One of the hottest trends in medicine right now is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. Doctors across the country, and even throughout North America and Western Europe, are looking to PRP therapy as a treatment for osteoarthritis, musculoskeletal injuries, and even male pattern baldness. To those clinicians with a favorable view of PRP therapy, it represents a major advancement in modern medicine.
The most unfortunate aspect of PRP therapy is all the negative press it receives. Critics constantly label it as being ‘unproven’ or ‘untested’ despite the fact that medical science has been using multiple forms of the treatment for decades. Media reports do not help either, especially since they focus mainly on doctors who are working outside FDA guidelines and medical community norms.
Apex Biologix, a Utah company that supplies clinicians with centrifuges, PRP kits, and other supplies, says they have noticed an up-tick in their business in recent years. They believe PRP therapy and other regenerative medicine procedures are only just beginning the journey toward becoming mainstream.
PRP Promotes Natural Healing
In its purest form, medicine is supposed to promote healing. PRP therapy does just that. Rather than masking symptoms with pain medication or trying to fix broken structures with surgery, PRP therapy harnesses the body’s natural healing capabilities to restore lost or damaged tissue.
PRP therapy is by no means a miracle cure for every disease. Those who promote it as such are doing a great disservice to regenerative medicine. But that said, PRP therapy has been a game-changer for countless patients – ranging from pro athletes to blue-collar workers.
PRP Can Replace Surgery
Any procedure that could mitigate the need for invasive surgery would be considered a medical advancement. PRP therapy certainly qualifies. Although therapy does not necessarily replace all surgeries, it can mitigate the need for a lot of them. Just talk to Major League Baseball and the NFL.
Every season, countless numbers of baseball and football players elect to undergo PRP therapy before trying surgery. A lot of them get back into competitive play without ever going under the knife. So if PRP therapy can mitigate the need for surgery in pro sports, couldn’t it also reduce the number of surgeries performed for osteoarthritis and musculoskeletal injuries? Absolutely.
PRP Gives Patients Options
Perhaps the most important advancement PRP therapy brings to the table is that of giving patients more options. With these new options, we are also giving patients the opportunity to be active participants in their own healthcare. That’s good.
There is a new mindset in American medicine, a mindset that says patient satisfaction and real outcomes are more important than providing services and collecting fees. A major component of this mindset is the idea of collaboration among a team of medical providers and patients themselves. PRP therapy and its stem cell cousin both promote these ideals.
Patients no longer have to simply accept the premise of taking pain medication for the rest of their lives. They do not have to blindly accept that knee replacement surgery is their only option. PRP therapy gives them something else to consider. For many patients, it gives them hope of being able to return to the kind of life enjoyed before injury or disease began taking its toll.
PRP therapy may have plenty of critics, but their opinions do not change the fact that it represents a major advancement in modern medicine. It is only a matter of time before PRP therapy takes center stage as one of the most reliable and least invasive procedures for treating osteoarthritis and musculoskeletal injuries.