Pain Management for Knee Pain

Pain Management for Knee Pain

Knee pain can be debilitating and impair your ability to have a quality daily life. There are many causes of knee pain, and you might feel frustrated trying to navigate different knee pain management options. Some people experience chronic knee pain from sports injuries, arthritis, or old age. No matter what the cause of your knee pain is, there are options for relief.  Here are some options when it comes to pain management for knee pain.

Medications

Your doctor might prescribe medication to treat your knee pain. There are various types of medications that help relieve knee pain issues. Anti-inflammatory medications can help with symptoms of osteoarthritis, an inflammatory joint condition that causes chronic knee pain. If you suffer from a condition like gout, your doctor may prescribe a specific type of medication to treat this underlying condition. 

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles around your knee to provide more support and relieve pain. Exercises like knee stretches and mobility practice can help restore your knee function. Physical therapy for knee pain is often recommended after knee replacement surgery to prevent your knees from getting stiff and losing mobility. 

Injections

Your doctor may recommend injections to treat your knee pain. Corticosteroids are a common type of injection for pain relief. They are most effective for treating arthritis-related knee pain. During an arthritis flare-up, the corticosteroids can put your body’s healing mechanisms into overdrive to reduce your pain. 

Other types of injections, like platelet-rich plasma and hyaluronic acid, are available as well to help manage pain. These injections have shown some potential to treat knee pain, but they are still considered experimental.   

Stem Cell Therapy

Another option being explored more these days for knee pain is regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy. This alternative option therapy has the ability to regrow important tissues and cartilage within the body. It has shown promising results in treating osteoarthritis, a common cause of knee pain. 

Knee pain often stems from injuries or wear and tear on your knee joints and the surrounding tissues. Stem cell therapy can potentially replace some of the damaged tissues around your knee to relieve your knee pain. Since stem cells start as a blank slate, they can be grown into almost any type of cell that your body needs. 

Stem cell therapy has shown few negative side effects for patients who have received treatment. If you suffer from knee pain and do not see results from other forms of treatment, stem cell therapy might be a good option to explore to help manage your knee pain for relief. If you would like to learn more, contact us today and speak with a care coordinator.

Can Stem Cells Heal Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Can Stem Cells Heal Traumatic Brain Injuries?

TBIs, or traumatic brain injuries, are typically one of the most challenging types of medical ailments to treat. This is due to the sheer complexity of the human brain. Here we talk about how to heal traumatic brain injuries.

Fortunately, stem cell therapy may provide medical professionals with a viable treatment option when encountering patients suffering from TBIs. Stem cells are unique cells that are capable of transforming into other types of cells, including those present within the brain.

While stem cells have shown great promise when used to treat other types of soft tissue injuries, can they help heal traumatic brain injuries? Thus far, researchers have not found a definitive answer. However, initial data shows that stem cell therapy may have a positive impact on TBI patients.  

Types of Traumatic Brain Injury

Before we discuss how stem cell therapy may benefit individuals that have suffered a TBI, let’s briefly recap the various types of traumatic brain injuries.

Concussions

The most common type of traumatic brain injury is concussions. Concussions can occur when a person’s head collides with another individual, a fixed object, or a moving object. A prime example of an injury-causing event is when a football player’s helmet hits the helmet of another player or the turf. Concussions are characterized by a loss of consciousness, an altered mental state, and headaches.

Penetration Injuries

A less common but still frequent type of TBI is caused by a penetration injury. These injuries occur when a foreign object pierces the skull and damages the brain. Penetration injuries can be caused by sharp objects, bullets, and shrapnel.

Diffuse Axonal Injuries

The third class of TBI is referred to as a diffuse axonal injury. This type of injury occurs when a person experiences rapid deceleration or acceleration. Diffuse axonal injuries are most likely to occur during motor vehicle accidents.

How Stem Cells May Help

Every year, approximately 1.5 million people suffer from TBIs in the U.S. alone. Roughly 230,000 people are admitted to the hospital and survive their injuries. Of these, about one-third (80,000–90,000) suffer from some sort of long-term disability.

In the past, clinicians focused on managing the many symptoms of TBIs via the use of medications and rehabilitative therapies. However, stem cell therapy has become a safe and natural alternative treatment option for many different neurodegenerative conditions, including TBIs.

Early research suggests that stem cell therapy may be able to:

  • Improve cognitive function
  • Improve appetite
  • Improve mood and stamina
  • Decrease chronic pain
  • Increase energy

If you or a loved one is suffering from a TBI injury, stem cell therapy might be able to help mitigate or improve symptoms. If you would like to learn more contact us today and speak with a care coordinator.

What Is Traumatic Brain Injury?

What Is Traumatic Brain Injury?

A question we get a lot is what is traumatic brain injury? Traumatic brain injury (or TBI) is usually caused by a violent blow to the head or body. An object piercing the brain tissue, such as may happen in an automobile accident, can also cause TBI. Most traumatic brain injuries are mild concussions that do not require hospitalization, but sadly, TBI does contribute to nearly 50,000 deaths a year in the U.S. Treatments for traumatic brain injury depend on the severity of the injury. Therapies may include emergency treatment, medications, rehabilitation, and stem cell therapy.  

Inflammation is the body’s normal response to injury, but the hard skull around the brain prevents outward swelling when it’s injured. Instead, pressure builds up inside the skull, and this pressure can cause even further injury. 

Interruption in communication patterns between the brain’s neurotransmitters creates an imbalance of the delicate chemistry needed for normal function. If the injury is mild, normal function may resume when the brain heals and inflammation recedes. But if the pressure is prolonged or the injury is more severe, complications can be life-altering.

The Symptoms of TBI

The term “traumatic brain injury” sounds severe, and in some cases, it can be. However, traumatic brain injury is also the correct term for describing mild concussions that don’t appear to be concerning immediately after the event. Symptoms and complications related to TBI may appear days or even weeks after the injury. That is why all TBIs should be considered serious incidents until more information becomes available.

Symptoms of a mild TBI may include:

  • Headache,
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Speech problems
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Strange taste in the mouth
  • Loss of smell
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes
  • Feeling confused, disoriented
  • Problems with memory or difficulty concentrating
  • Mood swings

A more serious TBI may also cause convulsions, clear fluids draining from ears or nose, weakness in toes and fingers, or dilation of one or both pupils.

Seek medical care if you or someone you know exhibits any of the above signs after a fall or some other type of accident that involves a blow to the head. Children are especially at risk for long-term complications of TBI and should be evaluated immediately.

Can Regenerative Medicine Help TBI?

Regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, has shown potential for managing a range of neurodegenerative disorders, including traumatic brain injury. While it is still considered experimental, studies on stem cell therapy show promise for its ability to replace damaged brain cells with healthy new cells and potentially restore or improve brain function. If you would like to learn more contact a care coordinator today!

Is Stem Cell Therapy Effective for Osteoarthritis?

Is Stem Cell Therapy Effective for Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA) affects over 32.5 million adults in the U.S. It is the most common type of arthritis and is also known as degenerative joint disease. Symptoms can be mild to completely debilitating pain in some people. Here we discuss is stem cell therapy effective for osteoarthritis?

Fortunately, most patients can manage their OA symptoms with lifestyle changes. But for those who experience severe pain, lifestyle changes aren’t always enough. Stem cell therapy is a safe, non-invasive treatment that may bring long-lasting relief for individuals with OA. 

Causes and Risk Factors for OA

In most cases, osteoarthritis is caused by normal wear and tear on the joints. As the protective cartilage inside a joint begins to wear down, it creates changes in the underlying bone. The result can be inflammation, pain, stiffness in the joints, and a decreased range of motion.

Age is the number-one risk factor for developing OA. As we age, everyday movements cause the cartilage to break down. Other risk factors include the following:

  • Genetics: If people in your family have OA, you are more likely to develop the condition
  • Obesity: Extra weight increases the stress on weight-bearing joints
  • Joint injury: A joint that has been damaged is more likely to develop OA
  • Repetitive use:  Repetitive bending, kneeling, or other movements can cause the cartilage to break down sooner
  • Gender: Women, and especially women over 50, are at the highest risk for developing OA

Many people ask the question – Is Stem Cell Therapy Effective for Osteoarthritis? Traditional treatments for OA typically involve a combination of therapies such as physical therapy, weight loss, medications, and using supportive devices like a cane. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended.

How Does Regenerative Medicine Help Osteoarthritis?

Whether you have been newly diagnosed with OA or have been coping with the condition for many years, regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, is considered to be a safe treatment for most patients with OA and other orthopedic complaints such as degenerative disc disease

The most common side effects of receiving stem cell therapy are temporary swelling and mild pain at the injection site. The inflammation that occurs when joint cartilage becomes damaged is one cause of OA pain. Swollen tissues cause pressure on the delicate nerves that surround the joints. The other source of pain is from the joints themselves. Without the protection of cartilage, joint bones come into direct contact with one another.

Stem cells release anti-inflammatory agents that reduce the pain caused by swelling and promote healing within the joint. Stem cell therapy may also be able to regenerate healthy new cartilage tissue. Each case of OA is considered and set with realistic expectations and stem cell therapy offers patients an alternative option to manage their condition and symptoms. If you would like to learn more or schedule an a consultation, contact a care coordinator today!

The Difference Between Stroke and Heart Attack

The Difference Between Stroke and Heart Attack

Hopefully, you will never experience a stroke or a heart attack, but it is important to know the differences between these two potentially fatal medical emergencies. The most important similarity may be that if you or someone you know is showing the symptoms of a stroke or a heart attack, time is crucial. Getting immediate medical help increases the chance of survival and recovery.

Heart Attacks Explained

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. Heart disease can lead to a heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction. 

The term “heart attack” refers to damage of the heart muscle, usually caused by a lack of blood flow. If a blood clot forms in one of the arteries that supply blood to the heart, it can block blood flow and deprive the heart of the nutrients it needs to function.

As the heart weakens from lack of nourishment, chest pain and other symptoms may occur. Warning signs of a heart attack include:

  • Fatigue
  • A sense of impending doom
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Pain radiating down the left arm
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Pain or numbness in the upper body
  • Stomach pain
  • Changes in heartbeat
  • A bluish tint to the hands, feet, or lips
  • Pain in the jaw or between the shoulder blades

Men and women tend to experience a different set of symptoms; however, warning signs can be different for every person. In some cases, there is no warning at all. This is referred to as a “silent heart attack.”

Stroke Explained

Like heart attacks, strokes are usually caused by a blood clot that blocks blood flow in the arteries. In this case, the blockage affects the brain. Deprived of nourishment, a section of the brain dies, resulting in a stroke.

There are three types of strokes. Ischemic stroke is caused by a blood clot, and it is the most common type. Bleeding in the brain, usually from injury or aneurysm, may cause a hemorrhagic stroke. A transient ischemic attack is caused when an artery that feeds the brain is restricted but not blocked.

Warning signs of stroke are typically less painful and more subtle than warning signs of a heart attack. They may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Speech difficulties
  • Arm or leg weakness
  • Confusion
  • Vision loss
  • Facial drooping
  • Tingling or numbness in extremities
  • Sudden incontinence

The chances of surviving and recovering from a stroke depend on what part and how much of the brain was affected. Immediate medical help increases the chance for recovery.

Stroke and heart attack are both age-related health problems. Longer life spans mean the conditions have become more common. Unfortunately, many patients still end up with some type of long-term disability. 

The Future of Regenerative Medicine

There is hope that regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, may offer an option to help repair the damage caused by a stroke or heart attack. As medicine continues to advance, the damages of these serious conditions may become less permanent. Patients are exploring the beneficial opportunities that stem cells hold. If you would like to learn more contact a care coordinator today!

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