As we grow older, things often start to hurt—shoulders, knees, hips, backs. And it doesn’t matter whether the pain is the result of an injury, is caused by degenerative diseases, or is simply thanks to years of overuse that have led to arthritis, joint pain or other orthopedic conditions. This kind of pain is not only frustrating, but in time, can greatly interfere with our everyday lives. In many cases, people learn to deal with their pain and consider it an inevitability. Perhaps in the past chronic pain was inevitable.
But not anymore.
I have been working in the field of regenerative medicine for more than two years now and what I have seen in my time researching and practicing in the field is eye opening. It has made me believe that the future of medicine lies in regenerative medicine.
What is regenerative medicine?
According to the Mayo Clinic: Regenerative medicine goes beyond disease management to search for and discover therapies that support the body in repairing, regenerating and restoring itself to a state of well-being.
In other words, regenerative medicine is the ultimate example of medicine copying nature. Our body is regenerating all the time. When we cut ourselves shaving, when we get a bruise, when we break a bone, when we get a sunburn. In all of these cases, our bodies send “helpers” to repair, regenerate and restore the area in trouble.
Regenerative biologics is a subset of regenerative medicine. It is a widely-used and decades-old form of treatment that leverages those same “helpers”, including platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and traditional mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), to treat orthopedic conditions, improve joint restoration and healing and reduce pain.
We offer PRP and MSC treatments to patients for a myriad of conditions when they haven’t found relief from other treatments. We start with a personalized consultation, we look at any existing X-Ray or MRI images, and we conduct a detailed medical review. After that, the procedure itself is an injection into the joint that generally takes between 15-20 minutes. In many cases only one injection is required, but in some cases, a series may be needed. It’s an outpatient procedure, is followed by little to no downtime, there’s no anesthesia required, no overload on medications and no cellular rejection.
There are positives and negatives.
The positives? The incredible results. I’ve seen patients who enter the office needing the aid of a walker and who leave the office walking free and independent. I’ve had patients that can’t lift their arm above their shoulder, and after treatment, have full range of motion with no pain. In fact, we have a host of testimonials that we share with interested patients upon request.
The negative? How few people know about this treatment option that is available to them.
It sounds like a gimmick, and no, the results aren’t the same for everyone. The treatments don’t always produce the same incredible effects, and in rare cases, may have no effect. But I encourage those who have been dealing with pain and have tried other traditional therapies to come in and speak with us, especially if the alternative is a lifetime of pain or a surgery with long-term recovery implications.