Professional athletes use many different techniques to optimize their performance and remain competitive, especially this time of year. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is one of the newest and most exciting tools now available for athletes before, during, and after their regular season.
The true value of PRP was first noticed by star athletes back in 2009, when Pittsburgh Steelers’ big names Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu utilized PRP treatment to heal their injuries and ultimately return to the field to win the Super Bowl. Major league pitchers, professional soccer players, and golf legends soon followed their example.
On the Los Angeles Dodgers’ team, physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache used PRP to treat a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in the throwing elbow of pitcher Takashi Saito. Normally, that type of injury would have required an invasive surgery, with no choice but to prematurely end Saito’s season and put him out of commission for the next year. PRP, however, made it possible for Saito to heal in just three months and return to pitching without pain.
PRP is surprisingly easy to obtain and use for treatment. A small amount of a patient’s blood is processed in a centrifuge at a very high speed, which quickly separates red blood cells from platelets. The concentrated platelets are collected, placed in a bit of plasma as a carrier, and injected back into the site of injury. Since platelets contain proteins and growth factors that stimulate natural healing within the body, they are able to achieve what no other treatment can: the growth of new soft-tissue or bone cells. PRP is also a powerful tool because it injects blood into areas of the body where blood rarely flows, like ligaments and tendons, which delivers powerful healing capabilities and immediate results.
Given all of this, it’s no wonder that professional athletes are eager to utilize this regenerative alternative to surgery. Rather than being forced to sit on the sidelines during a surgery recovery, athletes from all sports can rely on PRP to resolve the root cause of their injuries, minimize their pain, and get them back on the playing field.
For more of the latest in nutritional/lifestyle research, check all of my blog posts at www.drsobo.com/blog.
For the best care in Integrative Medicine, call Henry C. Sobo, M.D. at 203-348-8805 or write us at [email protected].