The Basics of Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative Medicine is a branch of medicine focused on the development and application of new treatments to heal and/or restore function to tissues or organs damaged by disease, trauma, age, and degeneration. Regenerative Medicine is a modern solution to ailments that physicians diagnose and treat every day, and the success rate physicians have seen from using regenerative medicine techniques is something that has taken the medical community by storm. What was called crazy science just a few years ago is now treatment that is utilized by many board certified pain management physicians as an alternative to steroid based therapies.

Regenerative Medicine can also be referred to as cell-based therapy. You’ve probably heard about “stem cells” and PRP, and maybe you even know someone who has tried these therapies, but most people outside of the medical field are confused by what all of this means. We are here to break it down for you today.

What are stem cells? Stem cells are the bank cells within your body that can morph in many different types of cell depending on what your body needs them for. Stem cells are your body’s repair systems.

What is PRP? PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma. PRP is created from a sample of your own blood, which is drawn from the patient and then put into a machine to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the rest of your blood.

What kinds of stem cells are used in regenerative medicine? There are two different types of stem cells: Adult and embryonic/extraembryonic. Embryonic and extraembryonic stem cells are those that come from undeveloped embryos, the umbilical cord, or the placenta. Adult stem cells come from fully developed tissues such as bone marrow, skin, or the brain.

What does the doctor do with these substances? Both PRP and stem cells are injected into deep into your tissue into the area that requires healing or restoration of function.

How can injecting PRP or stem cells into my body help me? The purpose of PRP and stem cells is to utilize the body’s natural healing process to regenerate damaged tissue, heal injuries, and eliminate pain. These methods address underlying causes of pain, keeping patients away from relying on medications and/or surgery. Patients have a shorter recovery and experience increased function and mobility without having to undergo invasive surgery.

Am I a candidate for PRP or stem cell therapy? If you have pain due to injury, arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis, or any other condition, you are a candidate for cell-based therapy. Whether you are looking to heal from a traumatic injury, or regenerate older or diseased tissues, PRP or cell-based therapy could be something to help you heal and restore lost function and mobility.

How do I find out more or talk to a physician about my options? Contact Pacific Pain Physicians to set up a consultation to see if regenerative medicine can help you. Your specialist will go over treatment options and work with you to select a treatment that would most benefit your condition, giving you both long-term pain relief and restoration of function.

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