What is the difference between stem-cell therapy and PRP injection?

What is the difference between stem-cell therapy and PRP injection?

Regenerative medicine is a relatively new and extremely innovative medical field, in which doctors and scientist look for ways to help the body heal itself more effectively. Some of the treatments that fall under the category of regenerative medicine include PR treatment and stem cell therapy. Because these treatments are unfamiliar to most people, it can be confusing to understand how these types of therapy are different. So, what is the difference between stem-cell therapy and PRP injection?

These two types of treatment are actually very different. To understand why this is, it’s important to understand certain terminology. Let’s look at a few definitions to help clarify.

  • Plasma: This is the liquid part of the blood, made up mostly of water and proteins. Plasma is what carries red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets throughout the bloodstream.
  • Platelet: A type of blood cell, a platelet, also known as a thrombocyte, is a blood cell that causes blood clots and promotes healing in the body. Platelets contain proteins and cytokines that help bone and soft tissue to heal. This is why platelets can be used in therapy, to alleviate various conditions.
  • Stem Cells: Another important part of the body’s repair system, stem cells grow in bone marrow. Stem cells are unspecialized cells that have the ability to differentiate into specialized cells. They can also self-renew for long periods of time. This makes them very useful in healing therapies.

In PRP therapy, platelet-rich plasma is taken from a sample of blood, using a simple needle withdrawal. The blood is then placed into a device known as a centrifuge, where it’s spun to separate the different components in the blood. Once the platelets are isolated, that platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is re-injected back into the body, at the site of injury or pain. PRP treatment relieves inflammation and reduces pain, helping cells to repair.

In stem cell therapy, there’s also extraction and reinjection, but it’s of stem cells, not plasma. Stem cells are not taken from the blood, but rather from bone marrow or fat deposits. The process is more complicated than simply isolating platelets from a blood sample, because stem cells are not readily available the way platelets are. People have a limited supply of stem cells, and to perform stem cell treatment, doctors use an incision or needle to retrieve them. A concentrated solution is made using the stem cells, and that solution is injected into the problem area. Stem cells can differentiate into specialized cells, and by doing so, they trigger a healing response and can even form new tissue when it’s necessary.

Both PRP and stem cell therapy can help with a variety of physical problems. They can address issues like tendonitis, rotator cuff tears, spinal conditions, arthritis, overuse injuries, and inflammation, and they often make it possible for patients to avoid invasive surgery for problems with the knees, back, or shoulders. This is beneficial because surgery can require lengthy recovery time while the recovery from PRP and stem cell therapy occurs within just days of the treatment.

If you’d like to know more about PRP and stem cell treatment, contact Oregon Medical Centers. Founded in 1989 as First Choice Chiropractic, Oregon Medical Centers was established in 2018 after adding Medical Providers and becoming an integrated medical facility. Specialists in treating car accident and workplace injuries, we also treat conditions like sciatica, pinched nerves, TMJ, neck and back pain, headaches, joint pain, and much more. We offer chiropractic care, physical therapy, massage, and regenerative medicine, and we specialize in diagnosing and treating chronic pain. Our dedicated medical team provides high-level care and compassion for patients in a collaborative environment where patients get the best possible treatment. What’s more, our insurance department assists in the insurance process, to alleviate stress for patients and allow them to focus on getting better. For more information about the services we offer or to schedule an appointment, call (503) 390-1552 in Salem, (503) 642-2845 in Aloha, or contact us through our website.   

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October 10, 2022
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Doctor Sunita Bhasin, Aloha & Salem, OR

Dr. Sunita Bhasin, D.C.

Dr. Bhasin grew up in Southern California and did her undergraduate work in pre-med at California State University Northridge, as well as Humboldt State University in California. Dr. Bhasin attended the University of Western States in Portland Oregon where she earned her Doctor of Chiropractic Degree. Dr. Bhasin has passed her National boards and her State Boards. Dr. Bhasin loves helping people and finds great joy helping injured people get out of pain and get their life back again. She has helped thousands of patients.