An emerging new field of medicine offers promising results and much-needed relief for those in chronic pain due to musculoskeletal conditions. Rather than relying on drugs or invasive surgeries, regenerative medicine focuses on restoring damaged cells, tissues, and organs by calling upon your body’s own healing properties.
Leading the way in this cutting-edge field, Shachi Patel, MD, at Delmarva Pain and Spine in Newark, Delaware, is double-board certified in pain management and offers you hope for real pain relief without drugs or surgery even if you’ve been suffering for years. Here’s how.
Regenerative medicine is an umbrella term that encompasses several specialties. Dr. Patel specializes in two particular fields: platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapy.
PRP is a treatment by which we use a small sample of your own blood, isolate the healing elements called platelets, and inject that concentrated serum into your injured joint, wound, or other damaged area to speed up the healing process.
Through stem cell therapy, we also inject healing properties into your injured tissues, but this injection is made up of the cells from bone marrow that we extract from your hip or from a donor. Stem cells have the ability to morph into the type of cells that surround them. So if you have ligament damage in your ankle or muscle damage in your biceps, the stem cells turn into those cells and regenerate that tissue.
As medical professionals, Dr. Patel and our team are dedicated to healing without doing further harm. Sometimes surgery is necessary to restore function and reduce pain, but it comes at the cost of additional pain and rehab.
Regenerative medicine techniques allow us to avoid resorting to surgery without compromising effectiveness, and that’s revolutionary. Let’s break down the amazing benefits of regenerative medicine.
When you cut your hand or sprain your ankle, your body sends blood to the rescue, which is why you see swelling and redness. Once that blood floods the scene, it releases growth factors, which are proteins that promote healing by regenerating and multiplying cells.
The platelets Dr. Patel harvests from your own blood contain a powerful concentration of these growth factors that accelerate healing, stimulate new cell growth and division, and regenerate damaged tissue.
Like platelets, stem cells are a key part of the healing process. As we mentioned, these cells are undesignated and transformable, which means they are able to turn into whatever type you need at the moment.
This malleability comes in handy when you’ve damaged your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. If your body is unable to heal itself or is constantly fighting chronic inflammation, stem cells introduced into the area go straight to work creating new tissue to replace what was lost or destroyed. Of course, the healed tissue also translates to no more pain.
Inflammation is a two-edged sword. On one hand, it plays a key role immediately after your injury by supplying blood and healing properties to the site. But if it hangs around too long, it has the opposite effect of causing damage rather than healing it, and more pain ensues.
But when Dr. Patel performs PRP or stem cell therapy, the stem cells and platelets release biochemicals that control your level of inflammation and reduce your pain.
One of the reasons some injuries turn into chronic painful conditions is that the injured site doesn’t get enough blood supply to heal on its own. In particular, your joints lack adequate blood flow under ideal conditions, but if you’re elderly, your blood flow may be nearly nonexistent in some places.
Platelets injected into those areas create a fresh supply of life-giving blood that triggers and supports healing.
When Dr. Patel uses stem cells, knees that have been plagued by osteoarthritis and have degraded cartilage, surgical wounds that aren’t healing quickly, inflamed tendons, and torn ligaments all get a boost of blood and all the transformative cells to go with it.
The key to getting rid of pain is treating the underlying injury or condition. Stem cells and platelets get to the source of the pain, rather than masking it with drugs, and eliminate the pain for good.
If you’ve been suffering from debilitating pain and wonder what regenerative medicine can do for you, call us to talk about your options and the best regenerative treatment for you. We also offer virtual telemedicine appointments.