For the treatment of a variety of health conditions, one option more people are relying on is regenerative medicine. This field focuses on helping your body’s natural healing process function at its best, making it possible for tissues to regenerate so that you can obtain pain relief and improve mobility. There are various types of regenerative medicine. Learn more about them to know the choices you have.
Regenerative Medicine: What It Is and What It’s Used For
Regenerative medicine is a group of treatments focused on healing tissues throughout the body while also restoring the function you may have lost because of aging, medical conditions, and more.
When you’re young, your body is able to heal more efficiently, but the older you get, the longer the healing process can take. In some instances, this longer length of time even leads to the development of chronic pain issues that can be tough to deal with.
With regenerative medicine, you get the chance to try minimally invasive treatments that can offer results. Most of the best regenerative medicine options focus on stem cells, but some also rely on your blood’s components to provide lasting results.
Regenerative medicine can offer help for many types of issues, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis inflammation
- Ligaments that have been torn or extended
- Degenerative disc disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Autoimmunity issues
The kind of condition you have may dictate the type of regenerative treatment that has the potential to be most effective.
The Different Kinds of Regenerative Medicine Therapies
What Is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cell therapy is a treatment option that utilizes stem cells to promote healing. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can create specialized ones. They have the ability to self-renew and create functional tissues, working as the body’s repair system.
During stem cell therapy, your healthcare provider injects stem cells into the treatment area. There are different types of stem cells, including adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells.
Adult stem cells are undifferentiated cells found in various tissues throughout the body, including fat and bone marrow. They have a more limited ability to differentiate than embryonic stem cells, but they are much more readily available because they come from your body.
Mesenchymal stem cells are found in fat and bone marrow, among other tissues, and they can help the body respond to inflammation and promote healing.
What Is Platelet-Rich Plasma?
Your blood is made up of a few components, including:
- White blood cells
- Red blood cells
Plasma is the liquid portion of blood. Platelets are not actually cells but cell fragments that help with the clotting process and contain growth factors that can stimulate cellular reproduction as well as healing at the treatment site. Platelet-rich plasma refers to plasma that has more platelets than usual.
To create a PRP injection, your doctor takes a sample of your blood and runs it through a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins the sample very rapidly, dividing the blood components so that your doctor can extract the platelets and add them to the plasma. This is then injected at the treatment area.
PRP therapy can be a good option for the treatment of ligament injuries, osteoarthritis, post-surgical healing, and even hair loss.
These injections work to reduce inflammation at the treatment site, which allows better circulation. More blood flow means the area receives more nutrients and oxygen, helping with the healing process. Less inflammation also means less pain.
What Is Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy is another type of regenerative medicine that can be used to relieve pain. It involves injecting a small amount of an irritant, like sugar, into the treatment area. This irritant trigger an immune response and jumpstarts your body’s natural ability.
It shows promise in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions, including issues with your bones, ligaments, soft tissues, and more.
Your body responds to the sugar or other irritant as a threat, triggering your immune and healing responses to rush to the area to remove the irritant and also begin the healing process.
Benefits of Regenerative Medicine
Regenerative medicine offers the chance to get relief from pain and inflammation without having to go through invasive procedures. Most regenerative medicine options require only a minimally invasive procedure, like providing a sample of blood or undergoing a mini liposuction procedure to obtain fat.
Because regenerative medicine procedures don’t require an elaborate process, you don’t have to worry about a long preparation or recovery period. You can usually get back to your normal life right after receiving treatment.
Regenerative medicine works to help manage the underlying cause of the pain you’re experiencing. It doesn’t just mask symptoms as pain medication and anti-inflammatories do. By offering the potential of healing injuries, it may be able to provide lasting relief.
Regenerative medicine is also more affordable than an invasive procedure like surgery. The surgery itself is costly, and the recovery can mean relying on physical therapies that add to the budget. That is not an issue you have to worry about with regenerative medicine options like stem cell therapy, PRP therapy, or prolotherapy.
Managing Pain and Inflammation with Regenerative Medicine
Regenerative medicine holds significant promise for the treatment of conditions that cause pain and inflammation. By relying on your natural healing process, regenerative medicine only improves what your body does.
If you’re considering regenerative medicine to help with any conditions you face, ask your healthcare provider about it to see if it’s a good choice for you.