Harnessing the Body’s Healing Powers through Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections

PRP Injection Treatment for Tendonitis and Mild Arthritis

Patients suffering from chronic tendonitis, mild to moderate arthritis and muscle or joint injuries might be candidates for a treatment that literally harnesses their bodys own natural healing abilities. This might sound like science fiction, but it isnt; its done through platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections.

What are PRP injections?

Platelets are part of our blood that heal tissue and cause our blood to clot when were bleeding, while plasma is the liquid part of our blood. Platelet-rich plasma is plasma from your blood that has a much higher concentration of platelets than typical blood,” says Matthew Hilton, DO, board-certified family medicine and sports medicine physician at Holland Hospital.

PRP injections are a quick, outpatient procedure done in a doctors office. The patient's blood is drawn and spun down in a centrifuge to enrich the platelet concentration by roughly six to ten times the amount that is normally in our blood. The doctor then administers the shot via an ultrasound-guided injection. The concentration of the patient’s own platelets accelerates the healing of injured tendons, ligaments and joints.

PRP injections capitalize on the platelets’ role in healing tissue by super-concentrating them into the area of the body where theyre needed,” says Courtney Erickson-Adams, MD, board-certified family medicine and sports medicine physician at Holland Hospital.

After a PRP injection, patients should expect their pain to initially get worse as the platelets increase inflammation to heal the area. It usually takes between four to six weeks to notice improvements. At Holland Hospital Sports Medicine, Dr. Hilton and Dr. Erickson-Adams assess patients at that time to decide whether they would benefit from another injection.

Most people really like this option because it is the most natural treatment,” says Dr. Erickson-Adams. Side effects are minimal because you wont have any reactions to your body's own natural healing products.”

Who are PRP injections for?

PRP injections can treat mild to moderate arthritis and chronic tendinopathies, a kind of injury resulting from overuse where repeated strain to the tendon forms tiny tears. If someone has a condition that hasn't been responding to conservative therapy and treatment, they should consider PRP injections,” says Dr. Hilton.

Other injections for arthritis and tendinopathy are kind of a band-aid for the pain,” says Dr. Ericson-Adams. PRP injections can lead to healing by treating the core source of the problem.”

Dr. Hilton points out that commercial clinics offering PRP injections are often not staffed by people trained to properly administer the shots. This should be done by a physician who has training in ultrasound-guided procedures,” he says. Commercial clinics often charge for packages, meaning patients can pay a lot of money for injections that may not actually be necessary.

At Holland Hospital Sports Medicine, in collaboration with Shoreline Orthopedics, patients can be confident that PRP injections are administered by specially trained doctors who carefully assess each patient’s individual condition and needs, ensuring the maximum potential benefit from this natural treatment.

Where can I learn more?

Holland Hospital Sports Medicine, collaboration with Shoreline Orthopedics, is comprised of physicians that specialize in sports medicine, orthopedics, pain management, physical medicine and rehabilitation as well as physical therapists and athletic trainers to help people stay active, recover from injuries and perform their best.

Learn more about treatment of sports injuries, where to go for care and request an appointment online at Holland Hospital Sports Medicine.

You can also call (616) 395-2877 to request an appointment with sports medicine physicians Courtney Erickson-Adams, MD, or Matthew Hilton, DO.

Courtney Erickson-Adams, MD

Courtney Erickson-Adams, MD

Courtney Erickson-Adams, MD is a board-certified family medicine, sports medicine and lifestyle medicine physician at Holland Hospital Family Medicine - South Washington. She works closely with Holland Hospital high school athletic trainers as their medical director, ensuring the safety and health of area athletes. She believes in the principles of Lifestyle Medicine which prioritizes preventing and treating (and even reversing) disease with the food you eat, how you sleep, how you move your body and how you manage stress. Dr. Erickson-Adams' goal is to help you avoid or reduce medications whenever possible and help you to lead your happiest and healthiest life! For an appointment call (616) 392-8035 or visit https://www.hollandhospital.org/find-a-service/sports-medicine.