Blood spinning is a treatment that's been available to the world's top athletes to treat injuries for years, helping them recover faster. But now, the rest of us are able to benefit from some of those gains.
What do Kobe Bryant, Hines Ward, and Tiger Woods have in common? They've all been helped by blood spinning.
A healing technique called PRP, protein rich plasma, was once only available to elite athletes. Now weekend warriors are enjoying the benefits.
I recently used it. My injury began as a searing pain in my right elbow.
"Your problem is you have a tendinopathy, here where you actually have some micro tearing of the muscle attachment to the bone," said Dr. Thomas Wall.
I hurt my elbow playing golf, but the injury is commonly known as tennis elbow. We used a cold laser to try to heal it in combination with physical therapy.
I spent the at least some part of ten weeks in this room trying to rehab this elbow naturally. I got better, but just not all the way there.
"we got to a point where it got better but you plateau'd, so we needed to get you over that hump and hopefully the PRP and cold laser will get you back to 100 percent," said physical therapist Reggie Vasquez.
So they drew my blood. One vial is all you need. It's placed into a centrifuge for a few minutes where it spins at high speed.
Once removed from the centrifuge, here's what you have.
The clear stuff on top is the platelet rich plasma, PRP. The good stuff. Injected into the injury, it will promote healing.
"We all have platelets floating around in our system and basically were going to utilize them by concentrating them 7 to 8 fold and put those platelets in the area where the problem is."
He numbs the area first. Numbed, Dr. Wall prepares to inject the PRP.
"There's about a teaspoon of fluid in here, and that's good stuff, that's excellent stuff. This is what contains all the growth factors."
He massages the PRP into the injured area.
"Four weeks you should start feeling beneficial effects and it should get better and better with time."
Within a month, I felt 80 percent better. Now I'm finally playing golf again -- but don't take my word for it.
Listen to the master, chief master and 8th degree black belt Bill Babin.
Five weeks before his test for 8th degree black belt in tae kwon do, disaster struck. A bad hamstring tear. He had waited 7 years for this moment.
Babin thought he was finished. But Dr. Wall had other ideas -- blood spinning.
"I had no idea what it was and I'd never heard of it… and I said dude I got five weeks I need it," said Babin.
Five weeks after blood spinning, Babin said, "I had gotten back to the point where I was kicking at 100 percent."
Passing a grueling test, he earned his 8th degree black belt. He credits blood spinning -- PRP -- for getting him through it.
"It's a very effective therapy and it worked on me. More people need to understand that there is more out there than is traditionally offered."
WJBK-TV | Fox 2
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