Does chronic pain interrupt the flow of your daily life? If so, you are far from alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 20% of U.S. adults experience pain most days or every day.
Treatments for pain can be as simple as coping mechanisms or as invasive as surgery. However, pain management techniques that only help you cope don’t address the underlying problem causing the pain.
Thanks to the latest innovations in medicine, you don’t have to have to settle for “coping mechanisms” or invasive surgery to get your life back. Regenerative medicine uses the latest science to take advantage of your body’s own healing processes. It addresses the underlying causes of pain so that you can feel great and regain your zest for life.
Does chronic pain disrupt your daily life? Research shows that regenerative treatment has helped with chronic low back pain, plus conditions such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, tendonitis, and more.
Unlike surgery, regenerative treatments don’t come with significant incisions, general anaesthesia, a long list of side effects or adverse reactions, or even much discomfort during the procedure.
Intrigued? The following are a few of the most popular regenerative treatment options:
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection Therapy
Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood and platelets are blood cells that play an essential role in healing injuries. During platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection therapy, your own blood is drawn, then the platelets get separated and their concentration in the blood becomes increased through a process called centrifugation.
PRP is then injected into the localized muscle, joint, ligament, or tendon that needs healing.
Over time, this process helps to permanently reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. It has been used for chronic tendon injuries, ligament and muscle injuries, and knee arthritis.
Because the injections come from your own blood, this treatment has few negative side effects.
Prolotherapy, or proliferation therapy, is a series of injections for ligament and tendon reconstruction which can be used in many areas of the body for conditions such as arthritis and degenerative disc disease.
Like other regenerative treatments, prolotherapy uses the body’s own healing processes to repair joints and connective tissue that have degenerated and become destabilized from being stretched or torn. It consists of a natural injection (such as dextrose or saline) that’s used to create a mild inflammatory response from the body. The substance in the area signals the brain to send blood flow there, thus kicking off the repair process to rebuild and strengthen tissue.
Prolotherapy is safe and leads to reduced pain, increased mobility, and permanent stabilization of the joints.
Unlike opiates which “mask” the pain, regenerative treatments address the root cause of chronic pain so that you can feel great, participate in your favorite activities, and be more productive.
Amniotic Fluid Therapy
Amniotic fluid is the protective fluid that surrounds a growing baby in the uterus. It contains a wide variety of essential nutrients for growth, including proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, amino acids, enzymes, and electrolytes.
Amniotic fluid therapy, like PRP and prolotherapy, uses injections to encourage an immune response to a particular injured area. According to Dr. Sarah Bennett, a naturopathic doctor at Natural Med Doc, “this revolutionary therapy dramatically improves healing time and pain resolution, and it may even be used in patients without viable platelets.”
Indeed, amniotic fluid therapy has an immense ability to repair damaged tissues, jump start tissue growth, and improve joint stability. One study of knee arthritis patients found amniotic fluid injections to be an effective treatment for reducing pain. If you suffer from osteoarthritis, tendon or ligament tears, joint pain, tennis or golfer’s elbow, rotator cuff injuries, neck pain, hip pain, or low back pain, you might be a candidate for amniotic fluid therapy.
Exosomes are small bubbles (called extracellular vesicles) released from cells that deliver genetic information and proteins to other cells, especially after injury. Essentially, they are messengers that tell cells what to do and when to do it. Exosomes used in regenerative therapy come from mesenchymal stem cells, which are essential for healing.
Exosome therapy is useful for those with chronic inflammation, degenerative joint disease, and other chronic degenerative diseases. Although both stem cell and exosome treatments are safe, exosome therapy has even fewer complications because they do not require an invasive harvesting process. This therapy is relatively new, so talk to your doctor to find out if you can benefit from exosome therapy.
Regenerative treatments are safe, effective, and cutting-edge, and the options listed here only scratch the surface of what’s available. Unlike opiates which “mask” the pain, regenerative treatments address the root cause of chronic pain so that you can feel great, participate in your favorite activities, and be more productive at work now and for years to come.
Naturopathic doctors are well-suited to the regenerative approach because they specialize in looking at whole systems. However, all kinds of doctors are beginning to use regenerative treatments. What matters is that you take the time to find the right doctor for you.
For more tips on living a healthy, pain-free lifestyle, check out our other health and wellness blog posts.
About the Author
Katherine (Tori) Lutz is a graduate of Florida State University and current student at Columbia University. Professionally, her experience surrounds writing, editing, and marketing on a freelance basis. She is currently living in New York City with her partner and her cat, Garfunkel.
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