For the 25 million Americans who suffer from chronic joint pain, finding adequate relief can be a long-term effort of trial and error. Physical therapy usually works to some degree, but only if the damage in the joint isn’t too severe.
Losing weight, taking anti-inflammatory medications, and getting pain-relief injections are great temporary fixes – until that next tough workout or until the medications wear off.
But what happens when the pain won’t go away, or the pain is so great that pain management is too little too late? The obvious answer is total or partial joint replacement surgery.
If you don’t want to undergo surgery, or if your life just doesn’t allow the time for it right now, there is another option for overcoming unbearable joint pain. Let’s discuss how regenerative medicine is used to treat pain in the knees, shoulders, elbows, and other joints.
What Is Regenerative Medicine?
Regenerative medicine promotes the regrowth of new, healthy tissue by extracting special cells from the patient’s own body and injecting them directly into the site of the injury – thereby stimulating the body’s organic repair mechanisms. The most common forms of regenerative medicine used for those suffering from joint pain are platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy and stem cell therapy.
With PRP therapy, a doctor first extracts some of the patient’s own blood, then places it into a centrifuge to isolate the platelets from the rest of the blood components. The concentrated platelets are then injected directly into the damaged area to jump-start the body’s healing process.
With stem cell therapy, the physician extracts cells from the patient’s body, then sends the sample to a laboratory to extract the stem cells. The concentrated stem cells are then sent back to the physician, where the doctor will inject the stem cells into the area of injury in the patient. It is believed that the stem cells help foster new growth in the injured tissue, and many patients have reported experiencing less pain and an improved ability to move the injured joint.
Regenerative Medicine and Joint Pain
Millions of Americans are discovering that regenerative medicine is not only a highly effective, proven orthopedic procedure, but it also offers myriad benefits that make it a highly attractive option in overcoming joint pain.
Some of these benefits (as compared to surgery) include:
- No large scars
- No anesthesia
- No overnight hospital stays
- Little to no downtime after the procedure
- Lower costs
There is also no need for potentially addictive pain medication like there may be after surgery.
And because the doctor is treating you with cells from your own blood, the risk of transmitting an infection or experiencing an allergic reaction is practically nonissues.
What to Expect with Alternative Therapies
With successes in everything from treating autoimmune diseases and arthritis to hair replacement, regenerative medicine truly is a miracle of modern science. Specifically, when treating joint pain with regenerative medicine, ultrasound and/or MRI scans can confirm that the healing process is underway.
However, keep in mind that you won’t be lifting weights or running that marathon right away after undergoing regenerative medical treatments. As with any procedure, be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
You can expect to keep moving, but don’t overdo it. You will probably have some soreness and tenderness at the site of the injection.
Remember, your body is working hard, building healthy new tissue to repair what had been damaged. Bear with it. Living pain-free will be worth it.
Joint Pain Specialists in Palm Beach County
Are you suffering from joint pain? If so, you may want to consider regenerative medicine as an option to getting your life back on track.
Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches has a wealth of knowledge and experience in treating joint pain. Our team will work with you to find the right treatment plan.
Call Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches today at (561) 733-5888 to make an appointment with one of our experts, or fill out our online request form here. We look forward to helping you feel better so you can get back to what you enjoy doing!