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PLATELET RICH PLASMA (abbreviated PRP) is the name given to a treatment done to stimulate healing which involves injection of one's own growth factors into injured areas
The process involves taking blood from the patient, spinning it down to growth factor rich platelets, and then injecting that back into the injured area. PRP has been used in musculoskeletal medicine as early as the 1990's, and since the 1980's in surgical and dental procedures. Uses for PRP in musculoskeletal medicine include treatment of tendonopathy, tendonosis, acute and chronic muscle strain, ligament sprains and intra-articular injuries and joint pain such as arthritis and knee meniscus damage. The theory and technique behind PRP is similar to that of Prolotherapy (proliferation therapy). Typically Prolotherapy treatments are done first, and often will handle the musculoskeletal problem. But if results from traditional Prolotherapy treatments are not sufficient, PRP may be employed. PRP, like Prolotherapy, is an office procedure.
LEARN MORE: ARTICLE FROM JAN/FEB 2008 PRACTICAL PAIN MANAGEMENT JOURNAL
"Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Matrix Grafts" by David Crane, MD and Peter A.M. Everts, PhD
PDF file about 2MB in size
Links to news clips on athletes receiving PRP: