DAVE WATTS, MD
The benefits of PRP for athletes
If you’re a gymnast, athlete, or someone who leads a physically active life, it’s easy to hurt yourself without meaning to or without even knowing it. Fortunately, if you have an elbow specialist that you trust to recommend sport and spine rehab therapy, getting the right help for a sports-related injury becomes a lot more simple. When it comes to treating athletes, many Sioux Falls orthopedic surgeons are turning more and more toward PRP, or platelet-rich plasma therapy, to help their patients heal. So what does PRP actually do for high-performing athletes? Here are just a few of the cutting-edge therapy’s many benefits.
Nobody wants to spend a ton of time on the bench, especially if you’re an active person or an athlete. That’s why PRP appeals to so many professionals. The downtime for individuals who undergo PRP injections can last from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the severity of the injury. By receiving these injections, the site of the injury is basically getting flooded with the amount of collagen needed to bring about fast repair in the body. PRP allows the body to do its own healing naturally, by essentially “tricking” the wound site into creating the materials for its own regeneration in record time. Most athletes who undergo the surgical procedure or injections get back to where they were in around six months. With traditional surgery, the recovery time is likely to take twice that long, with no guarantee that an athlete will be able to perform at the same level they were at before surgery.
No Performance or Ability Loss
With many sports-related injuries, athletes fear that undergoing traditional surgery will weaken their performance or limit their range of motion, creating problems for their future career. One of the big selling points of PRP, however, is that there’s no loss of ability after surgery or injections. Since there’s no removal of tissue and no foreign object like an implant being placed in the body, athletes don’t have to worry about losing any muscle or cartilage. All that PRP does is allow the body to gain back what it needs to repair itself without taking anything away. Because athletes often have to deal with joint pain due to performing the same physical motions over and over, the solution often requires invasive surgery that limits the function of the joint afterward. PRP works to heal the stressed joints and ligaments without the threat of diminished range of motion or function.
Help with Inflammation
Inflammation is a serious risk for professional athletes. Even if a player doesn’t suffer from joint pain yet, it’s incredibly common to experience inflammation and pain in certain areas like the Achilles tendon or rotator cuff after a grueling game. Chronic tendon or ligament issues can easily lead to bigger problems if left unchecked. PRP helps the body deal with this pain by jumpstarting the creation of all the materials it needs to strengthen and protect sore joints without the need for more invasive solutions.