Pittsburgh Steelers Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu used their own blood in an innovative injury treatment before winning the Super Bowl. Major league pitchers, professional soccer players and hundreds of recreational athletes have also undergone the procedure, which is called platelet-rich plasma therapy.
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Experts in sports medicine say that it could eventually improve the treatment of stubborn injuries like tennis elbow and knee tendonitis.
The technique involves injecting portions of a patient’s blood directly into the injured area, which catalyzes the body’s instincts to repair muscle, bone and other tissue. It even appears to help regenerate ligament and tendon fibers, which could shorten rehabilitation time and possibly eliminate the need for surgery.
Sources: New York Times February 16, 2009