Pain occurs when we encounter injury to skeletal tissues such as ligaments, tendons, muscles, cartilage, or bones. The aforementioned tissues tend to heal slowly and may never fully recover and are easily re-aggravated. Even worse, our bodies may encounter new injury to another tissue, as our body compensates to minimize the pain from the original injury by redistributing weight bearing.
If left untreated over time, unstable joints may lead to increased pain, joint damage, and disability.
Conventional Treatments vs Natural Regenerative Therapies
Conventional medicine treatment usually recommends RICE (rest, ice, compress, elevate), anti-inflammatories (NSAID), opiate or benzodiazepine medications, or cortisone injections.
While these methods can be effective in the interim, they are usually just temporary bandaids that never address the root cause of the problem. Worse off, many of these therapies leave you with systemic side effects that can leave you with more health issues, on top of the returning pain that was never fully addressed.
With regenerative therapy, the aim is to stimulate the natural healing response by irritating or “waking up” the exact site of the injury. With the start of inflammation comes the rest of the healing response cascade which recruits cells that repair and rebuild damaged tissue.
The world’s top athletes are turning to regenerative procedures to help get them back in the game, faster than might otherwise be possible. Many older patients who have been told they need joint replacement are holding off on this invasive surgery and staying active longer through the benefits of regenerative treatments.
What Can Regenerative Joint Therapy Help Treat?
- Jaw (TMJ)
- Shoulder (rotator cuff tear, labrum tear, ligament damage, adhesive capsulitis)
- Elbow (tennis elbow, golfers elbow, ligament damage)
- Wrist (carpal tunnel, ligament damage)
- Fingers (trigger finger, joint inflammation)
- Low back pain (SI ligament laxity, herniated discs, sciatic pain)
- Hip (labrum tear, gluteus tear, piriformis tear)
- Knee (meniscus damage, ligament (ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL), jumpers knee)
- Ankle (ligament sprain/strain, plantar fasciitis)
Types of Natural Regenerative Therapies
Platelet-rich plasma therapy, sometimes called PRP therapy or autologous conditioned plasma (ACP) therapy, attempts to take advantage of the blood’s natural healing properties to repair damaged cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscles, or even bone.
Platelet-rich plasma is derived from a sample of the patient’s own blood. The therapeutic injections contain plasma with a higher concentration of platelets that is found in normal blood.
What is plasma? Plasma refers to the liquid component of blood; it is the medium for red and white blood cells and other material traveling in the bloodstream. Plasma is mostly water but also includes proteins, nutrients, glucose, and antibodies, among other components.
What are platelets? Like red and white blood cells, platelets are a normal component of blood. Platelets alone do not have any restorative or healing properties; rather, they secrete substances called growth factors and other proteins that regulate cell division, stimulate tissue regeneration, and promote healing. Platelets also help the blood to clot; a person with defective platelets or too few platelets will bleed excessively from a cut.
Stem Cell Therapy:
New efforts in regenerative medicine, including stem cell therapy, have dramatically affected orthopedic surgery over the last few years. There are many positive research trials and patients with success at repairing joint injuries non-surgically.
Stem cells are the basic building blocks of all human tissue. Stem cells hold potential as a treatment, in part, because they can communicate valuable information about tissue growth and healing to other cells in the body. As we age, we lose the effectiveness of our own stem cells. Enhancing your own stem cells or introducing external potent stem cells can allow your body to be fully repaired.