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PRP or ShockWave Therapy: Which Is Right for You?

Jan 02, 2023
PRP or ShockWave Therapy: Which Is Right for You?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy and extracorporeal shockwave therapy are two non-surgical, natural treatments that can help alleviate soft tissue pain and inflammation. In this blog, we discuss each therapy.

When you break a bone in your foot or ankle, it’s easy to know you need treatment, and you need it fast! Immobilization is the go-to for fractures, but what about soft tissue injuries? How are they treated?

Soft tissue injuries happen when the soft tissues in your foot or ankle 一 your muscles, tendons, or ligaments 一 experience a degree of trauma. They can develop slowly over time from overuse, but they can also happen quickly, like with a sports injury. 

At Eazy Foot & Ankle in the Pico Robertson area of Los Angeles, California, our team offers many treatments for soft tissue injuries. Board-certified podiatrist Albert Elhiani, DPM, explores two treatment options in more detail: platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections and extracorporeal shockwave therapy.

Here’s what you need to know.

Learn more about PRP

Platelets are naturally occurring substances in your blood. They are small, plate-shaped blood cells. Their main job is to stop bleeding, and if your blood vessel is injured, your platelets “activate,” travel to the injured area, and change shape. The platelets are shaped more like a spider with tentacles. Once in place, the activated platelets help “plug” the bleeding and heal the injured area. PRP therapy takes advantage of the growth factors and healing nature of platelets.

PRP serums are injections that contain high concentrations of platelets. Each injection helps stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities. PRP therapy helps your body heal from the inside out. 

Each PRP serum is custom-made from a sample of your blood. To prepare a PRP serum, Dr. Elhiani performs a blood draw and then places the sample in a centrifuge where the platelets become concentrated. Once the serum is ready, he injects it directly into the affected soft tissues in your feet or ankles to reduce pain and inflammation and help your body heal more efficiently.

You might consider PRP therapy if you have any of the following soft tissue conditions: 

  • Tendon issues, such as Achilles Tendonitis or tendon tears
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Bursitis
  • Neuroma
  • Ligament strains
  • Muscle sprains

Because there are no synthetic medications or ingredients, PRP therapy is tolerated quite well with little risk of allergies. 

Learn more about extracorporeal shockwave therapy

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is a non-surgical and non-invasive treatment for soft tissue injuries. This therapy delivers targeted sound waves transcutaneously (applied to your skin) to stimulate blood flow to injured soft tissues. Improved blood flow helps to speed up the healing process.

Shockwave therapy is particularly helpful for tendon injuries that haven’t responded to other treatments. You might consider extracorporeal shockwave therapy if you have soft tissue injuries or conditions, such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. 

Is PRP therapy or extracorporeal shockwave therapy right for you?

If you have a soft tissue injury, you might wonder which non-surgical natural treatment is right for you. The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to choose between PRP therapy or extracorporeal shockwave therapy. Depending on your specific needs, Dr. Elhiani may combine both treatments for enhanced results. 

PRP therapy and shockwave therapy complement other treatments, such as custom 3D-printed orthotics, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications.

If you have a soft tissue injury, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation today at our Los Angeles, California, office. You can reach us at 424-375-6348 or through our online portal.