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PRP vs. Stem Cell Therapy – Here’s the Difference

Suffering from chronic pain or a nagging injury that just won’t go away? Have you tried many different treatment options without seeing the improvement you need? If so, you might have heard about PRP (Platelet-rich plasma) and stem cell therapy. These two regenerative medicine treatments are rapidly gaining popularity as alternative options for patients who don’t want to undergo surgery or use drugs. Here’s an introduction to what these two innovative therapies do, so you can better determine which one is best for treating your condition.

PRP Therapy

PRP therapy is a non-surgical treatment that involves injecting a patient’s own blood plasma, which is rich in platelets, into the affected area. Platelets are blood cells that contain growth factors and other proteins that regulate cell division, angiogenesis, and tissue repair. When injected into a damaged area, PRP therapy triggers the body’s natural healing response to accelerate tissue regeneration, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain.

PRP therapy can be used to treat a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions, such as arthritis, tendonitis, rotator cuff injuries, and ligament sprains. PRP therapy is a safe and quick procedure that takes around 30 minutes to complete.

Stem Cell Therapy

In contrast to PRP, stem cell therapy involves extracting stem cells from a patient’s bone marrow, fat, or blood, and injecting them into the damaged area. These cells are unspecialized cells that can differentiate into various cell types, such as muscle, cartilage, and bone cells. Stem cells also secrete growth factors and anti-inflammatory substances that modulate tissue repair and regeneration.

Stem cell therapy is considered a more potent and versatile treatment option than PRP, as stem cells can differentiate into new tissue and contribute to long-term healing, but it’s more invasive than PRP. It’s also a more expensive procedure that requires harvesting stem cells from the patient’s body or a donor, processing them in a lab, and injecting them into the site of injury. Stem cell therapy can take a few hours to complete and entails some risks, such as infection, bleeding, and graft rejection.

Choosing Between PRP and Stem Cell Therapy

When it comes to choosing between PRP and stem cell therapy, the decision mostly depends on the nature, severity, and location of your injury or condition. PRP therapy is best for mild-to-moderate injuries, such as sprains, strains, and minor tears. It’s also useful for chronic conditions that involve inflammation and tissue degeneration, such as osteoarthritis. PRP therapy has a shorter downtime and recovery period, and it’s generally more affordable than stem cell therapy.

Stem cell therapy, on the other hand, is recommended for more severe and complex injuries, such as ACL tears, meniscus injuries, and degenerated discs. Stem cell therapy has a more extended healing period but delivers more robust and longer-lasting results than PRP. It’s also more suitable for conditions that involve significant tissue loss or damage, such as bone fractures and non-healing wounds.

Is PRP or Stem Cell Therapy Right for You?

PRP and stem cell therapy are two innovative and promising regenerative medicine treatments that offer a non-surgical and drug-free alternative for patients with musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. While both therapies harness the body’s natural healing mechanisms, they differ in their source, potency, and application. Need help determining which treatment is right for you? The caring medical team at Impact Medical Group of Lutz is happy to help! Call us today at (813) 536-0373 to schedule your free medical evaluation. We’ll evaluate your individual case and recommend the best course of action, so you can get back to living a pain-free life.