LaRon Landry is a member of the Washington Redskins, a team in the National Football League (NFL). The defensive free safety injured his Achilles tendon during the 2010-2011 season and opted for two unconventional treatment methods, shockwave and PRP (platelet rich plasma) therapy to help accelerate the healing process. Landry underwent shockwave therapy in December of 2010 and PRP therapy in February of 2011. In February, the tendon had regained most of its strength. “I’ll say it’s about 90 percent,” he said. “I won’t say 100 percent because I don’t know what kind of endurance I have in it, but as far as how it feels, it’s doing good and I’ll say 90 percent.” Landry only underwent one round of PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) therapy. Often times, multiple sessions are needed before a person experiences its full effects.
LaRon Landry & PRP Therapy
Platelet Rich Plasma therapy is a semi-experimental treatment that appears to be taking the world of professional athletics by storm. Though unconventional and not without its critics, some of the biggest names in sports have opted to undergo it and with pretty impressive results. Alex Rodriguez, Tiger Woods, Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu are just a few high profile athletes who credit PRP with helping them get back to their respective sports faster then they would have been able to otherwise, after serious injury.
There is a growing body of evidence that PRP helps to speed up the body’s healing processes. It is both unconventional and innovative because it utilizes naturally occurring components present in the body, to repair itself, platelets. Platelets are the hero in PRP Therapy. Blood is made up of plasma, white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. Platelets help the blood clot. They also promote healing because of their release of growth factors. Growth factors help the body repair itself. By removing the platelets from the blood and injecting them back into the body in concentrated amounts, the healing process is noticeably accelerated in many patients. This is because the particular area of the body where the platelets are injected, receives about 3 to 10 times the concentration of platelets and thus, growth factors.
There are many reasons why high profile and professional athletes, such as LaRon Landry, opt for PRP Therapy. It is minimally invasive, there is little risk involved and it can potentially speed up the recovery process. Other treatments available to athletes, for instance surgery, are much more invasive. The more invasive a treatment is, the longer an athlete is likely to be on the sidelines and the more risk they assume. This is why surgery is hardly ever the first option for athletes. Athletes that are unable to perform may lose their starting role or their spot on the team. They may even be forced into retirement. The latter would result in a loss of income and life as the athlete knows it. For professional athletes the financial hit would be immense. Because PRP therapy has been proven in many cases to speed up the healing process, athletes are often open to it. The risks associated with PRP therapy are minimal. Either it works or it doesn’t. If the latter proves true, the only thing an athlete has incurred is a few needle pricks.