all about growth factors

But what gives platelets their regenerative power? Blood platelets are rich in growth factors, cytokines, and other powerful bioactive proteins, all of which work together to actively facilitate cellular repair and tissue regeneration. 

Your unique PRP serum

Before we can harness the healing power of your platelets and apply it to your injury, we condense them into a concentrated serum. 

The process is quick and easy: After drawing a small amount of blood from an arm vein, we spin it in a high-velocity centrifuge machine that separates out your platelets and draws them to the top of the vial, ready for use. 

PRP therapy for sports injuries

When carefully injected into your injured or damaged soft tissues (i.e., muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage), PRP floods the area with healing growth factors that get straight to work. Depending on the nature of your sports injury, PRP may: 

  • Reduce inflammation and foster new cell growth
  • Prompt new blood vessel formation and improved circulation
  • Signal your immune system to trigger intense localized stem cell activity
  • Facilitate connective tissue repair and the development of new, healthy tissues

Simply put, a few well-placed PRP injections can trigger a cascade of healing effects within an injured area that safely and effectively accelerate the healing process. At Advanced Spine and Pain Clinics, our team uses all-natural PRP therapy to treat common sports injuries like: 

1. Tendon injuries

Tendons are strong cords of fibrous connective tissue that attach your muscles to your bones, allowing you to move your joints and limbs. While these important structures are resistant to tearing, they aren’t stretchy and they’re easily injured under repetitive stress and strain. 

PRP is an ideal component of care for chronic tendon injuries, many of which are classified as overuse injuries. It can accelerate healing in: 

  • Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) 
  • Jumper’s knee (patellar tendonitis)
  • Rotator cuff tendonitis and tears
  • Achilles tendonitis or tendinopathy

Given that tendon injuries typically take a long time to heal on their own, PRP therapy can be especially helpful for accelerating your injury recovery timeline. 

2. Muscle strains 

Much of the early publicity on PRP therapy focused on how effective it is at prompting rapid healing in acute muscle strains in elite athletes. As one of the most common sports injuries in athletes of all ages, a pulled muscle is one that has sustained microscopic tears. 

Most muscle strains are a result of overuse, a lack of flexibility, or not warming up properly before activity. PRP therapy can successfully treat:

  • Pulled hamstring muscles
  • Strained calf muscles
  • Pulled biceps muscles 
  • Strained abdominal muscles

Until it heals, a muscle strain can be extremely painful and limiting. PRP therapy can shorten your recovery process and help you get back in the game sooner. 

3. Ligament sprains

Ligaments are fibrous bands of connective tissue that attach bone to bone. They hold structures — especially joints — together and keep them stable. Sudden, twisting motions, quick changes of direction, poorly landed footing, and collisions are common sport-related causes of acute ligament injuries like ankle, knee, or wrist sprains. 

IT band syndrome and plantar fasciitis are other common sports-related ligament injuries that can benefit from PRP therapy. 

Ready to get back in the game?

To learn how PRP therapy can help you overcome a painful or limiting sports injury, call or click online to schedule a visit at Advanced Spine and Pain Clinics today.