How Regenerative Medicine Is Shaking Up Pain Management
An estimated 50 million U.S. adults live with chronic pain, more than half of whom experience high-impact pain. This means their discomfort is so intense that it affects at least one major activity of daily living. To address the issue, pain management practitioners are taking holistic, integrative approaches to identify the underlying causes of pain. This practice also uses a broad spectrum of treatments and modalities, which may include injections and physical therapy, among other approaches.
Now, practitioners are leveraging developing advances in regenerative medicine to not only manage pain, but actually help address the underlying issues behind the discomfort. Here’s a closer look at how regenerative medicine is disrupting traditional pain management approaches.
Traditional Approaches to Pain Management
Conventional pain management practitioners aim to address your pain and treat your symptoms as effectively and rapidly as possible to help you get back into your normal routine. Many of these professionals prefer to explore alternatives to drug therapy. Pain relief techniques may include:
- Steroid injections
- Epidural steroid injections
- Joint injections
- Radiofrequency ablation
These approaches aim to reduce inflammation, restore range of motion, and decrease pain levels. Oftentimes, they’re used in conjunction with physical therapy to rehabilitate the injury.
Regenerative Pain Medicine
While conventional pain management can certainly lead to improvements for patients, the effects wear off over time. Regenerative medicine, however, aims to accelerate natural healing to address the underlying causes of pain. Leveraging cutting-edge therapeutic approaches, regenerative medicine practitioners can repair and regenerate lost tissue for comprehensive healing. Two of the main approaches are listed below.
Stem Cell Therapy
Utilizing mesenchymal stem cells retrieved from the patient’s own tissues or from donated umbilical cord tissue, stem cell therapy kickstarts the body’s healing mechanism. Injections can be strategically administered to injured, inflamed, or otherwise compromised areas. The stem cells can then differentiate into any type of cell needed to regenerate new, healthy tissue and facilitate healing.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a unique treatment which uses the patient’s own blood platelets. A sample of blood is retrieved and the platelets, known for their healing potential, are concentrated to reduce pain and improve function. When injected to the affected area, PRP can aid in tissue regeneration and healing.
Regenerative approaches are ideal for many types of chronic pain, including those caused by sports injuries as well as age-related conditions such as osteoarthritis. Unlike other pain management injections, stem cell and PRP therapies have the natural ability to help tissue repair and regeneration for an alternative relief option.
This post was written by Becky Palmer, a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine for the joints, also known as stem cell therapy for joints! Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.