Regenerative Medicine is incredible, but the list of options can feel overwhelming. For example, platelet-rich plasma vs. stem cell therapy: what’s the difference? Confusing terminology shouldn’t keep you from living without pain! Let’s answer one of the most common questions about different types of regenerative medicine so you can best understand your options.
Two very common regenerative procedures are Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Stem Cell Therapy. Both procedures are safe and natural ways to accelerate your body’s healing processes. In other words, these cells are injected into your injured area and help you heal faster!
So how are stem cells and PRP different?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP): Explained
PRP helps decrease pain and repair damaged tissue in tendons, ligaments, muscles, cartilage, and even nerves. It can also improve sexual health and promote young and healthy skin in aesthetic procedures.
The difference between PRP and stem cells is “strength” and from where they are gathered. PRP is harvested from your own blood. After your blood is drawn, its four components (white and red blood cells, platelets, and plasma) are separated using a centrifuge. After being spun, the blood platelets are concentrated to four or five times the normal amount per cubic centimeter. These concentrated platelets are then re-injected into the injured area and release a multitude of growth factors and healing cells. This kind of procedure causes good inflammation – increasing blood flow to your injury. This large, concentrated amount of cells is what helps you heal faster!
PRP is also a very cost-effective option that is typically harvested on-site and implemented the same day.
Stem Cell Therapy: Explained
Stem Cell Therapy works in a similar way to PRP, sending a concentrated collection of new cells to the injury and accelerating the healing process. The difference is that stem cells are “stronger,” and are harvested from bone marrow or fat tissue. They cause more of an inflammatory healing effect.
Stem cells also help decrease pain and repair damage in many types of tissue, are harvested on-site, and implemented the same day. They are usually the best option for injuries that are more severe.
How Stem Cells and PRP Work Together
While they originate in different places, stem cells and PRP are often used to accelerate healing together in the same procedure. The injured area is precisely targeted using ultrasound or fluoroscopy to get the best results, then both orthobiologic cells get to work!
Stem cells and PRP may appear as part of a list of prescribed procedures, other times they may be used as a pair, and sometimes PRP is used alone. Your path to healing should be tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. That’s why it’s so important to consult a doctor who will carefully consider the wellness of your whole body when deciding what treatments to prescribe.
At the Albano Clinic, we want to help you move better, feel better, and live better using a plan that’s right for you. A painful injury shouldn’t keep you on the sidelines of life. We present you with the best options and a whole-body approach to medicine.
If you experience pain, we would love to talk to you about getting back to the life you love! We invite you to schedule a consultation online or by calling (385) 220-9009.