Regenerative medicine involves methods to regrow, repair, or replace damaged and degenerated tissue. When tissue such as muscle, tendon, ligament, or cartilage is injured, the body tries to heal the injury through its own repair mechanisms. However, in certain situations (especially in areas where there is lack of blood flow – such as inside and around joints), the body cannot heal the injury adequately, if at all. This can lead to ongoing pain, weakness, disability, swelling, catching, or locking of a joint. With regenerative medicine, we attempt to augment the natural healing process to heal or even “grow back” the damaged tissue. A major advantage of regenerative medicine that is appealing to patients as it leverages the natural healing process using the body’s own tissue. At Whole Body Healthcare, we are utilizing two primary forms of regenerative medicine procedures to grow new, healthy tissue with the potential to fully repair damaged tissue.
Platelet rich plasma (PRP), involves the use of the platelets from blood, composed of mainly red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Platelets contain hundreds of proteins known as growth factors necessary for healing injuries. The procedure begins with a standard blood draw, followed by separating the platelets from other blood cells and increasing their concentration in a process called centrifugation. The PRP, with its increased concentration of platelets, is injected via guided ultrasound into the injured tissue. The use of ultrasound is important to accurately inject the product into the area of concern.
Stem cell-based therapies for the repair or regeneration of damaged or degenerated tissue represents a promising technology for numerous disabilities. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) found in the Wharton’s jelly, harvested from umbilical cord tissue, have gained the most attention due to their ability to differentiate into the tissue of interest. Essential components for tissue regeneration such as growth factors, cytokines, hyaluronic acid, and structural proteins, are all present in the formulated Wharton’s jelly used in regenerative medicine procedures. These components work to reduce inflammation, increase self-replication, allow for tissue differentiation, and provide protection against cell death. These unique capabilities allow for reparative and restorative treatment options for multiple joint and soft tissue conditions.
Both forms of regenerative medicine are appealing to patients, as they are minimally invasive and performed in the clinic in a relaxed setting with little down time. Additionally, the ease of preparation and administration, relative safety, and cost-effectiveness when compared to surgical options, benefits the patient. Both stem cells and PRP can be performed as an alternative to surgery or to prevent further degeneration in damaged tissue leading to lowered pain levels, lessened use of opioids and other highly addictive painkillers, and fewer interventional treatments for joint and soft tissue pain.
A Whole Body Healthcare, regenerative medicine is used to treat a variety of conditions, including:
- Spine - Osteoarthritis, low back pain, bulging disc, degenerative disc disease, foraminal stenosis, herniated disc, neck pain, sciatica, radiculitis, SI joint syndrome, ruptured disc, spinal stenosis, torn disc, slipped disc, spondylosis, nerve pain.
- Knees - Osteoarthritis, meniscal injuries “cartilage tears”, tendon injury, muscle injury
- Shoulder - Arthritis, Partial rotator cuff tears, labral tears
- Hip - Osteoarthritis, tendon injury, muscle injury
- Ankle - Osteoarthritis, ankle pain, tendon injury, Achilles tendonitis/tendinopathy
- Foot - Arthritis, Plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma
- Elbow - Tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, osteoarthritis
- Wrist/Hand - Osteoarthritis, wrist/hand pain