The body has brilliant systems for healing injuries of soft tissue: tendon, muscle and joints. Healing begins with inflammation, which brings more blood into the area along with all needed rebuilding ingredients and the chemical signaling molecules that guide the process along the way.
The process isn’t infallible, though, and at times the inborn systems need a little extra help.
I offer numerous types of support for the healing process when it becomes necessary: NeuroTactile Therapy, posture and movement retraining, friction massage, improving joint play, and targeted nutritional and herbal therapies.
The medical world has a new approach for soft tissue injuries: platelet-rich plasma injections, or PRP.
They take a few vials of your blood and spin it down in a centrifuge to separate the fraction with lots of platelets. Then they re-inject it into the problem area.
The idea is that you get an extra dose of the positive healing elements of blood. At the same time, your system is stimulated to charge up the entire healing cycle from the beginning, starting with a new round of inflammation.
It’s an intriguing idea, because it relies on the body’s innate healing capacity. But thus far the research on PRP is pretty spotty, and two new studies that emerged in 2021 showed little benefit of platelet injections for knee arthritis or for ankle arthritis.
The final word about platelet-rich plasma injections has not yet been written. Methods will continue to improve and doctors will be able to better-target those who might benefit. I think there are situations in which it might be worth a try.
My experience, though, is that no method will be effective unless it addresses the underlying reasons that tendons, ligaments, or muscles haven’t healed in the first place. Here are the top four reasons that these injuries linger:
- poor posture and pattern of body use continues to put stress on the area
- poor nutrition sets up the body for inflammation and doesn’t provide the building blocks for healing
- the joints are stuck into a poorly functioning movement pattern and require manual therapy to free up joint play
- the individual has an imbalance in their overall stress response that doesn’t allow their inner healing mode to kick in.
Evaluating these possible underlying causes and helping you overcome them is my job. That’s why my practice combines elements of postural re-education, functional diagnostic medicine, and mobilizing of the joints.