If you are involved in the regenerative medicine field, you probably find yourself having to search for ways to make procedures like PRP therapy understandable to people without medical degrees. It is part and parcel with being in the industry. Running across a simple but accurate explanation is like finding gold at the end of a rainbow.
A case in point involves a June 2019 post from the Physicians Weekly website. The Doctor’s Voice post was based on an interview with Dr. Mahmud Ibrahim, MD. Dr. Ibrahim was discussing various options for treating tendinitis when he mentioned PRP therapy. He described the therapy as “tricking your body into thinking this is a new injury” in order to encourage natural healing.
While some might argue the term ‘tricking’ from a purely scientific standpoint, Dr. Ibrahim’s explanation is a brilliant one. It makes it easier for the average person to understand how PRP therapy works without getting into all of the finer medical details.
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Treating Tendinitis with PRP
For the record, PRP therapy wasn’t the only treatment mentioned by Dr. Ibrahim. He also cited first-line treatments that included chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications. Corticosteroid injections and percutaneous tenotomy were also brought to the table.
PRP therapy is a relatively new way to treat orthopedic issues like tendinitis. It is based on an understanding of what blood platelets and growth factors do under normal circumstances. When an injury occurs, the platelets and growth factors send signals to the brain that make it clear an injury is in need of attention. The brain then signals the body’s healing systems to get to work on the issue.
Describing PRP therapy as a way of tricking the body into healing itself is a rudimentary explanation of what is otherwise a natural process. The reason doctors recommend this therapy for something like tendinitis is simply the fact that the natural healing process is not going as it should. PRP injections seek to correct that.
Simple but Effective
Patients have a variety of treatments to choose from when suffering from tendinitis. Obviously, whatever treatment is chosen is ultimately decided on after patient and doctor consult. PRP therapy is the choice in some cases because it is minimally invasive, it doesn’t involve prescription medications, and it relies on resources provided by the patient.
The beauty of PRP is that it is an amazingly simple procedure. It is so simple that it can be conducted in a doctor’s office as an outpatient procedure. To perform it, a doctor needs the right training along with equipment and supplies that include a centrifuge and a PRP kit.
Apex Biologix, a Utah company that supplies doctors with both equipment and kits, explains the procedure is little more than a blood draw and an injection. It starts with drawing blood in the same way a phlebotomist would draw blood. The doctor puts the drawn blood into the centrifuge to isolate platelets. Finally, the platelets and growth factors are injected into the site of injury.
Whatever Explanation Works
Not everyone in the regenerative medicine industry will be comfortable with Dr. Ibrahim’s explanation. But that’s okay. We all need to see it in whatever way helps us to best understand it. If describing PRP as a way to trick the body into healing itself is necessary to relate to patients, that’s fine. What’s more important is whether or not the procedure achieves the desired results.
For the record, PRP therapy is gaining traction among orthopedists and aesthetic physicians. It is proving itself useful as an alternative treatment.