Beginning at birth and continuing throughout our lifespan, all humans have adult stem cells present in their bodies. Stem cells’ unique properties include self-renewal and differentiation.
Stem cells can divide and duplicate into the same type of cell or become a different, more specialized cell like blood, supportive soft tissue, bone or cartilage. Stem cells’ extraordinary properties drive the repair system for the body. After injury, stem cells replenish and heal the body.
Stem cells are found in a host of tissues and organs within the body. Common extraction and collection areas include blood, bone marrow, and body fat. Stem cells require four to six weeks to activate once injected and continue to heal and regenerate for up to a year and beyond.
Platelet activation is critical in the process of wound and soft tissue healing. Therapists at Coastal Health Group use platelet-rich plasma (PRP), a portion of patients’ own blood having a high platelet concentration, to promote healing of injured spinal discs, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints. PRP therapy is used effectively with a variety of musculoskeletal issues.
PRP contains growth factors, hormones, white blood cells, and other essential “signaling” cells. They help activate the stem cells and begin the regeneration process. PRP’s effects may be felt within days of the procedure.
PRP injections improve function while decreasing pain in the spine, elbow, wrist, shoulder, hip and knee. Ankle tendonosis is among a number of other conditions and problem areas that benefit.
The side effects of PRP injections are limited due in part to the use of the patient’s own blood.