Updated: Sep 29, 2022
PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections by themselves are wondrous procedures that are completely natural and can produce highly satisfying results. But did you know there are 6 simple things you can do to help improve the outcome of your PRP procedure?
Blood Cells and Growth Factors
No matter who you are, how old or what kind of shape you are in, most people receive great benefit from their PRP procedure. However, there are a lucky few who see incredible results after only one or two treatments. Unfortunately, the occasional person sees very little positive results. Why is that?
There are numerous research studies being conducted on PRP and it’s effects on healing and tissue growth. While there is quite a bit of dissent on how PRP affects the human body, most physicians agree that the activated growth factors in platelet rich plasma stimulate healing and tissue growth to some degree. It does this (in simple terms) by attracting uni-potent and multi-potent stem cells to the area of treatment.
This healing and regeneration factor is different from person to person for a variety of reasons. Depending on your health, age, dietary habits, exercise levels and pharmaceutical/drug intake, you may see greater or lesser benefits from PRP.
Part of this is due to the amount of red blood cells in your plasma. When we extract the platelet rich plasma from your blood, often times we see some people get less volume of PRP than others. Less PRP means less growth factors, which can mean your results may not be as good as they could have been. Other times we see that poor cardiovascular health and compromised immunity can impede our body’s ability to regenerate. Certain pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter pain medications and recreational drugs and alcohol can all reduce the effectiveness of your PRP procedure.
How You Can Improve Your PRP Outcome
High Intensity Cardio Exercise This may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s probably the most important key to ramping up your production of red blood cells and strengthening your immune system. Your body produces higher levels of red blood cells and you get more PRP from your blood. With a turbo-charged immune system, it works hand-in-hand to give you the best results possible.
Eat a Diet Rich in Green Leafy Vegetables Often the hardest lifestyle change for most people to make is to change their dietary habits. Yet it is the single most important aspect of our long term health, and it isn’t even close. By introducing more green, leafy vegetables into your diet, cutting out sugary, processed, fatty foods and eating smaller portions throughout the day, you gain multiple benefits that can help your PRP procedure. You can achieve increased immunity, better circulation due to lower cholesterol, and regulated hormone levels — all beneficial to the outcome of your PRP procedure.
Don’t Smoke, Drink or do Drugs So far, this all may sound like the Naturopathic Doctor’s mantra, but it still holds true for just about anything, and PRP is no exception. Smoking cigarettes especially effects the outcome of PRP procedures. Not only does it reduce the volume of PRP you can get from the same amount of blood, but the toxins in cigarette smoke impede the stem cells’ ability to function. According to the US National Library of Medicine: The documented effects of the toxic constituents of cigarette smoke — particularly nicotine, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen cyanide — suggest potential mechanisms by which smoking may undermine expeditious wound repair. Compared with nonsmokers, smokers have a higher incidence of unsatisfactory healing after face-lift surgery, as well as a greater degree of complications following breast surgery.
Increase B-Vitamins and Hydrate By increasing your intake of B-Vitamins, especially Vitamin B12, and staying hydrated before your procedure, you can increase your red blood cells and hemoglobin among other benefits. The range of B-Vitamins (Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Pyridoxine, Biotin, Folate and Cobalamin) are all essential for your health and can be found by eating a variety of healthy plant and animal foods. You will need to supplement your B12 intake if you are vegan or vegetarian since it is mainly found in animal based foods.
Avoid Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID) Do not take aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Aleve, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID), or Corticosteroids for up to 5 days before and after the procedure. These drugs may inhibit the stem cells natural inflammatory response. You may take acetaminophen (Paracetamol, etc.) safely.
Follow Your Post-Procedure Routine Your doctor will discuss with you the best routine to follow after your procedure to help produce the best possible results. It’s very important that you follow this routine to the best of your ability. For instance, you will be advised to stay out of the sun for up to 3 days after the treatment, and then to wear sunscreen on your face anytime you go outside after. You’ll need to keep your face clean, moisturized and avoid picking at scabs.
If you follow these simple steps, we are confident that your outcome will exceed your expectations. We also want you to understand that the benefits of PRP show up over time. Let’s face it, we all want immediate results, but our body works on its own schedule, so the only thing we can do is to be patient. The best thing to do is to take pictures and keep a log of your progress throughout the healing process. This allows you to go back and see where you were as compared to where you are, and the difference might surprise and delight you.