PRP is collected by taking some of your blood. The collected blood is spun at high speeds in a centrifuge. The spun blood contains a mixture of platelet-rich plasma with plasma and growth factors. There are also some red blood cells in the mixture. In some instances, an activating agent may be injected to trigger the effects of the PRP. However, there’s research suggesting the act of injecting PRP into the affected soft tissues can activate the PRP. A topical or local anesthetic is sometimes used to make the process comfortable.
The relief from PRP for tennis elbow isn’t immediate. This is very similar to what’s experienced with cortisone injections. It may take a few weeks to notice the full results since it takes some time for the PRP to begin working on tissues in and around your affected elbow. As your discomfort begins to lessen, you’ll likely to be encouraged to take more of an active role in PT to further increase the strength of soft tissues and joints.
If PRP for tennis elbow provides the desired relief, you may be advised to pay more attention to your form and technique when playing sports requiring repetitious arm and wrist movements. There are also specially designed elbow pads that can provide added protection and support as you recover and heal from tennis elbow. If your symptoms are occupation-related, making an effort to alternate arms may reduce your risk of recurrence.