How do top athletes come back so fast from seemingly career-ending injuries? In the NBA, NFL it’s common to hear of athletes coming back from ACL injuries to play their best seasons in just a matter of months. But what is their secret? What technologies and new and innovative therapies are they trying? One of these is known as platelet-rich plasma therapy, and the list of All-American athletes that have used it is grown. It now includes names like Troy Polamalu, Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant and Danny Salazar.
What is platelet rich plasma therapy?
Platelet-rich plasma therapy is a new and exciting treatment that can be used for a whole host of injuries suffered by sports stars and amateur athletes alike. It works by enhancing the body’s own natural healing mechanisms. The procedure is performed in a number of steps:
- A sample of the patient or athletes own blood is taken
- This sample is spun at high speed (centrifuged), which acts to separate out the different components of the blood.
- The platelets and plasma are removed from the centrifuge, leaving behind the red blood cells
- The platelets and plasma are injected back into the individual into the area of injury that requires healing.
When these platelets are injected back into the injured site current theories suggest they work to stimulate the bodies healing process and speed up recovery time.
Russell Westbrook Joins growing list of top athletes trialing PRP
In late 2017 Russell Westbrook, star of the Oklahoma City Thunder, was reported to have a PRP injection in his left patellar tendon. The injection wasn’t for any previously reported injury and Westbrook was it wasn’t for anything serious – he just had a minor injury was needed to get on top of it fast so that it wouldn’t trouble him in the regular season. General Manager Sam Presti said
“I think he really wanted to make sure he took care of that in advance, so it wasn’t something that lingered through the year,” Presti said. “We’ll work him back in, I think, as we get through camp and see how he’s doing.”
Many athletes are following Westbrooks lead, using PRP to get on top of small injuries as well as last ligament tears. PRPs power to improve the body’s own natural healing process is perfect for this.
Another athlete who recently turned to PRP injections to get back to their best was Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston. He received the injection for an AC joint sprain in his throwing shoulder. Jameis ended up being able to finish the NFL season because of conservative treatment like PRP therapy.
If you or somebody you know has suffered a sporting injury and you think you might be benefited by platelet-rich plasma therapy, get in contact with a specialist clinic that specializes in the procedure today.