Wherever there are athletes there will be injuries, it is really inevitable. But recently, at the forefront of medicine, there has been several interesting things that have changed both sports medicine and results for athletes. So, what are these exciting innovations? Actually, there are three new procedures:
- PRP therapy
- Stem cells
- Growth hormone
Let’s go a little deeper and look at the differences!
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy is one of the latest treatment methods in sports medicine. Professional sport has certainly attracted attention. There are several stem cell therapies that include the use of adult stem cells, embryonic stem cells and umbilical cord blood stem cells. This therapy is still very experimental and requires much more research.
One of the most discussed stem cell therapies was the one used by the baseball player Bartolo Colon, who underwent stem cell surgery to regenerate the tissues of his elbow and shoulder. The New York Times reported on this operation, and one of the reasons it received so much attention was because his doctor had used HGH injections in similar procedures in the past, but in this case the doctor refused to use it because it was now a prohibited substance. However, the history of growth hormone is very impressive, as it has been shown to speed up the healing process after serious injuries.
This is not magic, and you should not be afraid of stem cell therapy. It is certainly another type of medical procedure that can bring amazing benefits to the world of sports.
PRP or platelet rich plasma therapy is new only in the USA, but has been used in Europe for many years, so unlike stem cells, it is no longer considered experimental. The benefits of PRP therapy are well known. This concept has been used for many years in various ways, trying to introduce stimuli or inject them into the traumatized area to improve blood circulation thus faster healing.
PRP therapy is a fairly new procedure that supports the regeneration of ligaments, tendons and cartilage. In sports medicine, PRP therapy is now used to treat injured athletes.
Ligaments and tendons are made of collagen fibers that can be stretched or torn in case of injury. These injuries are known as strains, tears or sprains.
Many studies have shown that if blood flow in the wound area can be improved the speed of healing will also improve. The blood brings growth factors and platelets to the injured region which leads to the creation of new collagen fibers embedded in organized layers that create an environment in which the ligaments and tendons can heal properly, restoring all their strength and flexibility.
If the healing process does not go well and the body does not create new collagen fibers, the body begins to form a scar. If there is not enough blood circulation in the region, this will happen. As scar tissue develops, it stops blood flow even further because capillaries and small blood vessels can no longer allow blood to pass through the scar tissue. In these cases, the trauma does not heal properly.
For an athlete who is not well healed, this can be the end of his career and his income. Almost always, these athletes have tried all kinds of treatments, such as painkillers, anti-inflammatories, topical creams, massages, physical therapy, acupuncture and cortisone injections but often they just don’t work. These procedures do not target scar tissue, poor blood circulation, and fiber problems.
For many athletes who are not healing, not only will their careers end but they now live with disabilities and often experience constant pain. They may even try surgery. Sports medicine, on the other hand, sees PRP therapy as a possible solution. PRP therapy only requires taking the athlete’s blood, which is centrifuged to create a plasma that is more concentrated with platelets and different growth factors.
There is no risk of rejection or reaction, because only very small amounts of concentrated platelets, which come exclusively from your body, are injected. For the PRP to work, the sports physician will make sure that the platelets are injected into the exact spot of the lesion using ultrasound. In addition to being injected directly into the ligament or tendon, it can even be injected into small tears or collagen fibers. Platelets become active when injected and bring proteins and other healing agents into the area to help rejuvenate the tissue and heal the area. It is also known that HGH increases the efficiency of PRP therapy and accelerates the healing process, so it makes sense to add HGH to PRP therapy for maximum benefit. For more information on HGH, read more here!
Athletes with acute and chronic injuries can benefit from PRP therapy, which is now considered a more standard and less experimental treatment than stem cell therapy.
PRP therapy is generally used for treatment:
- Achilles Tendinitis
- Knee tendon sprains
- Partial tears
- Plantar fasciitis
- Tendon and quadriceps tears
- Shoulder Injuries
- Lower Back injuries
When it comes to sports medicine and the treatment of sports injuries, PRP is certainly a step forward in the treatment of many types of injuries, especially when combined with human growth hormone to accelerate the healing process.