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Regenerative Therapy Doctor
Traditionally, acute sports injuries and overuse lead to degenerative conditions that do not respond to rest and conservative rehabilitation (such as physical therapy). These conditions have been treated with a combination of anti-inflammatory medication taken by mouth, anti-inflammatory medication injected into the affected areas (cortisone injections) and ultimately, with surgery to remove the injured or degenerated tissue.
Modern regenerative therapy aims to change the way these injuries or degenerative conditions are treated. Excessive use of steroids can be harmful. Surgical removal of tissue is an irreversible process, which can sometimes lead to a more rapid onset of degeneration.
Recent research has recognized the fact that acute inflammation stimulates tissue repair. We have also come to realize that we can harness our body’s intrinsic ability to repair and heal or regenerate. When applicable, regenerative treatments are a better, natural alternative to traditional treatment.
Regenerative treatments started several decades ago with the use of dextrose, or sugar solutions, injected into the affected tissue. These are called proliferative therapy or prolotherapy. Please refer to our prolotherapy section for more information.
Prolotherapy then evolved with the use of platelet-rich plasma, which is a concentrate rich in growth factors and healing substances obtained from patient’s blood. Please refer to our platelet-rich plasma section to learn more.
More recently, our understanding of regeneration has evolved again. We are now able to obtain and isolate stem cells for use in our regenerative treatments, again using patient’s tissues. To find out more, refer to our stem cell section.
There are many conditions that respond to various forms of regenerative treatments. The most commonly treated are peripheral joint/tendon disorders, such as
1. shoulder degeneration, rotator cuff tears, labral tears.
tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow.
2. arthritis of the wrist and hand, especially at the base of the thumb, skier’s thumb.
3. hip arthritis and labral tears, hamstring tears and tendinosis, trochanter bursitis.
4. knee arthritis and soft tissue injuries, such as meniscal
5. tears, cruciate and collateral ligament tears, patellar degeneration, runner’s knee.
6. ankle and foot strains and degeneration, heel pain from plantar fasciitis, heel bursitis.
7. temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ disorders).
and central, or axial spinal disorders, such as
1. chronic sprain or strain or tendons, ligaments, articulations, sacroiliac joints.
2. back pain from painful lumbar discs.
As with everything else, regenerative treatment starts with a correct diagnosis. Using our pain mapping techniques, combined with advanced radiology (MRI, CT), we find out where the pain comes from. Taking into account the correct diagnosis and how long the injury or condition has persisted, we establish whether a patient is a candidate for regenerative treatments, and which kind of treatment is the most appropriate for the individual patient.
Regeneration is a slow process that takes several months to complete. Therefore, patients may not experience any pain relief for 2-3 months while the treatments are carried out. However, once the tissues start healing, the pain gradually subsides until it goes away completely. The pain relief is the result of a natural healing process and is not induced by artificial means.
Regenerative therapy is new. As such, there is a lot more to learn and study to pertain to the way it works and to the conditions that are appropriately treated. As with any new and experimental field, it will not benefit everybody. This is why it should be used conservatively and after careful diagnosis and patient selection.
Ask us a question regrading regenerative pain care.