Will PRP Therapy and Stem Cell Therapy .pdf
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Will PRP Therapy and Stem Cell Therapy
Become More Common for Athletes?
By DR. DAVID SIMON
Recovering from cartilage, tendon, or a muscle injury is
normally remedied by rest, physiotherapy, and sometimes
For athletes, especially those playing at the elite level, recovery
time is a factor. Pro athletes are paid to perform, and missing
time with injury equates to a bad return on the team
o e ’s i est e t.
Re upe ati g f o a i ju y ui kly is ’t as u ial fo a ateu
athletes or weekend warriors, but no one likes to sit on the
sidelines in pain all the same.
That’s hy alte ati e paths to e o e y a d eha ilitatio a e
gaining momentum in the athletic world, particularly
platelet rich plasma injections (PRP therapy) and stem cell
The practice of PRP therapy and similar regenerative medicine
was banned in pro sports by the World Anti-Doping Agency
(WADA), in fear of performance-enhancing effects.
That ban was lifted in 2011 when no evidence was found,
resulting in more and more athletes taking advantage of
their therapeutic effects.
Tiger Woods infamously turned to PRP therapy in 2008-09
while attempting to come back from a blown-out ACL and
torn Achilles. Since then, a number of high-profile athletes
are starting to adopt these treatments, including nowretired NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, current NBA All-Star
DeMarcus Cousins, MLB slugger Alex Rodriguez, and
Chelsea skipper John Terry.
With big names advocating the use of PRP therapy or stem
cell therapy, there may be a trickle down effect to their
peers, and further down to amateur athletes from there.
So which regenerative medicine has potential to become
popular for athletes in the future?
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP Therapy)
Platelet rich plasma therapy is like recycling your own blood to
heal targeted areas of pain or injury. A sample of blood is
taken from the patient, from the arm for example, and is
spun in a centrifuge. The tissue-repairing platelets are then
extracted from the blood, and re-injected into injury areas
such as tendons or cartilage.
Athletes with knee injuries or Achilles tears in particular are
turning to PRP therapy. Knee problems can be chronic, and
Achilles injuries take a long time to recover from, meaning
speedy recuperation is often sought.
Ho effe ti e a they e? Afte Woods’ PRP i je tio s i ’0 ,
he e t o to do i ate the ’0 seaso i o e of the est
years of his career. He won six tourneys, was runner-up in
three others, and had a top-10 finish in all but three events
he participated in.
He as the o ld’s est golfe at the ti e, ut the e’s o ay
he could come back from an Achilles injury that fast and
compete at the highest level without PRP therapy. Avoiding
surgery, crushing his peers, and collecting a ton of
accolades speaks to the effectiveness of PRP therapy for
athletes, and why athletes have been more receptive to the
therapy ever since. Of all regenerative medicine injections
on the rise, PRP treatments has the chance to become very
popular and widely-used.
Stem Cell Therapy
If you enjoyed the extended careers of Kobe Bryant and two-time
Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning, thank stem cell therapy.
The t o fa es of thei spo t e e ’t shy i telli g people they used
stem cell treatment to heal injured joints and repair damaged
Stem cells have the unique ability to differentiate into different cell
types in the body anything from muscle, tendon, or ligament cells.
I a h o i ally i ju ed a ea, the e’s a la k of ste ells ei g
distributed to these areas, which stem cell therapy provides,
ultimately expediting healing time.
Peyton Ma i g aside, ste ell the apy has the pote tial a d it’s
already happening to rise in football particularly, thanks to the
myriad of injuries a player can face in the full-body, full-contact
sport. Other athletes have experimented with this therapy,
including former world #1 tennis player Rafael Nadal.
With the adoption and acceptance of PRP therapy and stem
cell therapy by high-performance athletes across multiple
spo ts, the e’s a good ha e you’ll hea a out
regenerative medicine more often in the news when your
favourite athlete is trying to come back from injury.
Instead of missing months of a season with tedious rehab or
surgery, a stem cell or PRP injection can have athletes back
doing what they love faster welcome news for worried
team owners, teammates, and fans.
You do ’t eed to e a elite athlete to take ad a tage of PRP
the apy o ste ell the apy if you’ e suffe i g f o h o i
pain or injury.
Dr.David Simon MD
About: Dr. David Simon experienced
Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Doctor in Kanata
Mailing Address: 1108-A Klondike Road, Kanata,
ON, K1K 0G1