Chronic pain has been a difficult issue for years for both doctors and patients alike. Whether the pain is caused by an injury, an illness, or a physical deformity, it can have a serious effect on an individual's daily life, emotional well-being, and ability to participate in the activities that they enjoy.
What Is Regenerative Medicine?
Regenerative medicine is an advanced branch of medicine that has been highly useful in the management of acute and chronic pain. Scientific advances have allowed for the growth of cells and even organs in the lab, which can then be used to help patients recover from trauma or illness.
Regenerative medicine can include stem cell therapies, tissues like heart valves grown in laboratory settings, and even organs like bladders created as perfect matches to a patient's cells.
What is Regenerative Medicine?
History of Regenerative Medicine
Research on in vitro tissue growth started in the 1960s. The first successful regenerative procedures started with skin grafting. Back in the 1970s, the first successful skin graft procedure was finalized. It allowed people to heal more quickly and completely from burns or infections.
Soon after, technology like bone marrow transplants started offering better chances to people suffering from leukemia.
Regenerative Medicine Procedures for Pain
This area is still in its infancy and shows extraordinary promise in helping people recover from painful conditions. Therapies that can be useful for those who suffer from chronic pain include:
Stem Cell Therapy
People who suffer back or neck pain due to degradation of the discs between their vertebrae may benefit from stem cell therapy. In stem cell therapy, the patient's stem cells are extracted and purified, then concentrated and injected into the damaged tissue. This procedure is non-surgical and thus has a quick recovery time. Researchers say that, in the future, it will also be helpful for spinal cord injuries, stroke, macular degeneration, and osteoarthritis.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy
This therapy was first developed in the 1970s, but could only be used in operating rooms because of the size and complexity of the necessary equipment. In the 1990s, a number of studies were performed that showed platelets' ability to help the body repair damaged tissue. Those who received platelet-rich plasma therapy for chronic tendonitis had a 93% reduction in pain two years after the procedure.
In the early 2000s, the equipment to perform platelet-rich plasma therapy became more compact and less expensive, allowing more medical professionals to offer it to their patients.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy is used to combat a number of conditions that cause chronic pain. It can be useful in the treatment of rotator cuff tears, tendon issues in the rotator cuff, ligament tears, and osteoarthritis, among other conditions.
In this therapy, blood plasma that is rich in platelets, our blood's healing cells, is injected into the area around the injury. Blood is centrifuged to separate the platelets that are used for the treatment. The platelets have a high concentration of the body's growth factor, which helps it heal more quickly. Research has shown that the introduction of platelets helps increase the proliferation of cells and total collagen production, which can help speed healing.
Amniotic Membrane Therapy
There are two types of cells in the amniotic membrane: stromal cells and epithelial cells. Both have features that are very similar to stem cells. In tests on humans, these cells were found to be effective in the treatment of issues like tendonitis.
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Are you suffering from chronic pain? Get in touch. We can diagnose the cause of your pain and develop a treatment plan to bring you the best outcomes possible. The complementary approach at Gulf Coast Pain Institute means access to a range of treatments that suit your conditions and your needs.