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Regenerative Medicine: 3 Options for Joint Pain

Regenerative medicine offers innovative solutions for a wide range of problems, including pain. However, it’s important to note that regenerative medicine isn’t one specific treatment. Regenerative medicine is a scientific and medical discipline that harnesses the body’s natural ability to regenerate and heal damaged tissue and cells.

In this blog, our interventional pain specialists at Pacific Sports and Spine in Eugene, Oregon, discuss three types of regenerative medicine: platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, adipose-derived stem cell therapy, and bone marrow aspirate concentrate stem cell therapy.

Understanding regenerative medicine

Regenerative medicine works by triggering the repair process inside your body. In short, it heals your body instead of simply masking your symptoms.

Regenerative medicine therapies harness the power of substances already found in your body to boost the healing process. These approaches can vary, depending on the condition needing treatment. For example, a bone marrow transplant can help you fight leukemia and lymphoma, while a skin graft can treat burns or cover surgical sites.

Because of this versatility, regenerative medicine treatments can offer relief for several issues, including:

To get the best, long-lasting results, it's essential to use the right healing elements for a specific condition.

Platelet-rich plasma therapy

Platelet-rich plasma therapy taps into healing elements within your blood, especially the platelets. These cells contain growth factors that not only speed up the healing process, but they also trigger cell proliferation and tissue regeneration.

This regenerative medicine treatment starts with a blood draw. Then, your sample is processed in a centrifuge machine to concentrate the platelets and growth factors. Then this concentrate is injected into the parts of your body that need healing.

Stem cells

Like the platelets found in your blood, stem cells also have a remarkable ability to repair damaged cells. However, they have even more abilities, because stem cells can transform into specialized cells — such as bone or muscle — which give them even more capabilities when it comes to regenerative medicine.

Two types of stem cells that can be used to help regenerate tissue are adipose-derived cells and bone marrow aspirate concentrate:

Adipose-derived cells

You find these adult stem cells in fat tissue. These cells can increase in number and turn into different types of cells, giving them the ability to:

These cells get harvested from a small amount of fat. The fat is usually removed with a needle from the abdomen, buttocks, or hips. After preparing your sample, the cells are injected into the area of your body with damage or disease.

Bone marrow aspirate concentrate

Bone marrow is one of the richest sources of adult stem cells. This is the spongy tissue inside some bones, such as your hips and thighs. Stem cells found in this tissue contain vital growth factors and anti-inflammatory proteins that can help with bone and soft tissue repair, especially for injuries, arthritis, and tendinitis.

To retrieve these cells, your provider uses a small needle to harvest some of your bone marrow, often from the pelvic bone. Then, your sample is concentrated and injected into the treatment site.

What to expect from regenerative medicine

We perform regenerative medicine treatments at the office. Depending on your therapy, it should take two hours or less.

In most cases, we recommend taking it easy after your treatment. However, you can usually resume your regular activities within a day or two. Since regenerative medicine works by healing your body, it can take a few weeks before you start noticing a change in your symptoms as new cells return to the area.

To learn more about regenerative medicine and to see if it may be able to help you, book an appointment with Pacific Sports and Spine by calling 541-203-3310 today.

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