Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy is proving to be quite popular amongst pro athletes. Since the regenerative treatment was introduced, it has been widely used in sports medicine and has been highly successful as well. This treatment involves using the patient’s own blood to regenerate blood cells and organs. The treatment can be used to treat ligament, tendon and muscle injuries.
The list of professional athletes who have undergone PRP is rather long. We will only delve into some of the notable pro athletes that have benefited from PRP.
- Kobe Bryant: Kobe Bryant is one of the most renowned basketball players and just recently he returned from Germany where he underwent PRP treatment for his knee injury. The player has already undergone several surgical procedures and this non-surgical therapy seems to providing brilliant results.
- Alex Rodriguez: Another popular pro athlete known to have undergone PRP therapy is Alex Rodriguez who plays Major League Baseball. This baseball player has so far undergone five PRP treatments and the treatment has indeed accelerated his hip surgery recovery. His trainers are impressed with the quick recovery and say that the results have been impeccable.
- Tiger Woods: Tiger Woods has also been a PRP beneficiary. The golf player has in the past disclosed in a news conference that the treatment was effective in helping him recover from his knee injury.
- Raphael Nadal: Just like Tiger Woods, Raphael Nadal also credits his quick recovery from a knee injury to PRP.
- Takashi Saito: This L.A Dodger’s pitcher has also undergone PRP treatment for his shoulder. In fact, he was amongst the first pro athlete’s to utilize his own blood for regenerativetreatment as he underwent the PRP treatment way back in 2008.
Why Is PRP So Popular Amongst Pro Athletes?
Research shows that PRP does indeed help in accelerating the natural healing process. This is because it regenerates and repairs damaged cells in the body. This treatment has been embraced particularly in sports medicine due to the tough nature of treating tendon and ligament injuries. These are areas which generally have poor blood supply and treating their injuries is not easy.
The healing process tends to be slow and because PRP is directly injected on the injured part of the body, there is increased blood flow. The growth factors from the platelets help in differentiating cells and as a result increased, faster healing. PRP also calls in the body’s stem cells, so stem cell clinics offer the treatment to get athletes back on the field faster!
Injuries to the tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints are quite common in professional sports. It therefore makes sense that professional athletes have quickly turned to the treatment for faster healing. PRP can help reduce the healing process by weeks and sometimes even months.
The procedure is minimally invasive which means that the pro athlete will have a faster recovery and fewer risks with the procedure. In other words, it provides a way for athletes to avoid surgical procedures and heal faster as well. It also helps that PRP uses the patient’s own blood and this means that there are minimum negative reactions and infections that could occur due to the treatment.
With continuous research on PRP, it’s highly likely that stubborn sports injuries such as knee tendinitis and tennis or golfer’s elbow could have an easy and effective treatment. A recent study in the American Journal of Sports medicine showed that chronic tennis elbow experiences over 90% relief with PRP therapy. The patients in the study had tried everything except surgery and almost all avoided the need for an operation.
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