Better Health Matters: PRP and the Power of Holistic Health

As a naturopathic physician, I’m continually fascinated by the intricate workings of the human body and its healing process. The natural healing cascade in our bodies is so sophisticated with an intricate series of events that occur in response to injury or damage, collectively representing the body’s innate ability to repair and regenerate itself. This is such a beautiful and divine process! At times our bodies need assistance during or after the healing process though, and this is where injection therapy shines, especially platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) injection therapy. But before we jump into some of the factors that affect the quality of your PRP, let’s quickly review the 3 key stages of this incredible healing cascade:

  • Inflammation is the body’s initial response to injury. Blood vessels constrict to minimize bleeding, and then they dilate to increase blood flow to the affected area. White blood cells travel to the site to remove debris and defend against infection. This phase usually involves redness, swelling, and warmth.
  • Proliferation in the stage where new tissue is built to replace what was damaged or lost. Specialized cells called fibroblasts produce collagen, a structural protein that forms the framework for the new tissue. Blood vessels multiply to support the growing tissue and the healing begins.
  • Remodeling is the final phase, when the newly formed tissue undergoes refinement. Excess collagen is broken down, and the tissue is reshaped to enhance strength and function. This process can continue for an extended period, sometimes months or even years after the initial injury.


Healing time depends on severity of the injury of course, but other factors also play a role including general health status – which is why I love doing what I do! Patient outcomes are greatly improved by taking a naturopathic approach and optimizing the whole body when treating joint pain. Better sleep, a balanced gut, and hormones that are functioning properly all play a role in helping your body to heal more completely. Now let’s dive a bit deeper into the healing solution within you and how to make your PRP more powerful, resulting in better healing outcomes.

What is PRP?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is derived from your body’s own blood – it’s concentrated down to a rich solution consisting of platelets, growth factors, and healing agents, ready to assist your body at the site of injury and restart that healing cascade. When injected into a damaged joint or inflamed tendon, PRP takes the lead in orchestrating a healing response, stimulating the body’s natural repair mechanisms.

The effectiveness of PRP injection therapy is intimately linked with one’s overall health status. Consider a body in optimal health as a canvas ready to receive the benefits of regenerative therapies; versus one that is battling inflammation on multiple fronts from chronic headaches, to gut and hormone imbalances, and spurts of gout to top it all off. The body fighting all those inflammation battles will likely see some relief with PRP therapy, while the one fighting less battles will always see better results. This is where our holistic approach comes into play, creating better outcomes for patients dealing with acute and chronic pain. By improving hormones, sleep, and gut health, the human body has a much better chance at healing itself more completely. At MedLink we don’t just focus on the sore elbow or achy knees – we look at your whole health picture and determine what can be optimized to achieve the best healing outcomes for your unique body.

Why gut health matters
An imbalance in gut health can contribute to systemic inflammation, which, in turn, can impact joint health in a negative way. In the naturopathic realm, we understand that the gut is not merely a digestive organ; it’s a maestro orchestrating the health of the entire body. Addressing gut health becomes a crucial element in our holistic approach, optimizing the environment for PRP to work more effectively.

Food sensitivity testing is an incredibly powerful tool when talking about gut health. Revealing which foods are contributing to a person’s overall inflammation and removing those foods gives the body a huge advantage to focus more on healing the damaged joints and muscles, rather than another inflammation battle in the body. A plant-based diet consisting of anti-inflammatory foods and plenty of good, clean water are essential to optimal gut and joint health. And don’t forget that gut health is closely linked to immune health as well, making it even more important.

How sleep & hormones matter
A factor that is often overlooked is sleep, and I mean good quality sleep. It’s vital for us humans, especially when talking about healing since we do most of that while we are sleeping. Hormones are produced and replenish while we’re sleeping to prepare to get us through the next day’s activities. Growth hormone plays a key role in tissue repair and regeneration and is primarily released during a deep sleep. Testosterone helps recovery in both males and females. Cortisol is our alertness hormone, also well known as the stress hormone, which fluctuates throughout the day and should be at an optimal level to continue promoting a favorable healing environment. Poor sleep and chronic stress are the two main reasons for imbalanced cortisol, contributing to so many more problems. Adequate sleep also helps to regulate the body’s inflammatory response, which can help or hinder healing.

Does stress really matter?
You’ve heard that stress is the number one killer, right? It’s true. Not only does stress cause pressure on your ticker, but it causes problems throughout your entire body. Stress can disrupt that oh-so-vital sleep we were talking about, which in turn affects hormones in a negative way and weakens the immune system as well. Stress can also constrict blood vessels, reducing blood flow, which then hinders the healing of damaged joints. Acute and chronic stress can even manifest as tension and stiffness in your joints and muscles, adding unnecessary discomfort to an injured or healing area. The point is to do your best to ditch the stress, because it’s not doing any good to any system in your body!

As you can see, many things in our daily human lives can affect the intricate process of healing within our bodies. The good news is that we can control a lot of those factors, or at least do our best to try and balance with healthy lifestyle choices. Stress will always rear its ugly head and sleep will surely be interrupted on occasion. Providing your body with the healthiest foods and plenty of water, sunshine and regular exercise and stress management are all vital components to withstand the battles when they arise.

Living a healthy, pain-free life shouldn’t be a challenge. If you’re looking for guidance in the areas of joint pain, gut health, or hormone optimization – we’d love to help! Reach out to our office to set up a consultation today and start living a new life free from pain.


Have Questions? Get in touch!


Ahwatukee Foothills Center
3930 E Ray Rd STE #150
Phoenix, AZ 85044


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