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Hands-On Care and Regenerative Medicine: A Natural Pairing


Any doctor who wants to add regenerative medicine to his or her practice can attend training at the Advanced Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) to learn stem cell and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapies. Once properly trained, the doctor can begin recommending treatments for musculoskeletal injuries, osteoarthritis, and more.

The question is, can anything more be done above and beyond basic stem cell and PRP injections? In a word, yes. The Detroit News published an article on its website on April 10 exploring this very issue. The main thrust of that article was how hands-on medicine can be paired with regenerative medicine to achieve amazing results.

This article will expand on what Detroit News contributor Joyce Wiswell wrote in her piece. Needless to say that the potential of regenerative medicine to help people suffering from certain kinds of injuries and diseases is that much greater when a hands-on approach to care is utilized.

Healing vs. Masking Pain

The place to start is by discussing why a patient would choose regenerative medicine over another option. Because Wiswell’s article dealt mainly with osteoarthritis, the same approach will be taken here.

Traditional treatments for osteoarthritis include cortisone shots, pain medication, and surgery. All three treatments have inherent weaknesses that are not necessarily good for patients. For example, cortisone shots only work to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a good thing in that it promotes healing. So while cortisone shots help with pain management by reducing swelling, they also inhibit the body’s natural healing process.

Pain medication does nothing but help manage pain. It should be obvious from everything we have heard in the news recently that long-term use of pain medication is not a wise thing. That leaves the chronic osteoarthritis sufferer with but one option: surgery. Yet surgery always comes with the risk of infection and complications. Furthermore, it does not always relieve chronic osteoarthritis pain.

Turning to PRP and stem cell injections as an alternative to the other three treatments gives patients yet another option. The injections are given with the understanding that both PRP serums and stem cell material activate the body’s natural healing response to address the core issue causing the pain.

The injections allow for natural inflammation rather than preventing it. They do not mask pain by way of drugs. They encourage the body to heal itself rather than using mechanical means to bypass nature.

Regenerative Medicine and Physical Therapy

This brings us to the idea of a hands-on approach to care. For a lot of patients, injections alone will not offer maximum relief from osteoarthritis pain. So smart doctors invite their patients to receive physical therapy alongside their injections. Between the doctor and physical therapist, the patient is afforded the kind of hands-on care that truly brings permanent relief.

The point of physical therapy in an acute setting is to actually encourage inflammation. Remember, inflammation is a natural part of the healing process. The hands-on approach says patients should receive their PRP or stem cell injections and then go right to physical therapy. Immediately working the treated joint tells the body to start the healing process while the injections provide the necessary material for healing to occur.

Even after regenerative medicine treatments are finished, physical therapy aids in maximizing range of motion and keeping treated joints moving freely. Ongoing physical therapy can be combined with future injections should they be necessary.

The result of the hands-on approach is a more natural recovery from a potentially debilitating problem. Patients are catching on to this approach as a viable alternative to cortisone shots, addicting pain medications, and invasive surgery.

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