PRP – Platelet Rich Plasma
It is evident that some medical problems can be solved with conventional drugs, physiotherapy or surgery, —- but many cannot. Chronic low back pain, osteoarthritis and headaches are examples where standard medicine often does not help sufficiently. However standard medicine is not the only approach – it is not the most effective one either, it is just the most common Western Treatment with pharmaceutical products approved by FDA / EMA.
In our review of alternative medicine we like to draw the attention to Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment (PRP) a technical variation of Autologous Blood Injection (ABI), also known as Autologous Conditioned Plasma (ACP) Injection.
ABI is a recent medical procedure whereby a patient’s blood is injected into an area of the body for the purposes of healing. The procedure is usually performed under ultrasound control by a radiologist. The injection of blood contains small cells called platelets, which contain platelet derived growth factor. This substance is thought to promote e.g. tendon healing.
A variation on the ACP technique is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), which is where the whole blood removed from the patient is spun in a centrifuge, separating the cells of the blood. As such, a higher concentration of platelets in plasma is delivered into the tissue for healing. Interestingly as shown in various studies there are so called protease inhibitors in plasma. These protease inhibitors have the capability to “knock out” the inflammatory cytokines, the metalloproteases, and the disintregin proteins. Disintrigren proteins e.g. will also cleave cartilage leading to its destruction. These protease inhibitors are commonly called autogenous protease inhibitor concentrate (APIC). The amazing fact is that APIC blocks out all known causes of cartilage degradation in animal studies and in all human studies so far to date. The beauty of this is that we are using the bodies own defense mechanism. The anti protease is called alpha 2 macroglobulin (A2M). The A2M is found in high concentrations in the blood suggesting that treatment with own blood is beneficial for healing.
As yet, there has been no study to demonstrate that a PRP injection is superior to ABI, with both techniques demonstrating improvement in 70-80% of patients. The following video summarizes technique and application of PRP.
PRP has been investigated and used in recent years as a clinical tool for several types of medical treatments, including nerve injury, tendinitis, osteoarthritis, cardiac muscle injury, bone repair and regeneration, and plastic surgery like hair growths. PRP has also received attention in the popular media as a result of its use in treating sports injuries in professional athletes.
There are, at present, two methods of PRP preparation approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Both processes involve the collection of whole blood, that is anticoagulated with citrate dextrose, before undergoing two stages of centrifugation (TruPRP and Harvest) designed to separate the PRP aliquot from platelet-poor plasma and red blood cells. In humans, the typical baseline blood platelet count is approximately 200,000 per µL; therapeutic PRP concentrates the platelets by roughly five-fold. There is however broad variability in the production of PRP by various concentrating equipment and techniques.
PRP therapy offers a promising solution to accelerate healing of tendon injuries and osteoarthritis naturally without subjecting the patient to significant risk. PRP is an emerging treatment in a new health sector known as ”Orthobiologics.” The philosophy is to merge cutting edge technology with the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Blood is made basically of RBC (Red Blood Cells), WBC (White Blood Cells), Plasma, and Platelets. When in their resting state, platelets look like sea sponges and when activated they form branches. Platelets were initially known to be responsible for blood clotting. In the last 20 years we have learned that when activated in the body, platelets release healing proteins called growth factors. There are many growth factors with varying responsibilities, however cumulatively they accelerate tissue and wound healing. Therefore after increasing the baseline concentration of these platelets, a powerful cocktail of growth factors is delivered, that can dramatically enhance tissue recovery.
PRP is virtually a cocktail of many proteins that collectively stimulate repair and regeneration. However, there are some proteins included in PRP that we can now selectively isolate to promote anti-inflammatory effects and pain reduction. Scientists have now developed natural/homeopathic based tools to selectively isolate the cells/growth factors within PRP that meet the needs of customizing the treatment by reducing inflammation and simultaneously stimulating repair. The following video shows an actual treatment success.
As recognized international experts following 5 years of performing thousands of PRP injections and publishing numerous articles; we have learned that many factors can limit or assist healing. Because PRP utilizes own blood to heal, we have gained even more evidence that each patient is unique, and a “one size fits all” approach is not ideal.
From modern science, such as biotechnology, to ancient medical wisdom, such as Chinese Medicine there are many alternative and integrated solutions to medical treatment. They show sometimes even stronger, immediate, and better long term effects, with little to no side effects.