Warm weather will soon be coming back and lots of people will be outside enjoying outdoor activities. Bike riding and outdoor walks are all great ways to enjoy the return of beautiful and warm weather.
With all of this, it’s likely people will have some joint and muscle pain return. This is standard for many, and it will usually go away within weeks. If pain lingers past 3-4 weeks after some painkillers and ice, it’s likely time to visit a doctor.
Over 163 million people in the US have chronic pain, according to a Harris Poll that was commissioned by the AOA (American Osteopathic Association). Pain becomes chronic when it interferes with the normal life and work of a person. The person may be preoccupied by this pain, and thus become upset and depressed. The pain may also go on and off, and damage peoples’ ability to eat, move, and generally enjoy life.
When chronic pain is treated, it’s usually the right thing to try regular medicine first. Prior to considering an operation, people are encouraged to look into a consultation regarding regenerative medicine. These medicines are a breakthrough treatment that avoid surgery, and are innovating orthopedics. It utilizes an individual’s stem cells to treat damaged joints and tissues, as well as issues like spinal discs or a tendon injury.
PRP and stem cell therapy are the two most common forms of this treatment.
The former uses blood platelets in the patient’s plasma, received from blood draw. The “platelet rich plasma” consists of platelets and growth factors. Stem cell therapy utilizes an individual’s own stem cells, taken out of bone marrow. Stem cells are extracted and integrated into damaged areas.
These treatments function by altering the surrounding area of the tendon/joint, and help repair the tissue. The treatments are effective by having the patient’s tissue essentially heal itself. Precision placement remains the key to their success; cells are moved into place via ultrasound guidance, then once they’re in place they’re able to begin repairing the damaged tissues.
This type of medicine has evolved this last decade. More recent ultrasound methods focus on placement and accuracy, the result being stronger cell counts and a higher concentration of the platelet rich plasma. Another development is A2M, also known as alpha 2 macroglobulin. A2M is a protein injected directly inside the joint which decreases inflammation quickly.
Nearly 100,000 procedures of the regenerative medicine classification have been done in the US, and that number will keep growing as more and more insurance providers cover this. It’s vital for individuals to know they can’t repair everything with stem cells, and that they should do a lot of research before moving forward with any treatments.
Another great benefit of this treatment is that, often, patients can go home the same day. Thus, they can begin enjoying physical and outdoor activities soon again.