On the first day of summer 2016, things were looking great for the Texas Rangers and their pitching ace, Colby Lewis. The National League’s Cincinnati Reds were in in town for a couple of interleague games and Lewis and the Rangers, riding a multi-game winning-streak and a 10 game lead over their nearest Western Division competition, were excited about the prospects for the game.
Lewis was enjoying the best season of his career, with six wins, no losses and a solid 3.21 ERA. Unfortunately, his first loss would come on this June night and to make matters even worse, he would sustain an injury to the “lat” muscle in his back, potentially ending his season. The best case scenario would be for Lewis to spend two months on the injured player list, but after that much time, the race for the American League pennant will be all but decided.
According to ESPN, “Lewis’ value in recent seasons has been his ability to soak up innings. He pitched 204 innings last season, was leading the Rangers pitchers in innings pitched, and ranked sixth in the American League through June. So, the Rangers face the difficult task of replacing a guy who had been pitching well and helping relieve some of the stress on the bullpen.”
His First Medical Procedure after Injury: Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy
Two days after his injury was diagnosed, Lewis received an injection of platelet rich plasma (PRP)) serum into his injured muscle. This is significant for both athletes and non-athletes alike. Why? It strongly supports the medical opinion that using one’s own blood – in the form of PRP – for rehabilitation and rejuvenation, is a breakthrough treatment for a wide range of conditions.
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The founder of Evexias Medical Centers, Terri DeNeui, DNP, ACNP, APRN-BC, is a strong advocate of using PRP therapy for treating a wide range of conditions. She explained why Lewis’ treatment started with PRP.
“Platelet Rich Plasma consists of blood drawn from the patient that has been processed down into about two teaspoons of plasma with highly concentrated platelets,” she noted. “This platelet rich plasma has a wide variety of growth factors, stem cells and anti-inflammatory properties. With that, it helps speed the healing of injured or damaged tissue.”
“When a patient’s own plasma is injected into an area such as Colby Lewis’ injured back muscle, all of these growth factors begin to help the tissue rejuvenate itself. For a professional athlete—or anyone at all, really— the turnaround time for healing an injury using PRP is important. It is much shorter than traditional treatment.”
An Alternative to Drugs
“The foundation of our clinics is built on hormone restoration and balance,” she said. “Along with hormonal imbalances, we see patients with other aging processes – decreased sexual function, bladder control issues, and many other conditions – that are effectively treated with PRP therapy. This therapy is also an excellent substitute for drugs that are typically prescribed for these conditions.
“In the case of erectile dysfunction in males, for example, the drugs that are usually prescribed only offer a temporary solution,” she noted. “PRP therapy can actually regenerate the vessels which are responsible for this condition.
“Another area where we use PRP therapy is in our aesthetics practice. It helps to rejuvenate the appearance of the skin and also works to restore hair growth,” DeNeui said.
There Are no Side Effects
“The primary ingredient for this therapy is found in the platelets,” she said. “Before we inject the plasma, we activate the platelets with a specific solution. Once they are activated and injected, the growth factors and anti-inflammatory properties are released into the cells of the patient.
“In most cases, inflammation is the primary culprit for conditions associated with aging,” Terri noted. “And as we’ve noted, PRP is a powerful anti-inflammatory.
“One of the most remarkable aspects of PRP therapy is its lack of side effects. Unlike taking a drug, potentially causing side effects, this treatment is composed of one’s own blood. So, patients experience no risk of side effects.”
The Process is Simple and Painless
“A PRP treatment, takes very little time – about 45-minutes total,” she said. “The actual injection takes about five minutes. Most of the time for the process involves processing the blood.
“Once we conduct an initial patient evaluation and we decide to move forward with PRP therapy, we draw the blood and execute the ‘spin-down’ process. This takes about 20 minutes to complete.
“During this time period, we show our patients educational videos about what to expect from the procedure, and also apply Lidocaine to numb the treatment area, ensuring that there is no pain from the injection. This is a simple, safe and painless procedure and it has resulted in remarkable results!”