Introduction: At present, no drugs are available to hasten restoration of muscle function after injury. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapies may help athletes by promoting muscle regeneration.
Areas covered: This is a systematic review assessing the evidence base for PRP therapies in the management of muscle injuries. A computerized literature search, citation tracking and hand searching for original studies assessing the effect of PRP therapies on skeletal muscle cell biology, skeletal muscle repair, or regeneration in animals or humans was performed. No randomized trials have studied the merits of PRP injections for muscle healing. Clinical studies indicated that PRP therapies may enhance muscle repair after strain or contusion, and laboratory data indicated that they can enhance diverse aspects of myogenesis. However muscle injuries present a complicated picture that includes many components other than muscle cells, such as blood vessels, connective tissue and neural components.
Expert opinion: The field is relevant but under-researched. No PRP formulation has yet displayed proven solid evidence for the stimulation of healing and recovery after sports muscle injuries. Therefore, major issues, including standardization of formulations and application procedures, need to be addressed to inform clinical studies before recommending best practice guidelines.