PRP Is it right for me?

PRP or platelet rich plasma is all the rage.  What is it?  An emerging area of healthcare is regenerative medicine. It is a treatment area based on the human body’s natural ability to heal itself. Regenerative medicine focuses on using that ability in a targeted way to promote and improve healing in injured tissues. It has become increasingly popular to see treatments such as stem-cell therapy or platelet rich plasma offered for a large variety of problems. Everything from facial wrinkles and scarring to chronic low back pain and herniated discs. It can be difficult to make sense of what is what, and what each therapy may be able to help with.

At Arktos Direct Care, platelet rich plasma injections are used to help treat a variety of conditions from chronic osteoarthritis and sports injuries to restoring thinning hair or improving facial wrinkles and scars. Platelet rich plasma or PRP has an amazing ability to stimulate your body’s own mechanisms to heal itself. Also, because it is processed from your own blood, PRP is an incredibly safe treatment. But, what exactly is PRP, how is it used, what does the treatment entail, and who is it for?

Plasma is the liquid portion of blood, which also consists of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Plasma is made up of water, proteins, fat, sugar and salts. Platelets are small fragments of cells that contain numerous growth factors used in clotting, wound healing, and tissue repair. When platelets aggregate together they form a fibrin clot. That fibrin clot is the foundation for the scaffolding that leads to tissue repair and rebuilding. However, to be able to use the healing potential of platelets we need to isolate them from the red blood cells and white blood cells. This is done by using a centrifuge to separate the different layers of blood products and then extracting just the plasma and platelets. Taking that a step further, the platelets then need to be concentrated in the plasma to make platelet rich plasma or PRP.

So, now that we have processed PRP, how is it used? PRP is used with targeted injections into damaged tissues to promote and accelerate healing. By putting the PRP exactly where we want healing to occur, we can direct the body’s own potential for healing. Typically, PRP is injected into arthritic joints and strained or partially torn tendons and ligaments. Often times PRP can be used as an alternative to surgery and is often called “non-surgical tendon and ligament reconstruction”. Also, PRP is now being used in very small injections into the scalp to regrow thinning hair or into the skin of the face to reduce wrinkles and improve scars. Because of its ability to heal injured tendons, ligaments, and joints PRP has famously been used as treatment for many famous athletes such as Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant. But, you don’t have to be a professional athlete to take advantage of PRP. Joint pain from ligament laxity and osteoarthritis responds very well to PRP also.

The actual procedure for PRP treatment involves a short office visit. A patient’s blood is drawn in the office and then processed using a specialized centrifuge and collection kits. Patients will typically wait about 30 minutes in the office during the processing of the PRP. Then the treatment area is prepped and the injections given. Most patients are finished within an hour and free to go home with only a few minor restrictions in activities. Because PRP is a product made from the patient’s own blood there are no worries about reactions to the treatment. PRP has been shown to be very safe in regards to side effects.

Who makes a good candidate for PRP therapy? Only a thorough consultation with a physician can determine if PRP is right for you. But, many common problems may respond very well to PRP. Joint pain from osteoarthritis or small cartilage degeneration can be treated with platelet rich plasma. This includes knee pain, shoulder pain, low back and many other areas of the body. Sports injuries and chronic overuse injuries are also commonly treated using PRP with prolotherapy techniques. We are also seeing a new interest in hair restoration therapy with PRP that is producing great results. Often times people who may be looking for an alternative to orthopedic or joint surgery find relief from PRP treatments. It can even be used to get you back out there enjoying your athletic or outdoor endeavors again.

Platelet rich plasma is changing the way we look at treating pain and injuries and is helping clinicians and patients to better understand the potential healing capabilities of the human body. It’s regenerative medicine harnessing what is already inside you to help restore function and keep you doing what you love.

To learn more, contact Dr. Hampton at Arktos Direct Care at 970-818-2280 or


What is PRP?

Platelet rich plasma is the liquid portion of blood that has been concentrated with platelets. This mixture contains an increased amount of growth factors that help to promote healing of tissues.

What are the growth factors in PRP?

There are numerous factors in the PRP that have been shown to increase or start the healing process. These include platelet derived growth factor, transforming growth factor, fibroblast derived growth factor, epidermal growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, connective tissue growth factor, insulin like growth factor and interleukin.

How does PRP work?

The plasma portion of whole blood functions to heal various tissues from injury. When a body tissue is injured the platelets first begin to work to stop any bleeding. Part of process of stopping that bleeding is to release platelet derived growth factor that begins to stimulate the other growth factors and cytokines in the plasma to start the healing process. By concentrating the plasma with an increased

amount of platelets (platelet rich plasma), that signaling process to promote healing is greatly enhanced.

What is PRP used for?

PRP has been used for a variety of musculoskeletal injuries and cosmetic treatments. Commonly, PRP has been used for joint osteoarthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, IT band syndrome, strained or partially torn ligaments around the knee and shoulder, ankle sprains and more. Recently, PRP has gained popularity for facial aesthetic treatments with micro-needling and in thinning hair. There are other new emerging treatments as well.

Who gets PRP?

Famously, professional athletes have been using PRP. Most notable is Tiger Woods as he recovered from achilles tendonitis. But, you don’t have to be a professional athlete to benefit from PRP. Anyone who suffers from arthritis, joint pain, or strains could benefit. Kim Kardashian has also recently been using PRP with the popular “vampire facial”.

Is PRP safe?

One of the biggest advantages of PRP is it’s safety. PRP is prepared from the patient’s own blood, so there is very minimal risks or side effects to the procedure.

How is PRP given to the patient?

PRP is prepared in the office. Blood is drawn from a patient then prepared with a centrifuge and specially designed kits. The PRP is then taken up in a syringe and injected back into the injured tissues. The procedure typically takes about 30 minutes.

How long does it take for PRP to work?

At a cellular level, PRP begins to work immediately. For the patient, results may begin to be noticed in a few weeks and strengthening of the tissues may continue for months. Typically, treatments may need to be repeated in a few weeks to improve the overall healing process.

What does PRP cost?

At Arktos Direct Care PRP ranges from $600 for joint injections to $2500 for a series of hair restoration treatments. Call for more exact inquiries.

Do I have to be a member to have PRP done?

No, membership at Arktos Direct Care is not required to take advantage of PRP or other regenerative therapies. Members do get a discount on the procedures. Call to discuss exclusive discounts for Nextera members.

Is there much recovery time?

Down time is minimal. Most patients are comfortable enough to return to their normal daily activities. Dr. Hampton will often put on some restrictions from strenuous activities for a week or two. If you are already in physical therapy, it is advised to inform your therapist about the treatment.

How can I get started?

Call today to set up your free, no-obligation consultation to see if PRP or regenerative medicine is right for you.

Office phone – 970-818-2280

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