Anyone who has not spent the last two years living under a rock has probably heard about platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. Even if one doesn’t know the details of how PRP therapy works, the fact that the therapy exists is common knowledge. You might even make the case that it is the hottest thing in medicine these days. But why?
There are certain characteristics about PRP therapy that make it attractive to certain kinds of people. Identify those characteristics and the people to whom they pertain and you will discover why PRP therapy is getting so much attention.
For the record, PRP therapy is just one form of regenerative medicine. It is often used alongside stem cell therapies to treat things like sports injuries and osteoarthritis. On the whole, regenerative medicine is a form of medicine that seeks to promote healing by re-growing lost or damaged tissue rather than treating patients with pharmacological or surgical therapies. It is also safe and minimally invasive.
Sports Industry Influence
Much of the hype surrounding PRP therapy is a direct result of influence from the sports industry. Professional athletes have been turning to PRP therapy in larger numbers in hopes of faster and more thorough recovery following injury. You can type ‘athletes and PRP therapy’ into Google and get a lengthy list of recognizable names.
PRP therapy is big among professional baseball pitchers hoping to avoid Tommy John surgery. Pro football players look to PRP after suffering ligament and muscle injuries. The same is true for tennis players, basketball players, runners, figure skaters, and on and on.
Another reason PRP therapy is getting so much attention is the simple fact that celebrities are endorsing it. Have you heard of the vampire facial? It is an aesthetic PRP procedure made famous by Kim Kardashian. Pictures showing her at the receiving end of the procedure suddenly put it at the forefront when they went viral. Now it seems everyone and her cousin wants the vampire facial.
Celebrities are not shy about telling the world all the ways they attempt to improve their appearances. From vampire facials to PRP injections for hair loss, the stories are out there for public consumption. And guess what? They work. When people learn what their favorite celebrities are doing, they do their best to follow suit.
We cannot talk about the growing popularity of PRP therapy without discussing physician influence. According to the Advanced Regenerative Medicine Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, growing numbers of clinicians are undergoing PRP training so that they can begin offering the therapy in their own practices.
Many of these clinicians are aesthetic physicians looking to get their share of the PRP market for skin rejuvenation and hair loss. Others are doctors specializing in sports medicine. Still others are orthopedists and primary care physicians who believe PRP therapy could help some of their patients suffering from osteoarthritis.
It stands to reason that more clinicians talking about PRP therapy would lead to more people being willing to give the treatment a try. Doctors benefit inasmuch as PRP therapy represents a cash and carry transaction. Patients benefit in that they do not have to ask their insurance companies permission. The only downside is that they have to cover the therapy out-of-pocket; health insurance will not pay for PRP procedures.
No matter how you slice it, PRP therapy is getting a lot of attention these days. It may eventually prove to be one of the best treatments for alopecia, orthopedic injuries, and chronic pain caused by diseases like osteoarthritis.