Ask the Doctor – Can Regenerative Medicine Work for You?

Ask the Doctor – Can Regenerative Medicine Work for You?

If you experience stiffness or aches in your muscles and joints, it can make it challenging to do the things you need, or love, to do every day. Whether you experience discomfort in your knees, elbows, shoulders, back or hips, chronic pain can be debilitating. When traditional treatments haven’t worked to give you relief, regenerative medicine may be the solution.

“Regenerative medicine” or “stem cell therapy” are the latest buzzwords in the field of medicine, mostly due to the success these treatments can offer. Dr. John East of Addison Pain + Regenerative Medicine explains these treatments and how they can help the body heal.  

Dr. John East

What is regenerative medicine?

Regenerative medicine is a newer field of medicine that focuses on using human cells, tissues, and cellular and tissue products to repair injuries or damaged areas. The body has an innate response to heal itself when there is damage but sometimes it needs a little boost. Regenerative materials (biologics) can be taken from one’s own body, such as a sample of your own blood, bone marrow and other tissues. The material is spun in a centrifuge to draw out the platelets (growth factors), then injected into the injury site to give the body the boost it needs to accelerate the healing process. 

An easy way to think of regenerative medicine solutions is more like adding fertilizer to the soil. As biologics are injected into damaged areas of the body, the healing process is amped up to restore structure and function, naturally. 

Who is a good candidate for regenerative medicine treatments?

In many cases, patients turn to regenerative medicine for its ability to allow the body to heal itself, and as an alternative to surgery. 

Anyone who suffers from pain involving the spine, joints or soft tissue (muscle, tendons and ligaments) is an ideal candidate for Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP).  

Stem cell therapy, on the other hand, is typically reserved for injuries that are more severe. Let me give you an example. If an individual has osteoarthritis of the knee and there’s damage to the cartilage, that person would be a better candidate for stem cell therapy as opposed to just PRP.

Our patients are parents, grandparents, athletes and working professionals who, just like you, were sidelined by their pain and unable to participate in life. However, regenerative medicine is not just for someone in pain. As our bodies age, our joints and soft tissues weaken, atrophy and degenerate. Regenerative medicine treatments bring vitality back to the aging body. 

What separates regenerative medicine from traditional pain management? 

I’m often asked this question. Traditional pain management typically involves the use of cortisone which unfortunately can damage cartilage cells and reduce the body’s natural production of cortisone. Other traditional procedures burn, freeze and use electrical signals to reduce pain in the body, whereas stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma does not any harm to the body. Regenerative medicine is natural, safe, effective, minimally invasive and not destructive.  

What applications do you use regenerative medicine for?

At Addison Pain + Regenerative Medicine, we use Platelet-Rich Plasma and stem cells from Bone Marrow plus the addition of ozone for orthopedic purposes, such as back pain, degenerative disc disease, disc tears, plantar fasciitis, ACL tears, rotator cuff injuries, tendinitis, peripheral neuropathy, hip joint arthritis, sciatica, Golfer’s elbow, and more. 

Regenerative medicine is also an effective treatment for sexual wellness. The O-shot® for women and P-shot® for men can enhance libido and rejuvenate the tissue and new blood-vessel growth in patients. 

You have probably heard of the Vampire Facial®? We offer that in addition to other aesthetic procedures such as the Vampire Facelift®, Vampire Breast Lift® and Vampire Wing Lift®. Platelet-Rich Plasma can be beneficial for hair restoration, which is a great solution for both men and women who are experience hair loss (alopecia). 

What advice would you give someone who is suffering from chronic pain?

If you are suffering from pain, don’t ignore it and hope that it will go away.  Let’s identify the root or source of the pain and come up with a treatment plan. I genuinely want to help people get better and see an improvement in their quality of life. 

I feel like I can connect better with my patients because I’ve experienced similar problems with my knee, back and shoulder. I’ve had simple conservative measures like physical therapy, chiropractic treatment and steroid injections that just didn’t do the trick. For me personally, regenerative medicine offered me new hope and actually changed my life. 

How many treatments are necessary? 

The number of treatments can vary from person to person depending on how much damage, or wear and tear, is present. The best way to determine how many treatments is needed is to have a consultation with one of our providers so that we evaluate the damaged area and determine a personalized long-term plan based on your desired outcome. Sometimes an individual will only need one treatment and other times it may take three or four treatments over the course of time.