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Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)

For pain management and improved joint stability

  • Suite 800-777 Hornby. Vancouver, BC
  • (604) 637-8777

Several clinical studies report that PRP can:

  • Improve pain levels and functional ability compared to cortisone injections, hyaluronic acid and placebo.
  • Sustain lower pain levels over short and long term
  • Result in better outcomes at the 12-month follow-up compared to similar treatments
  • Significantly reduce the risk of re-tear by up to 40% 

What is PRP?

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Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is a non-surgical treatment used to strengthen joints after injury or to reduce joint pain in both acute and chronic cases. It works by strengthening the ligaments and tendons that stabilize the joint. PRP is an advanced technique that offers great potential for improved mobility, joint stability and pain relief. It goes beyond simply treating the symptoms and can offer long-lasting benefits.

PRP is an injected substance made in office by concentrating blood platelets. When PRP is injected into the site of pain or injury, it stimulates cellular growth, tissue regeneration, and collagen production resulting in more joint stability, improved function and reduced pain.

PRP is right for you if..

  • Massage, physiotherapy, chiropractic or cortisone injections have only provided minimal or temporary relief
  • You're looking for a lasting solution to stabilize a joint or reduce pain by addressing the root cause
  • Your joints regularly click, pop, grind or feel unstable
  • You want to avoid pain medications or joint surgery

PRP can successfully treat..

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rotator cuff tears / frozen shoulder
  • Joint instability or hyper mobility
  • Ankle sprains
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    TFCC & wrist sprains
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    Knee ligament / mensicus tears
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    Herniated discs
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    Tennis/golfers elbow
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    Back, spine and SI joint injuries
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    Plantar Fasciitis
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Meet Your Doctor

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Dr. Sal Meli, ND

PRP Therapist

Dr. Sal Meli is a licensed naturopathic doctor and has been practicing sports medicine since 2012. He works primarily with injection-based therapies such as PRP, prolotherapy, trigger point and cortisone shots for pain management and injury recovery. His sports medicine practice treats athletes of all types and he is experienced in treating all joint areas. He now focuses his practice on the use of PRP for athletes of all levels and for anyone with chronic pain. 

Dr. Meli exclusively practices PRP in Vancouver.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What can I expect at my first visit?

The first visit involves history taking, physical assessment and treatment. Blood is drawn from the arm in office and the PRP solution is prepared in our lab. Once the PRP is ready, Dr. Meli will freeze the area and inject the PRP into and around the injured tissue. This visit takes 60-75 minutes depending on area(s) being treated. The treatment itself may only take from 2 to 10 minutes. Other lifestyle, dietary or supplements suggestions are given to maximize the treatment effect and address other concerns that may limit healing. 

  • How do I come prepared for treatment?

Stop taking all over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications (ie. Advil, Aspirin, Motrin) for 1 week before the treatment. Switch to Tylenol if required. Come to appointments fed and well-hydrated.  

  • How does Dr. Meli harvest PRP? 

Dr. Meli will draw between 2 to 8 vials of blood from your arm, depending on the region being treated. He uses a double spin method to first separate the platelets from the red and white blood cells and then a second spin to further concentrate the platelets. The final product is only a fraction of the blood that was used and is of the highest possible concentration. 

  • How does PRP actually work?

The platelet portion of the blood contains several compounds called 'growth factors' which signal our cells to multiply and grow. The cells that make up ligaments and tendons have a poor blood supply and therefore tend to heal slower and often incompletely compared to muscle tissue. By concentrating the growth factors and injecting them directly into the site of injury, the  growth signal is released and the injured tissue heals at a considerably quicker rate. PRP is essentially using the body's own healing mechanisms, concentrating it and directing it to the exact site of injury.

There are several growth factors that are found in platelets including 'platelet-derived growth factor' (PDGF), 'transforming growth factor' (TGF-β), 'platelet-derived angiogenesis factor' (PDAF),  'insulin-like growth factor' (IGF) and several others. The presence of these compounds signals the inflammatory response, which attracts blood flow and therefore accelerates healing. Want a further explanation? Read this blog post.

  • Do the injections hurt?

The treatment can be moderately painful. Freezing is used to numb the injection site, which minimizes the pain. Treatments are generally quite short (5-15min) and most people can simply grin and bear the discomfort. Over the counter medications like Tylenol can be used safely after the procedure, if necessary.

  • What are the risks?

PRP is a very safe treatment. Bruising at the treatment site can occur and a mild worsening pain in the region for 1-3days is an expected outcome. Risk of infection and accidental puncture of nerves, spinal cord or organs (esp. lung) exists with any injection-based therapy, but are extremely rare.

  • Where is this treatment offered?

Dr. Meli practices PRP in Vancouver at the Stein Medicine Clinic at the 777 Hornby location (@Robson). The clinic is located on the 8th floor. 

  • Have further questions for Dr. Meli before booking your consultation?

Dr. Meli offers complimentary 15min phone consults to discuss whether PRP is a good fit for your needs. To book your consult, call us at (604) 637 8777 or email us at

“A joint is only as strong as its weakest ligament”

- Dr. George Hackett

Copyright 2020, Dr. Sal Meli, ND. PRP in Vancouver