Platelets are blood cells that when inactive look like tiny dinner plates. Just like a first responder, when an injury occurs, platelets hurry to the damaged area to begin the recovery process. Weirdly once there, they change shape and grow little arms which all pull together and hold any torn tissue. You could think of it like an army of little robots sent to the scene to discover what is wrong, stop the bleeding (literally) and start the rebuilding process (literally).
One example of the work of platelets can be seen when we cut ourselves and the bleeding stops within a few minutes. Platelets are responsible for stopping the bleeding and forming a scab.
But platelets do a lot more than form scabs when we are bleeding. They consist of special proteins known as growth factors which stimulate the body’s healing process. They are responsible for nudging the body to begin to make collagen, which is the foundation of most of the tissue in our bodies.
When we have a good blood supply, platelets can easily arrive to different areas of the body, like surfing a good wave . However, there are many areas the platelets cannot reach. For example, these would include the knee meniscus, the hip labrum, the spinal discs, the TMJ joint in the jaw. In the many other areas of the body that they cannot easily reach, those parts of the body may not heal very well and can result in chronic (long term) pain.