Physical Therapy and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

The purpose of this post is not to present a heavy amount of research, but rather to pose a question based on current understanding of PRP and its’ potential. For a long time Physical Therapists have been helping patients with postural deficiencies or movement patterns. Usually these movement patterns or postural tendencies have resulted in some sort of injury for the patient. For many injuries without a clear cause such as a fall, physical therapy can greatly help. By restoring the proper mechanics and function of a joint or movement, we decrease the stress on the tissues and the body can start to heal. While restoring the mechanics of the movement can be a great start, wouldn’t it be better if we could both restore the mechanics, PLUS restore the tissue to its’ former stronger state? This is where combination therapy with PRP has potential.

When afflicted with chronic repetitive injury, many times people are left with scar tissue in the affected soft tissue, which restricts the tissues’ ability to fully heal. This scar tissue makes the entire structure of the soft tissue weaker, and more susceptible to re-injury. The promise that PRP is showing suggests that it may be able to stimulate healing despite the presence of the scar tissue, which could result in restoration of the original structural properties of the tissue.

Like many things in healthcare, the approach to injury is often unilateral. Many patients will be recommended physical therapy, OR injection therapy, OR medicinal management. That is where The Doctors of Physical Therapy and Ethos Integrative Medicine located in Scottsdale, AZ have started making an impact. We have co-treated many patients using an integrative approach with physical therapy restoring the mechanics, and PRP restoring the soft tissue properties. With many of our patients results are faster and in theory, will be longer lasting. Though not widely practiced, this approach makes a lot of sense and it is easy to see why it works so well. With this approach, the symptoms and the causes are resolved in one fell swoop.

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