Joint pain can range from mild to disabling and the discomfort can really hinder your daily life. A joint is a place where two or more bones meet, with pain or inflammation coming from any point of a joint, including bone, ligaments, cartilage, muscles, and tendons.
Joint pain occurs for a number of reasons, including injuries, tendinitis, gout, lupus and certain infectious diseases. But joint pain can also refer to arthritis, which is classified as inflammation from inside the joint itself. Joint pain can also be caused by lack of use, strains, sprains or heavy physical activity, too.
While mild joint pain can be self-treated with over-the-counter pain meds, ice packs and low-impact activities, more severe joint pain might require surgery for pain relief.
However, due to new advancements in technology, patients suffering from joint pain can benefit from regenerative therapy. Not only will it enhance the quality of life for those with joint pain, but it does so in such a way that it reduces the need for invasive treatments and procedures that require surgery.
What’s So Great About Regenerative Medicine?
The great thing about regenerative medicine is that regenerative material is already an essential part of our body. They are amazing in the fact that they can develop into various different cell types in your body. They do this by dividing and each time they do, the new cell can either become a new type of cell or become a more specialized cell, such as tendon, bone, muscle or ligament.
More specialized ones even have the chance to become nerve or brain cells. This process in which regenerative material turns into specialized cells is called “differentiation.”
Regenerative material has the ability to help repair tissue in your body as well as replace certain body cells that are damaged or lost because of disease or an injury. When regenerative medicine is administered into a specified location, the regenerative material will start to create new, healthy cells, which speeds recovery and allows a patient to feel less discomfort and pain.
Because regenerative therapy can repair certain injuries and damage, they are important in the field of medicine that studies the use of the body’s own healing abilities.
Joint Problems That Can be Treated Using Regenerative Medicine
Joint problems like arthritis in the hip, shoulder, and knee can be treated using regenerative therapy. There has been much success with these areas, as well as cartilage and tendon injuries. But not all damage is reversible.
Once the joint damage is too severe, the chances of stem cell therapy working are slim. That’s because there are no more protective tissues remaining in the region for the regenerative material to fix and repair.
Regenerative Therapy Procedure
Although it sounds complicated, regenerative therapy is actually quite simple. The procedure requires using a patient’s own cells, with various techniques on how to harvest them. Regenerative material can also be obtained from your own fat and even be taken from the bone marrow of a donor.
But the majority of the time, the regenerative materials are derived from bone marrow in their pelvis that’s extracted with the use of a specialized needle. The area is numbed using a local anesthetic, with patients usually feeling only small discomfort.
Once the bone marrow has been extracted, it’s then sent to a lab where it will be placed into a centrifuge machine that will separate the cells, while isolating the regenerative material. The doctor will get back the spun stem cells and then inject them back into the damaged tissue or joint.
The entire procedure doesn’t last long and can be anywhere from two to three hours. The patient can go home right after, with follow up appointments needed.
Recovery is easy, with some mild soreness in the area of the injection for about a week. Patients are asked to also avoid any anti-inflammatory medications since they can adversely affect the success of the treatment.
The Safety of Regenerative Therapy
If you’re wondering if regenerative therapy is safe, you’ll be glad to know that it is, especially when the procedure uses your own. There is a small risk of infection where the injection site is, but it’s very rare for this to happen.
The pain is minimal, and you’ll be able to go back to work the next day. You will need to take it easy for at least two weeks and can’t partake in any load-bearing activities until you’ve been cleared by your doctor.
The Effectiveness of Regenerative Medicine
There are many studies and lots of research that prove that regenerative therapy is effective for joint pain. These studies have shown that when the procedure is done properly, the results can last several years.
Most patients who undergo stem cell therapy usually see improvement after the first three weeks. But once it does start to feel better, patients have reported a continuous improvement in their pain and discomfort.
Regenerative therapy can be a highly effective way to treat any pain or discomfort in your joints. It’s also considered an alternative to knee replacement, which is why many who want to avoid surgery undergo the treatment.
If you are interested in learning more about this treatment and if you’re a good candidate for regenerative medicine, give Stem Cell and Pain Management Center in Irvine a call at (949) 531-7070 today!