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OsteoarthritisOsteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis. The most common effect is inflammation. Inflammation causes pain, tenderness, swelling, and redness.

PRP TherapyPRP Therapy

PRP Therapy. These platelet cells are packed with healing and growth factors designed to help repair your injured area.

ViscosupplementationViscosupplementation

Viscosupplementation is one of the most popular ways to lubricate and cushion worn out joints.

Stem Cell TherapyStem Cell Therapy

Stem Cell Therapy can treat a wide range of Joint and Osteoarthritis Disorders. Don’t live with pain anymore!

Author Archives: Dr. Andy Keith

Is Stem Cell Therapy Really The Alternative To Joint Replacement?

For years, the only long-term treatment option for osteoarthritis or bone on bone joint problems was joint replacement…typically knees and hips. Then, viscosupplementation came along, where hyaluronic acid was injected into the joint capsule. This lubricated the knee to facilitate better movement and relieve pain, but it wasn’t a long-term solution.

the top 4 questions to ask a medical facility about joint painIn my last article, An Alarming Trend In Joint Replacement Surgeries, I talked about how knee replacement surgeries alone are projected to increase to 3.48 million procedures per year by 2030. This is a scary prospect given the risks of this type of surgery…anesthesia reactions, infections, blood clots, rejection of the artificial joint, just to name a few.

Even with all these risks, many people still don’t know that there is another option and are continuing to go under the knife daily.

But, thanks to advancements in modern medicine, stem cell therapy is emerging as a viable candidate to stop that alarming statistic in its tracks.

 

How Does Stem Cell Therapy Work?

 

Stem cells are essentially the “building blocks” of our body. Stem cells are found in our bone marrow, blood, and adipose tissues. They come from the same family of cells that form joints, cartilage, menisci, ligaments, muscles and bone.

As we age, our bodies continue to produce these stem cells to treat and maintain our bodily systems. By extracting these stem cells from a patient’s own adipose tissue and injecting them into the damaged joint, new cartilage can actually be regenerated.

 

How We Know It Works?

 

adult cell

In a 2008 study by Dr. Christopher Centeno reported in the The American Journal of Case Reports, mesenchymal stem cells were obtained and injected into a patient’s knee along with autologous platelet lysate to enhance growth. MRI imaging was done pre and post treatment to analyze changes.

The results showed that the cartilage had increased in volume, the size of the defect in the cartilage had been reduced and pain in the patient had decreased to 0 on a scale of 10.

While a patient will typically require multiple treatments to “build up” cartilage, this study shows that it can be done.

 

What is Stopping People From Getting Stem Cell Therapy as an Alternative to Joint Replacement?

 

Knowledge – As we already discussed, many people are not aware of stem cell therapy as an alternative to joint replacement.

Doctors – Orthopedic surgeons perform joint replacement surgery, so they will recommend what they know and what they do. Medical practices are also a business. According to Medical Group Management Association’s 2015 Provider Compensation and Production Survey Report, general orthopedic surgeons make an average of $421,000 per year. So, is it surprising that they wouldn’t recommend surgery?

Insurance – Insurance companies haven’t caught up with this advancement in medicine, so these treatments aren’t covered yet. This could be another reason why doctors may not be recommending it at this time.

 

Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy

 

 

stem-cell-joint-replacementThe benefits of stem cell therapy are significant:

Relatively Quick Procedure – Doctors that perform this treatment have the equipment and labs in-house, so the outpatient procedure can be done in a few hours.

Reasonable Cost – Many doctors will do a free initial consultation and exam. Treatment will typically cost between $1,500 to $8,000, depending on your specific situation. Finance options are usually available also.

Natural Therapy – Each patient’s own stem cells are being used for the treatment. No synthetic or donor cells are used.

Minimal Risk – While there is a small risk of infection from the injection, this is very uncommon.

Minimal Recovery Time – Unlike surgery, with stem cell therapy, the patient walks in and out of the procedure on their own. They will typically take it easy for a few days. In a few weeks, they can begin to increase their activity levels and return to normal.

 

Final Thoughts

 

It is the responsibility of each patient to do their due diligence and research alternative treatments before opting for surgery.

The promise of stem cell therapy means that patients will have a more natural and less risky alternative to joint replacement surgery.

Let’s hope that more doctors and insurance companies finally catch on and realize that this is the medicine of the future.

 

Pain-Meds

 

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition

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An Alarming Trend In Joint Replacement Surgeries

If you are over the age of 50, chances are that you know someone who has had knee or hip replacement surgery.

Just look at these statistics:

According to UpToDate, “Approximately 700,000 knee replacement procedures are performed annually in the US. This number is projected to increase to 3.48 million procedures per year by 2030.”

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), more than 300,000 total hip replacements are performed each year in the United States.

So, what does this mean? With each new year, more and more people are having invasive joint replacement surgeries.

 

An Alarming Trend

 

joint-replacement-surgeriesIt used to be that only older people would need to get these types of surgeries, but now we are seeing people in their forties having them done.

A study presented at the 2014 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) meeting indicated that there was a 188% increase in knee replacements over a 10-year period for people aged 45 to 64.

According to AHRQ, mentioned above, hip surgeries increased 205% over a 10-year period for people 45 to 54.

Why are the patients having full joint replacements getting younger?

Dr. Mark Pagnano, chairman of the department of orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, says that the growing number of cases of arthritis is a major factor in the trend. “Higher numbers of active people translate into more arthritis that causes wear and tear.”

Add in the increasing rate of obesity and the stress it puts on the joints, and you can see why the prediction of 3.48 million knee replacements isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

 

Why Should We Be Concerned?

 

So, why is the fact that joint replacement surgeries are being done at younger ages a concern? Because there are inherent risks in having joint replacement surgery:

joint_replacement_surgeries_knee

  • Anesthesia Reactions
  • Infections
  • Blood Clots
  • Fracture
  • Dislocation
  • Loosening
  • Loss of Motion
  • Damage to nerves or blood vessels
  • Allergy to the Artificial Joint
  • Rejection of the Artificial Joint

In addition to all of those risks, many patients don’t realize that the artificial joints that are put in don’t last forever. The lifespan of an artificial joint is typically 10 to 20 years.

So, if a person has a knee or hip joint put in at the age of 45, chances are they will be having a revision surgery done on the same joint by time they are 65.

In revision surgery, your doctor removes some or all of the parts of the original prosthesis and replaces them with new ones.

Although both procedures have the same goal—to relieve pain and improve function—revision surgery is different than primary total knee replacement. It is a longer, more complex procedure that requires extensive planning, and specialized implants and tools to achieve a good result.

The bottom line is this…once you take the joint and replace it with a prosthesis, there is no turning back. You have set yourself on the path of multiple surgeries.

 

There Is Hope

 

Many cases of joint replacement are done because of wear and tear of the cartilage, which leads to “bone on bone” conditions.

Advances in regenerative medicine are showing promise for alternative treatments to surgery. Studies are showing that stem cell injection therapy can actually regenerate cartilage.

The result of one such study, by Dr. Chris Centeno, showed “at 24 weeks post-injection, the patient had statistically significant cartilage and meniscus growth on MRI, as well as increased range of motion and decreased modified VAS pain scores.”

With results like this, many people who would normally get joint replacement surgery may instead opt to get stem cell injections. And, with that promise, let’s hope that scary prediction of reaching 3.48 million knee replacement procedures by 2030 never comes to fruition.

Read more about whether stem cell treatments really are the alternative to joint replacement.

 

Free-Medical-Screening

 

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition

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Is Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Worth The Cost

One of the questions people often ask me is whether having non-surgical spinal decompression treatment is worth it. Obviously, it depends on your individual condition. But if you ask my patients, they will tell you it is.

 

Jonathan’s Story

 

spinal-decompression-worth-the-costMy patient, Jonathan, is a good example of this. He came in to see me recently, so I asked him how his back was doing. Six years ago, we had performed non-surgical spinal decompression on his back for a herniated disc. I was interested to see how his back was doing after this many years. He told me his back was doing great and that he was thankful that he had chosen to do non-surgical spinal decompression.

You see, Jonathan is a real estate agent who is very active. His family’s income is dependent on his ability to do his job. And, real estate agents are active people. Networking to meet potential clients, going to prospective clients’ homes to get listings, showing buyers homes, and going on inspections are just some of the things they do.

Downtime is NOT AN OPTION for real estate agents!

The bottom line for him…he couldn’t afford not to work or to be “down and out” trying to recover from surgery. That is one of the reasons he chose to do spinal decompression.

Jonathan also shared with me that he had a friend who had a herniated disc in his back at the same time he did. Unfortunately, his friend had chosen not to do anything about his back, even though Jonathan had referred me to him.

As it turns out, his friend is now regretting that he didn’t have spinal decompression when he sees how Jonathan is doing. He is in pain all the time and his quality of life has been greatly impacted.

 

Who Is A Good Candidate For Non- Surgical Spinal Decompression?

 

Spinal decompression technology is typically used for the treatment of back pain due to:

  • Back Pain
  • Sciatica
  • Herniated and/or bulging discs
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease

 

While it works for most of these conditions, it is important to make sure you consult a doctor who specializes in spinal decompression about your specific situation before getting treatment. There are some people who should not undergo this treatment. For instance, you should not have spinal decompression treatment, if you have any of the following conditions:

  • A Tumor
  • Fractures
  • Spinal Fusion
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • An Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
  • Metal Implants in your spine
  • Advanced Osteoporosis
  • Pregnancy
  • You’re under the age of 18

 

Benefits of Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression

 

If you have gone to an orthopedic surgeon for back pain, you may have been recommended for surgery. While surgery is usually covered by insurance and spinal decompression is not as of yet, it is important to consider the benefits of paying for spinal decompression:

  • Faster recovery time Patients usually start feeling relief after the first couple of treatments.
  • Minimal or no time off of work Patients who are working can typically return to work the same or next day.
  • No risk of infection as with surgery There are no invasive procedures involved.
  • No anesthesia There is no risk of adverse reactions to anesthesia because it isn’t used.
  • No risk of blood clots There is no risk of blood clots as with surgery.

 

The Cost of Non-Spinal Decompression

 

On average, spinal decompression from a qualified doctor will cost approximately $4,000, and most doctors will have some sort of payment option available.

I hear stories all the time from people that come to see me that they opted to have the surgery because insurance covered it, and then regretted it when they experienced problems. That is why it is so important to do your research up front, weigh the benefits and risks and make the decision that best fits your situation.

At the end of the day, your quality of life may depend on the decision you make. So, it is important that it is an informed one.

 

Bulging-Disk-Problem

 

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition

 

Posted:

Does TV Binge Watching Cause Inflammation

Many doctors in all avenues having been sounding the alarm about the effects of sedentary behavior on our health. But recently, a team of doctors have measured the impact through a recently published study.

What the Studies Say

tv-binge-watching-inflammationAn Australian research team has linked the risk of developing inflammatory diseases to excessive hours of sitting, particularly as related to TV binge watching……….and Netflix may never be the same.

Researchers followed nearly 9,000 adults and tracked the number of hours they spent each day sitting and watching television. Every hour of sitting increased their risk of developing an inflammatory disease by 12 percent.

Naturally, those that spent more than four hours a day sitting and watching TV were at greatest risk. Patients were followed, and at 12 years after the study, about 10 percent of the subjects had died. Of those that had passed away, 130 /909 people died of inflammatory diseases.

 

Why Being Sedentary Causes Inflammation?

Under normal conditions, inflammation is a natural response to a harmful event; the body releases chemicals that help the body recover. When people are sedentary for long periods of time, these chemicals hang around for too long and can cause disease.

Doctors don’t understand all the mechanisms for why sitting causes these chemicals to hang around, but they’re learning through research.

In one study conducted in the United Kingdom, subjects were asked to self-report how much time they spent sitting during the week. Researchers used the standard International Physical Activity Questionnaire to log how much sitting and physical activity each person did.

Researchers then measured blood values of inflammation markers like leptin, C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 (IL-6). In 500 individuals, sitting time was associated with higher levels of these biomarkers. Females had significantly more biomarkers present than men did. By hanging around in the blood stream too long, these biomarkers created a situation of low-grade inflammation, particularly in women.

 

How Biomarkers Affect Your Joints

There are many diseases that are characterized as inflammatory in nature, and many of these diseases affect the bones and joints.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a global epidemic. Doctors and researchers have shifted their thinking about the disease. Once thought to be strictly caused by mechanical “wear and tear”, research now indicates that OA is really an inflammatory disease by nature.

These same biomarkers wreak havoc in the joints, creating the pain, stiffness and loss of mobility that so often characterizes OA.

 

What You Can Do About It

Doctor Examining Male Patient With Knee PainDoctors are working to develop tests that could identify inflammation at its first stages, when it first becomes a problem, and before it becomes chronic. The rapid development and acceptance of regenerative therapy treatments like stem cell therapy and PRP can be helpful in reducing chronic pain for those already afflicted with such maladies.

Until researchers have more information, there is still a lot you can do to help yourself and your situation.

Lifestyle changes can perhaps be the first line of defense. Changing habits can include:

  • Limit the amount of time you’re sitting or otherwise sedentary.
  • Get moving!
  • Introduce daily walks into your schedule. Moderate walking for as little as 20 minutes per day can rev up your metabolism and work wonders to prevent inflammation from setting in.
  • If you’re one to watch television several hours per day, get on the treadmill and watch your favorite shows while you’re moving.
  • Control your weight by eating a healthy diet; obesity also causes inflammation biomarkers to run out of control.

Remember, small changes can have a big impact over time!

What-are-stem-cells

 

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition

 

 

Posted:

What Are The Risks Of Too Much Sitting?

Do you suffer from chronic back or neck pain?

Many people do, and while there are many acute causes that can be a source of your pain such as a traumatic accident or a sports injury, one prominent lifestyle choice is becoming a growing concern in medical circles— “too much sitting.”

too-much-sittingFrom television binge watching to computer gaming, or simply because of the change from a manufacturing economy to a service economy, Americans are sitting now more than ever……. and all of this sitting may be becoming a problem.

According to the Mayo Clinic, extended periods of sitting can have very detrimental effects on your spine and joints. Despite what you might think, sitting is not a natural position for your body to be in for long periods of time.

Is sitting the new smoking?

 

Why Sitting Is Bad for Your Health?

Sitting for long periods creates tremendous stress not only on your spine but also on your knee and hip joints. The growing body of scientific research is leading doctors to conclude that sitting is now a significant risk factor in and of itself for spinal and postural issues.

It’s harder these days not to sit because most jobs these days require extensive computer work. Numerous studies point to the detrimental effects of sitting— in addition to chronic back, neck and joint pain, it can also lead long-term health issues such as obesity, diabetes and heart problems.

What You Can Do?

It’s best to think of it in terms of what movements are not happening because you are sitting. Standing up creates a change in posture that means that your body will better interact with gravity. And that means we constantly need to be engaged in movement (not necessarily exercise movement). Of course, a structured exercise program in addition to this reaps great benefits as well.

sitting-is-the-new-smokingBasically, the key is to move and shift your position often throughout the day when you’re sitting for long periods. Our bodies were designed to stand, squat and even kneel, but not necessarily to sit.

Doctors recommend standing up over 30 times per day to counteract the effects of sitting. You don’t even need to walk around—simply stand. Frequently interrupt those long periods of sitting.

There are more opportunities to stand up throughout the day than you might think. Do housework, garden, cook, stand to peek over a cubicle and tell your co-worker “hello”.

As the NIKE ad says…Just do it!

Keep in mind that standing continuously is just as bad as sitting continuously. It is about movement and changing position throughout the day. People with jobs that require a lot of standing, like nurses and retail associates, have long talked about the joint pain and spine problems they’ve suffered from standing for long hours.

 

Get Active

The key is to try to incorporate small movements into your daily routine. Think of it as providing your body with a gravity stimulus. For the stimulus to be effective, you must stand up over 30 times a day to get the benefit.

Some people set a timer on their computer or Fitbit. When it goes off, they stand.

Some people squat and then stand to get even more movement. The important thing to keep in mind is that it is never too late to start. Try it for a week at work and see how you feel. Our bodies are amazingly resilient and you can recover from the damage of excessive sitting.

Try it! You’ll be amazed!

 

How-to-prevent-back-pain-at-your-desk

 

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition

Posted:

Surgery vs Spinal Decompression - Which One Is Right For You?

If you have ever had a herniated disk, you know the pain is excruciating. The chronic pain that results from such an acute condition leaves no doubt there that you need medical intervention. And in the past surgery was generally the only option doctors had available to them that offered any remedy.

In recent years, however, therapies like spinal decompression have lessened and in some cases eliminated the need for any kind of invasive procedure at all.

 

What is a Herniated Disc?

 

herniated-discOften called a bulging disk, this is a very common spinal injury that affects many adults in the United States. A person can have a herniated disk without realizing it until a nerve becomes pinched or otherwise compromised resulting in what can often be excruciating pain, plus a loss of range of motion and many other adverse effects.

The discs in your spine serve as shock absorbers and distributors and ensure flexibility. They are essential for a person’s spine to function. Your disks are made up of a tough outer layer (annulus fibrosus) and a soft, gelatin-like center (nucleus pulposus).

Sometimes cracks occur in that outer layer and inner material of a disk begin to push out. There are numerous reasons this can occur including being overweight, poor posture, and physical injury, or being overweight.

 

What are the Symptoms of a Herniated Disc?

 

Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Arm pain
  • Leg pain
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness of the spine

Depending on which disc is herniated, pain usually begins in the back or neck. As more gel comes out of the disc, it usually beings to put pressure on the nerve. When that occurs, pain begins to radiate down the leg or arm often accompanied by a tingling sensation or numbness.

When not treated, the pain can become severe enough to prevent getting out of bed or performing normally routine tasks.

Even something as simple as sneezing or coughing may result in shooting pains.

 

What is Spinal Decompression?

 

spinal-decompression-in-los angelesThese treatments accomplished the same results spinal traction but are more effective and less time consuming. In this procedure, your spine is gently stretched decreasing the pressure of the disc. The process of stretching and relaxing the spine relieves pressure and promotes increased circulation. Better circulation means an increase in blood flow that carries necessary oxygen, nutrients, and water to travel a damaged disc.

When your disk is slowly stretched back into shape, a vacuum pulls oxygen, hydration, and nutrients into the disc. This process promotes healing from the inside. For long-term pain relief to occur, multiple treatments are often required.

Conservative, non-surgical spinal decompression has been shown to have positive results in alleviating the symptoms of a herniated disc in 90% of those suffering from the condition.

 

 

How Many Treatments are Required?

 

Although most people realize relief after their first treatment, a series of decompression treatments are generally recommended to ensure that lasting, internal healing takes place.

One of the advantages of spinal decompression therapy is each treatment session generally takes less than 30 minutes. Sometimes one treatment is all that is required but you may need multiple treatments over a four to eight-week period if your injury is severe.

 

Does it Always Replace Surgery?

 

Many patients who seriously considered back surgery to repair an injured disk, have been able to avoid surgery after completing a full course of spinal decompression. The treatment is approved by the FDA and often provides a viable alternative to surgery and long-term reliance on painkillers.

Each case of back pain is unique and your specialist can help you determine which good course of treatment is best for you – surgery vs spinal decompression.

There are some instances where surgery is the preferred course of treatment.

If you have had a prior surgery with metal plates and screws in the area to be treated, cancer in the area of treatment or severe osteoporosis, spinal decompression is not for you.

As with any physical condition, being proactive is always the best course of action. If you have recurring symptoms the sooner you see a specialist the better.

There is no reason to think surgery is the only option you have when it comes to severe back pain. Physicians are seeing more and more of their patients avoid surgery and resume their normal lifestyle quickly and with far less pain than ever before.

 

How-to-prevent-back-pain-at-your-desk

 

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition

Posted:

What Is Regenerative Therapy?

Debilitating stiffness, throbbing achiness, swelling and redness from inflammation are some of the symptoms acute and chronic musculoskeletal sufferers endure. This includes the joints, bones and muscular system. Recent advancements in alternative regenerative therapy treatments offer new hope for pain sufferers.

Left untreated, these conditions can manifest in the form of arthritis, including osteo and rheumatoid, carpal tunnel syndrome, or knee, back, neck and shoulder pain just to name a few. Aging, genetics, trauma, obesity, repetitive actions on the job or in sports are typically the causes.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), “One in two Americans has a musculoskeletal condition. This adds up to a staggering $213 billion dollars for treatment, rehab and unemployment cost, stated in a report by the United States Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI).”

 

What You Should Know About Orthopedic Surgery

 

regenerative-therapyConditions involving the musculoskeletal system can lead to further degeneration and threaten your quality of life. Not being able to participate in the activities you once engaged in could be devastating and depressing. It is understandable that individuals experiencing excruciating pain and limited mobility would seek a physician and perhaps feel the need to schedule an appointment for invasive surgery.

But, not so fast, it would a good idea to determine if there are other options to regenerate your affected area.

In a 2017 online blog post for Reader’s Digest, 50 Secrets Surgeons Won’t Tell You, Dr. Kevin B. Jones shares one of the secrets by saying that some problems you just cannot fix well with surgery like many cases of back pain.

It is important to recognize that most doctors are encouraged to perform surgery; that is their training. Many will not even suggest alternative methods. You can find out more about the reasons here.

Fortunately for people with musculoskeletal disorders, there are Orthopedic Specialists who offer Regenerative Therapy, with proven results to provide relief for their patients.

 

What Is Regenerative Therapy?

 

In the 1990s, Regenerative Therapy gained popularity in medical circles and provided hope for those afflicted with conditions, like musculoskeletal difficulties.

You could characterize Regenerative Therapy as being able to restore damaged body parts, tissues or organs with harvested or engineered cultures from the patient’s own body.

Two groundbreaking treatments involving stem cells and platelet rich plasma have emerged that have changed the landscape of regenerative therapy.

 

Two Groundbreaking Treatments

 

These two procedures are quickly becoming sought-after treatments within the medical field. The idea that an Orthopedic Surgeon can retrieve, isolate and inject components from your own body to repair damaged areas in your system is exciting, even after being in use for a couple of decades.

Adult Stem Cells and Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) have studies backing them, which shows the benefits of these two therapies for various orthopedic problems.

In fact, one clinical trial concluded PRP injections benefited patients with osteoarthritis. The treatment proved to be safe and effective with no known side effects.

More individuals in the world of sports are rejecting the traditional method of receiving invasive surgery when they have injuries. Instead, they are going to progressive physicians using these types of rejuvenating methods.

In fact, sports figures, including Tiger Woods, Garrett Richards, Kobe Bryant, Peyton Manning and Maria Sharapova, have used stem cells and/or platelet-rich plasma with wonderful results.

 

Adult Stem Cells in Regenerative Therapy

 

adult-stem-cells-regenerative-therapyThere is a debate about when stem cells were discovered, but most people in the scientific community agree that it was in the 1960s, when scientists Ernest McCulloch and James Till detected the hematopoietic stem cell in mice.

For an element to have the classification of a stem cell, it must be able to renew itself by dividing into more cells and change into other cell types, including into the structures forming the ligaments, bone, cartilage, muscle, etc.

Currently, some health care practitioners dealing in regenerative therapy use adult stem cells and the numbers are increasing.

The process of using adult stem cells for restoring or repairing injuries in Orthopedic Medicine consists of drawing stem cell containing tissues such as bone marrow or adipose tissue (fat) from the body, this tissue is processed to isolate and concentrate the stem cells.

The stem cells are then taken and injected into the injured area, such as a knee joint which immediately encourages the body to begin the rejuvenation process.

 

Restoration With PRP

 

Platelet-rich Plasma is full of elements like proteins and peptides that promote healing of the damaged tissues.

This process begins with blood being drawn from the patient and placed in a centrifuge to separate the platelets, plasma and red blood cells.

The outcome is a concentration of platelets, growth factors and plasma, which is introduced back into the patient’s problem area. This starts the repairing of the tissues.

A combination of both therapies can be even more potent in obtaining recovery.

 

Finding the Best Physician for Regenerative Therapy

 

It is essential to select the proper medical practitioner when you want PRP or stem cell therapy. Look for one who has experience doing these procedures and is willing to let you speak to past patients.

Don’t forget to ask them about their physical experience having the injections, recovery time and results.

Often these patients will tell you that they would opt to have a regenerative therapy over traditional surgery any time.

 

stem-cell-treatment-for-joint-pain

 

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition

Posted:

Why Doctors May Not Tell You About PRP Treatment

I had a patient who came in to see me about treatment for a meniscus tear in his knee. He was a personal trainer, so being able to get back to using his knee at as close to full capacity as possible without pain and discomfort, was important for his business. He had been to a respected orthopedic surgeon, who was recommending surgery to repair the tear and was almost ready to have that done. Fortunately for him, one of his friends had told him about our clinic and the stem cell and PRP treatments we perform, as a way of avoiding surgery.

prp-treatment-knee-injuryAfter evaluating his knee injury, we determined that he would be a good candidate for PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) therapy. This is where samples of the patient’s blood are taken, and the platelets growth factors and plasma are separated from the red blood cells through centrifugation. This platelet-rich plasma is then injected into the site of the patient’s injury, promoting healing of the injury whether it is for tendons, ligaments, muscles, or joints.

When this particular patient went back to the orthopedic surgeon for a last consultation before deciding which treatment he would have, he told the doctor that he had been to see me and asked what he thought about PRP treatment. To his credit, the doctor wasn’t negative about it. He told our patient that he had heard about the treatment, and that he should choose which one he thought was best for him. He also told our patient that if he chose to have the PRP treatment done, but wasn’t happy with the results, he could always come back and do the surgery.

So, why didn’t the doctor mention this non-surgical option in the initial consultations? There are usually 3 main reasons why doctors may not tell you about these two alternative treatments.

Let’s look at what they are:

 

Lack of Time to Keep Up on New Treatments

 

Today’s doctors are extremely busy. Even with the use of technology, the endless stream of patients they have to see means lots of medical notes and reporting for insurance purposes.

According to a recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine of 57 U.S. physicians in family medicine, internal medicine, cardiology and orthopedics , “For every hour physicians were seeing patients, they were spending nearly two additional hours on paperwork.”

All of this paperwork limits the amount of time that doctors have available to keep up on new research and treatments, which can be substantial.

According to Nate Gross, MD and co-founder of Doximity, “Medicine has a TL;DR problem (Too Long; Didn’t Read). It would take 20 hours of reading each day for the average physician to comb through everything published in their specialty.”

So, if doctors haven’t spent time on learning new information about treatments or don’t feel comfortable with their knowledge on a new treatment, you aren’t going to hear about it.

 

Medical Practices are a Business

 

While medical practices treat patients for illness and injury, they are also in the business of making money.

doctors-prp-treatmentAccording to Medical Group Management Association’s 2015 Provider Compensation and Production Survey Report, general orthopedic surgeons make an average of $421,000 per year. If the orthopedic surgeon specializes in joint replacement, this number goes up to $563,890. And, if they specialize in sports medicine, the average is $549,048.

If you factor in the average orthopedic surgery range of $5,000 for a torn meniscus surgery on up to $39,299 for hip replacement surgery, you can see how orthopedic surgeons make this much money.

So, if you go to an orthopedic surgeon for an injury or condition that can be treated with surgery and they perform that surgery, is it surprising that they are going to recommend surgery as your treatment?

 

Insurance Companies are Slow to Catch Up to Alternative Treatments

 

The most basic concept in the world of healthcare and insurance is the provider network. Provider networks are made up of the doctors, hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare professionals and facilities that a health plan contracts with to offer services at reduced costs.

It is important to remember that provider networks are an integral part of managed care plans. They are systems that have been put in place by health insurance companies to help manage the quality and costs of medical services that their members receive.

Traditional medical procedures are the hallmark of these systems, so sometimes it can take ten years or more for the insurance companies to catch up to alternative treatments. They typically want to see ten years of proven results before they will cover a new treatment, even if it would save them money in the short run.

What does this mean for you?

If the insurance company hasn’t approved a procedure yet, you will be referred to a specialist within their network who will most likely recommend surgery.

 

Research Optional Treatments

 

Knowing these three things about the medical industry, it is up to each of us to be our own advocates when it comes to our health care.

There are alternative treatments available that can replace some surgeries, don’t require joint replacements or invasive procedures and mean quicker recovery time. But, if you don’t do your own research, you may never know about them. So, it is important to get another opinion and do your due diligence. Also, don’t forget ask to speak to past patients who have had the procedure from the doctor you are considering. A quality doctor will be only too happy to refer someone to you.

In the case of the patient we mentioned in the beginning, PRP treatment worked very well for him. He could already do more with his knee shortly after his first treatment, and it got better from there. And, he never did go back for surgery.

You can read more about how PRP treatments are gaining popularity with pro athletes here.

 

 

Prp-treatments

 

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition

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Garrett Richards Spring Return

Garrett Richards’ remarkable comeback story continues.

Updating a story that we have been tracking on the high profile Major League Baseball pitcher, Richards returned to the mound this spring, months ahead of schedule after a devastating torn UCL injury last year. Richards opted for a combination of stem cell therapy and PRP Therapy over the traditional Tommy John ligament replacement surgery that has been commonplace for these types injuries over the last 40 years.

The ace pitcher of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim continued his return to the Angels rotation this spring. In a cactus league game on March 16th, Richards velocity reached 98.5 MPH on the Tempe Diablo Stadium radar gun.

Richards improbable return is turning heads in major league circles and his early return will be a major storyline this season.

 

Why Did Richards Choose Stem Cell Therapy?

Garrett Richards faced a difficult choice after being diagnosed with a partially torn UCL last May: Undergo Tommy John surgery and, at earliest, return following the 2017 All-Star break or follow the advice of his doctors at the Kerlan-Jobe clinic in Los Angeles, and try to salvage the ligament with stem cells.

Ironically, Dr. Frank Jobe is the doctor that performed the first successful surgery on Tommy John in 1974.

Why stem cells?

Richards on the advice of his doctors, took a chance on stem cell therapy, because of the promise of a quicker healing time, and because it is a less invasive treatment. For Richards it was a risk worth taking, and right now is looking like a great decision, one that might change the way these injuries are routinely treated in the future.

Stem cells are the body’s own repair kit. When you receive an injury, your body’s stem cells rush to the injured area and start the healing process. Sometimes your own stem cells cannot get through to the injured area due to the amount of damage from the injury or surgery.

Modern stem cell therapy techniques harvest stem cells directly from the patient’s own body. This is a quick and safe process that involves the gathering of fat cells — also known as adipose tissue — from a patient, which are loaded with stem cells. Another form of the treatment harvests stem cells from the patient’s bone marrow. The extracted cells are concentrated by placing them in a centrifuge, and then injecting them back into the injured part of the body.

In Richard’s’ case, bone marrow was used. From a Yahoo article on the Richards’ procedure“On the day he hoped would save his elbow, Garrett Richards laid face down on a table with his back exposed. A doctor guided a needle into the iliac crest of his pelvic bone and began to extract bone marrow.”

 

Garrett Richards is a Believer

At the time of the injury, Richards’ decision was considered risky. Richards is not the first MLB pitcher to opt for this surgical alternative. As we reported last May, Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon had the stem cell treatment in 2010 to repair a torn rotator cuff and an elbow injury.

Richard’s case was different because he is in his prime, and facing the prospect of a two-year layoff, was sure to cost the ace pitcher a significant amount of time and money. The success of the treatment has brought Richards back to the mound much quicker than the recovery time for Tommy John surgery.

It is estimated that the earliest possible return to working out and throwing would have been late summer of this year. He most likely would not have been able to play this season. The most optimistic prognosis would have been a return to the rotation sometime in September of this year. The Angels most likely would not have rushed him, so a 2018 return would have been most probable.

“After apparently succeeding with this still-unusual treatment combination, Richards is hoping other pitchers with elbow problems will consider every possible path back to the mound.

“If you can prevent being cut on and having surgery, that’s the No. 1 priority,” Richards said. “I hope guys don’t just jump right into Tommy John. I hope they at least explore this option. Figure out what you’ve got. Get a second opinion. … It’s only gotten better since it happened, so I’m a believer.” (Source: USA Today)

 

Good News for Pain Sufferers

The good news for pain sufferers is that stem cell treatment is becoming more available as an alternative treatment to surgery for a wide variety of injuries and ailments. It is quickly becoming the future of how injuries are treated, providing an alternative to more invasive surgeries.

For individuals suffering from any of the following injuries: sports injuries, back, rotator cuff, hip, arthritis, shoulder or are considering hip replacement or knee replacement surgery, stem cell therapy may provide you with the relief that you are looking for.

Speak with a specialist to determine if stem cell therapy may help you lead a pain free life.

 

Garret-Richards-chooses-stem-cell-therapy

 

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition

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Anterior Cruciate Ligament Treatment Options

An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear is one of the most feared injuries and it is very common among athletes and active individuals. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), there are approximately 150,000 surgical reconstructions performed each year.

anterior cruciate ligament treatment optionsThe ACL is important for knee stability and for preventing forward motion of the knee when stopping or turning. If you’re a sports fan, you have probably seen the many instances where a torn ACL has been labeled a “season-ending injury” for an athlete.

Recovery from a torn ACL is usually difficult and can take a long time. It does not heal on its own, so surgery was the only option for a long time.

Recent advancements with stem cell therapy and Platelet Rich Plasma therapy (PRP) offer a viable alternative for individuals who may be considering surgery due to a partial or complete non-retracted ACL tear.

These alternatives may allow patients to avoid the lengthy periods of downtime and painful ACL surgery rehabilitation that follows traditional invasive anterior cruciate ligament surgeries.

 

How Does Stem Cell Therapy Work?

Stem cells are what the body uses to repair itself. They exist in the body’s bone marrow as well as in the muscles, skin and fat tissue.

Stem cell therapy is a simple process, broken down into the following three steps:

The stem cells are extracted from the patient’s body

Stem cells are extracted from the patient’s own body via fat cells — also known as adipose tissue. Adipose tissue is loaded with stem cells. Fat is typically drawn from the stomach or hip area to harvest the stem cells.

The stem cells are prepared for use

The fat that is extracted from the patient is processed with special enzymes to separate the stem cells from the fat and then placed in a centrifuge to prepare it for reinjection into the affected area.

The active stem cells are reintroduced back into the patient’s body

In the final step, the stem cells are injected into the patient’s body at the site of the joint problem. Image guidance technology is used to accurately pinpoint the where the stem cells need to be administered.

Stem cells act like the body’s own repair system. Once they are injected into the affected area, they start to go to work and seek to repair the damaged tissue and even regenerate muscles and tendons.

In most cases, it is possible to complete the entire procedure in approximately four hours.

 

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy Overview

PRP therapy involves using a patient’s blood to treat an affected area. Under normal circumstances, the body responds to an injured area by sending platelet cells to the site of the injury.

These cells are loaded with healing growth components that help your body to repair damaged tissue such as a ligament. They stimulate the stem cells in the area so that they work harder to repair the tissue or ligament.

With PRP therapy, a patient’s blood is extracted. The extracted blood is then spun in a centrifuge. The spinning separates the platelets, and produces platelet rich plasma. This plasma is then injected into the knee. Most patients will see an improvement within 6 weeks of the procedure. Some patients continue to see improvements up to nine months after the administration of platelet rich plasma treatments.

In most cases, platelet rich plasma therapy consists of three injections over three months. Each procedure will take between one and two hours, which includes the time taken for PRP preparation and the procedure.

 

Benefits of treatment for ACL Injuries

Although you can go home on the same day as surgery, recovering from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery is not a quick process. From the time, you first undergo surgery through full rehabilitation, the process can take up to six months or more.

Current accepted medical theory concludes that ACL tears simply won’t heal without surgical intervention, however recent medical studies shows that stem cell therapy can help a patient heal faster and with potentially greater structural integrity than with ACL surgery.

Additionally, the fact that you can exercise earlier prevents your muscles from atrophy, which usually results in a faster return to normal activity.

Consult a specialist to find out whether stem cell therapy and/or platelet rich plasma therapy will be effective for treating your injury.

Image Credit: CDC/Amanda Mills | PD

Anterior Cruciate Ligament

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition

Posted:

Alternative Treatment Options To Hip Surgery

Concerns about costs, complications (including equipment failures) and recovery from surgery have led hip pain sufferers to seek alternative options to hip surgery.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 300,000 total hip replacements are performed each year in the United States.

New treatment options such as stem cell therapy and platelet rich plasma therapy (PRP) have emerged as viable treatment alternatives to hip surgery and doctors and patients are seeing positive results.

WHY IS YOUR HIP SO PAINFUL?

The hip joint has cartilage just like any joint and this shock absorber can be worn away or torn through trauma. Less cartilage can mean pain and swelling, which is usually low to mid level aching and stiffness.

The hip joint tends to lose cartilage much more quickly and have more bone problems than other joints. Arthritis suffers can attest to this, bones can be strong, but reduced cartilage is the real problem.

Hip impingement occurs when either the ball or the socket have bone spurs or bigger areas that can wear down the labrum and joint. One concern based upon recent studies, is that this problem may be over diagnosed, leading to unnecessary replacement surgery.

AVN (avascular necrosis) or osteonecrosis is a disease whereby the hip bone begins falling apart. As cartilage deteriorates in the hip joint, the underlying bone becomes exposed. The irregular surfaces and the inflammation associated with bone moving against bone leads to pain and stiffness. The ball in socket joint becomes more like a square peg in a round hole causing pain that typically occurs in the groin or the side of the hip.

What Are the Risks Associated with Hip Replacements?

Surgery may not be the first, best option for hip pain sufferers if you consider all the variables.

There are other viable treatment options for hip replacements, but more on that in little bit.

treatment-options-for-hip-replacementHip surgery is considered major surgery, with anesthesia risks, post op pain, a one to four-day hospital stay, and a long recovery time.

The hospital stay won’t be just about watching the few TV channels in your room, the doctor will expect you to be up and walking that same day, or at best, the day after. You will be expected to walk with a cane or walker, climb two or three stairs and do some exercises that will be continued at home.

Returning home after surgery is no cakewalk either. Is the furniture arranged so you can get around? Simple things such as your toilet seat height become more important.

Somebody will need to be there to assist you for a week, possibly two and forget about driving for a period of time. If the surgery was on your right hip, your driving could be restricted as long as six weeks. You should not drive if you are taking narcotic pain medicine, and there could be auto insurance implications if you aren’t cleared by your doctor to drive.

Your first follow-up appointment will happen somewhere between six and twelve weeks after surgery, and this is a time when many eager patients ask about returning to sports, sexual activity, and other physically intensive work-related movements.

With the exception of high-impact activities such as jogging, skiing, or basketball, most patients recovering from hip replacement surgery are able to resume normal activities within three to six months.

Will You Need a 2nd Surgery?

One major concern with hip surgery is the chances of requiring follow up surgery. There have been problems with implant devices, particularly the metal on metal replacements.

Once a patient begins to have problems with a hip replacement, a more complicated revision surgery may be required.

Unfortunately, this surgery has an even higher complication rate than the original surgery.

Recalls of hip replacement implants are not uncommon.

The FDA has issued three manufacturer’s recalls listed on their site within the last 10 years.

Look at this recall of the DePuy hip system:

On Aug. 24, 2010, there was a voluntary recall of the DePuy ASR TM total hip system because of new, unpublished data from the UK joint registry indicating the revision rates within 5 years were approximately 13 percent.

13 percent revision rates with five years is very high. We are talking major surgery, and a huge increase in risk as we detailed above. It makes alternatives worth investigating as a better option for you.

Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy is emerging as the low risk alternative to hip surgery.

What are stem cells?

Stem cells are the body’s own repair kit. Adult stem cells, not to be confused with embryonic stem cells, reside in adult bone marrow and adipose fat tissue, as well as other tissues and organs of the body.

When you suffer an injury, these stem cells have the natural ability to repair the damaged tissue. However, in people with degenerative diseases, these stem cells are not released quickly enough to repair the damaged tissue.

How is Stem Cell Therapy Performed?

“Stem Cell Therapy is a minimally intrusive process that can be performed in one day, or over the course of several weeks depending on the severity of your injuries

A bone marrow or adipose fat tissue samples are taken via needle, without the pain of a bone marrow biopsy or surgical procedure. The cells are then processed to secure the natural growth factors from your own blood platelets.

The injections of the stem cells can then be reintroduced into your damaged joint area, using ultrasound or MRI imaging so the cells reach their intended target and ensure proper dispersion of the cells into the tissue. This supplementing of the body’s own mechanism’s to repair itself is the critical function of the stem cell therapy procedure.

Patients can typically resume their normal activities the same day. While rest and some minor medications may be prescribed for swelling etc., mobility is still maintained. A course of injections is normally the preferred treatment course, so be prepared to repeat the process every week or so.

PRP Therapy

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy, or PRP Therapy, is fast becoming an emerging technology for the treatment of several medical conditions and injuries including chronic back pain, tendonitis, hip arthritis, rotator cuff injuries, knee pain, and knee arthritis among others.

PRP Therapy has been used since the mid 1990’s in dental and oral surgery and to aid in the recovery of soft tissues following plastic surgery. Since then, the use of platelet rich plasma therapy has increased especially in the world of sports medicine

PRP Therapy starts out with the patient getting between 40 and 60 cc of their blood drawn. That blood is then placed in a machine called a centrifuge, which spins it at a high speed for between 10 and 15 minutes. The result is that the different types of blood cells that make up the blood are separated; the portion with the platelets is then extracted. The concentrated platelets are injected at the site of the injury. The doctor uses ultrasound image guidance to guide the needle to the precise point where the injection will be most helpful.

The PRP preparation may contain up to 10 times the amount of platelets found in blood.

Platelet rich plasma therapy or PRP as it is commonly called, may be administered as one injection or in a series. It depends on the severity of the injury and how each person’s body responds to the therapy.

As a hip pain sufferer, prospective patient’s should seek the full story of hip replacement options and alternatives. Pain killers mask symptoms and a full hip replacement can be a long and painful process.

Alternative therapies such as Stem Cell and PRP Therapy are quickly becoming viable options and should be discussed prior to life altering hip replacement therapy.

Reduced pain, shorter recovery times, and cost efficiency coupled with the use of your bodies own recovery mechanisms, could make these alternative, the first, best option.

hip-surgery

 

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition

 

Posted:

Treatment Options For Bone On Bone Joint Problems

Healthy cartilage works in harmony with bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other support structures to maintain joint function and mobility. If you don’t have cartilage, then you probably have bone on bone joint problems.

Millions of Americans are suffering from joint pain. Known also as osteoarthritis (OA), when a joint reaches an advanced stage of OA the joints may become bone-on-bone and range of motion can be very limited and it is typically very painful.

For patients looking for relief from OA pain, and who want to avoid or delay joint replacement surgery, viscosupplementation has emerged as an alternative treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee, hip, and shoulders.

A Disease of the Cartilage

Osteoarthritis is primarily considered a disease of the cartilage. Cartilage is a connective tissue found in many areas of the body. It is a firm tissue but is softer and much more flexible than bone, whose primary functions is covering and protecting the ends of the long bones at joints.

As cartilage wears away, the role it serves as a shock absorber and lubricant (to protect the ends of the bones and allow friction-free movement) is affected.

There are no blood vessels in cartilage to supply the tissue with nutrients. Instead, nutrients diffuse through a dense connective tissue surrounding the cartilage (called the perichondrium) and into the core of the cartilage.

Due to the lack of blood vessels, cartilage grows and repairs more slowly than other tissues which is why viscosupplementation is such a good alternative treatment.

Viscosupplementation – A Promising Alternative

Viscosupplementation is a lubricating cushion injected between the rubbing bones thus minimizing the pain and discomfort of osteoarthritis. A gel-like fluid called hyaluronic acid is injected into the joint. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in the synovial fluid surrounding joints. It acts as a lubricant to enable bones to move smoothly over each other and as a shock absorber for joint loads.

Typically, patients with osteoarthritis have a lower-than-normal concentration of hyaluronic acid in their joints. The theory is that adding hyaluronic acid to the affected joint will facilitate movement and reduce pain.

Viscosupplementation is ideal for patients with mild to moderate OA of the knee.

It may be especially useful for patients who have not responded to other OA treatments, such as physical therapy, weight loss, pain relievers, and cortisone injections.

The benefits of viscosupplementation injections are not immediate. Because the injections are given over time, you may begin to feel some benefit after the first injection, but the greatest benefit may not be felt until several weeks after your first injection. Most patients report the greatest decrease in discomfort occurs eight to 12 weeks after the initial injection. The injections should be repeated every six months for greatest relief.

But how can you be sure that your symptoms are related to OA?

OA Symptoms

For people that are suffering from OA, symptoms can be life changing and painful.

Typical symptoms may include:

  • Swelling
  • Pain that increases when you are active, but gets a little better with rest
  • Feeling of warmth in the joint
  • Stiffness in the knee, especially in the morning or when you have been sitting for a while
  • Decrease in mobility of the knee, making it difficult to get in and out of chairs or cars, use the stairs, or walk
  • Creaking, crackly sound that is heard when the knee moves

 

What Causes Bone on Bone Osteoarthritis?

The most common cause of osteoarthritis is age. Almost everyone will eventually develop some degree of osteoarthritis. In addition to age there are several additional factors that may increase the risk of developing significant arthritis at an earlier age.

  • Weight. Increases in weight as we age puts pressure on all joints, but particularly the knees. Every pound of weight gained places an additional 3 to 4 pounds of pressure on your knees.
  • Heredity. This can include genetic mutations that might make a person more likely to develop osteoarthritis of the knee. It may also be due to inherited abnormalities in the shape of the bones that surround the knee joint.
  • Gender. Women as they age (particularly over age 55) are more likely than men to develop osteoarthritis.
  • Repetitive stress injuries. People with occupations that includes a lot of activity such as kneeling, squatting, or lifting heavy weights (55 pounds or more), are more likely to develop osteoarthritis of the knee because of the constant pressure on the joint.
  • Athletics. Athletes should take precautions to avoid repetitive stress injury. Running, soccer and basketball can be hard on the knees. Tennis, baseball can be hard on elbows and shoulders. All of these activities can increase cartilage damage if not managed properly.
  • Other illnesses. People with rheumatoid arthritis, the second most common type of arthritis, are also more likely to develop osteoarthritis. People with certain metabolic disorders, such as iron overload or excess growth hormone, also run a higher risk of osteoarthritis.

If you are suffering from pain in a joint, consider a consult with a licensed physician to determine if viscosupplementation a viable form of treatment to relieve your pain.

Pain-Meds

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition

 

 

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Garrett Richards Stem Cell Treatment Looks Like A Success

Updating a story we brought you several months ago, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim ace starting pitcher Garrett Richards threw off of a mound earlier this week just a few months removed from opting for stem cell therapy instead of the traditional Tommy John surgery to replace a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow.

At the time, Richard’s decision was questioned by many in the baseball establishment as risky and unproven, however the news is decidedly more upbeat after Richards threw off of a mound for the first time since injuring his elbow on May 1st.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “Amid the rubble of a brutal 2016 season rose a sign of hope for the Angels on Saturday.”

“It came three hours before a 6-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays, when Garrett Richards, who four months ago was “dead set” on having elbow ligament-replacement surgery that could have sidelined him for 2017, threw off a mound for the first time since injuring his elbow on May 1.”

“It was only 20 fastballs at 80% effort, but it was a significant step in a process that Richards, who opted for stem-cell therapy instead of Tommy John surgery, is confident will lead to his starting on opening day next season.”

“As of now, throwing off the bump today, doing everything I’ve done to this point, there’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll be able to pitch next season,” Richards, 28, said. “I don’t feel anything abnormal. Everything feels rested and ready to go.”

Why Stem Cell Therapy?

Stem cells are the body’s own repair kit. When you receive an injury, your body’s stem cells rush to the injured area and start the healing process. Sometimes your own stem cells cannot get through to the injured area due to the amount of damage from the injury or surgery.

In these cases, stem cells are then harvested from your own body, concentrating them by placing them in a centrifuge, and then injecting them back into the injured part of the body. It is important not to confuse these types of stem cells with embryonic stem cells.

Modern stem cell therapy techniques harvest stem cells directly from the patient’s own body. This is a quick and safe process that involves the gathering of fat cells — also known as adipose tissue — from a patient, which are loaded with stem cells. Another form of the treatment harvests stem cells from the patient’s bone marrow

Once the stem cells have been harvested, they are separated by spinning them in a centrifuge. They are then ready to be reintroduced to the patient’s body.

Stem cell therapy is the process of using the harvested cells to help patients’ bodies repair damaged tissue. It can either accelerate an otherwise slow healing process or allow the body to heal tissue that would have otherwise remained damaged permanently.

The medical advancements in stem cell therapy have been remarkable for the advancement of non-invasive medical treatments.

Richards Gamble Appears to Be Paying Off

Richards is not the first MLB pitcher to opt for this surgical alternative. As we reported back in May, Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon had the stem cell treatment in 2010 to repair a torn rotator cuff and an elbow injury.

Richards is however a radically different case than Colon. At the time of Colons treatment, he was considered advanced at age 35 at least by baseball standards. It was a what do you have to lose scenario.

Richards is an “in his prime” ace pitcher with a significant amount to lose in terms of time and money. According to the Times, Richards was hopeful that stem cell therapy can be a long term solution and provide alternatives and hope for others.

“I hope this paves the way for other guys going through the same thing,” said Richards, whose teammates applauded him, jokingly, as he walked to the dugout Saturday. “It’s probably the best decision I’ve made in my career so far.”

Good News for Pain Sufferers

The good news for pain sufferers is that stem cell treatment is becoming more available as an alternative treatment to surgery for a wide variety of injuries and ailments. It is quickly becoming the future of how injuries are treated, providing an alternative to invasive surgeries.

For individuals suffering from any of the following injuries: sports injuries, back, rotator cuff, hip, arthritis, shoulder or are considering hip replacement or knee replacement surgery, stem cell therapy may provide you with the relief that you are looking for.

Speak with a specialist to determine if stem cell therapy may help you lead a pain free life.

Garret-Richards-chooses-stem-cell-therapy

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition

 

Posted:

Garrett Richards Chooses Stem Cell Therapy

In what is seen as a bold move in Major League Baseball circles, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim ace starting pitcher Garrett Richards chooses stem cell therapy. His announcement Monday that he is forgoing the traditional Tommy John surgery to replace a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) and undergoing stem cell therapy instead, is another indication that alternative treatment options for sports related injuries is becoming more popular.

The big hard throwing right-hander received stem-cell therapy treatment on his elbow on Monday and will take a six-week hiatus, and attempt to rehab his injured right elbow if all goes well.

“That’s promising news for the Halos, who desperately need their staff ace back in action. It’s not yet clear what kind of timetable might be hoped for, and there remains a good bit of uncertainty in how quickly Richards can return to the hill and work his way back to the majors”.

garrett-Richards-Angels-sm

Photo Credit: Keith Allison

UCL’s and Major League Pitchers

Richards is the latest in a long line of promising young pitchers who have suffered the injury. As reported in this Grantland piece last year, baseball is suffering an epidemic of young promising pitchers who have suffered this injury.

From the Grantland article: “Tommy John surgeries are ripping through baseball at a faster pace than ever before. Twenty-five percent of active MLB pitchers have had the procedure, which reconstructs a pitcher’s torn ulnar collateral ligament, as have 15 percent of current minor league pitchers. Last season was particularly distressing: More pitchers had the surgery in 2014 than in the entirety of the 1990s.”

The UCL is a tiny ligament in the elbow that has to withstand a tremendous amount of rotational force or torque when a pitcher’s arm is stopped and makes its move forward to deliver a pitch to home plate.

Research director at the American Sports Institute, Dr. Glenn Fleisig describes the process in the Grantland piece.

“When the arm is cocked back, there’s a large — what we call — varus torque. In this position, it’s 100 newton meters of torque. A bowling ball weighs 12 pounds, let’s say. If you put a bowling ball in your hand, imagine what your elbow would feel like. That would not be 100 newton meters. One hundred newton meters would be 60 pounds. Five bowling balls. Picture five bowling balls of force. That’s the stress of that instant in the elbow.”

What is Stem Cell Therapy?

The big question on the minds of many this morning is how does stem cell therapy work?

Stem cell therapy is becoming a popular alternative medical treatment for many medical issues including those that once seemed like surgery was the only option, such as UCL replacement and rotator cuff surgery.

Stem cells are the body’s own repair kit. When you receive an injury, your body’s stem cells rush to the injured area and start the healing process. Sometimes your own stem cells cannot get through to the injured area due to the amount of damage from the injury or surgery.

In these cases, stem cells are then harvested from your own body, concentrating them by placing them in a centrifuge, and then injecting them back into the injured part of the body. It is important not to confuse these types of stem cells with embryonic stem cells.

Modern stem cell therapy techniques harvest stem cells directly from the patient’s own body. This is a quick and safe process that involves the gathering of fat cells — also known as adipose tissue — from a patient, which are loaded with stem cells. Another form of the treatment harvests stem cells from the patient’s bone marrow

Once the stem cells have been harvested, they are separated by spinning them in a centrifuge. They are then ready to be reintroduced to the patient’s body.

Stem cell therapy is the process of using the harvested cells to help patients’ bodies repair damaged tissue. It can either accelerate an otherwise slow healing process or allow the body to heal tissue that would have otherwise remained damaged permanently.

The medical advancements in stem cell therapy have been remarkable for the advancement of non-invasive medical treatments.

Richards Big Bet

Richards is not the first MLB pitcher to opt for this surgical alternative. Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon had the stem cell treatment in 2010 to repair a torn rotator cuff and an elbow injury.

At the time, Colon’s doctor did not believe that he would return to MLB form. Colon not only returned to major league form, but has been playing at a high level at the advanced age of 41.

If Richards big bet is successful and he returns to the field in 2016, it could become a revolutionary moment in sports injury treatment, much the same way the original Tommy John treatment had when it was first performed by Dr. Frank Jobe in 1974.

The good news for pain sufferers is that stem cell treatment is available as an alternative treatment to surgery for a wide variety of injuries. It is quickly becoming the future of how injuries are treated.

If you are suffering from any of the following injuries: sports injuries, back, rotator cuff, hip, arthritis, shoulder or are considering hip replacement or knee replacement surgery, stem cell therapy may provide you with the relief that you are looking for.

 

Get a FREE Screening today and see if stem cell therapy is right for you!

 

Garret-Richards-chooses-stem-cell-therapy

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition

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What Are Adult Stem Cells?

Stem cells possess the unique and remarkable ability to develop into various types of cells in the body during early growth and life. At the same time, stem cells work in several tissues as a type of internal repair that divides without limits to replenish other cells as long as the animal or person is alive. Once the stem cell splits, each new cell holds the potential to become another stem cell or a cell with a certain function, such as a red blood cell, muscle cell, or brain cell.stem cells

Key Characteristics of Stem Cells

Stem cells are different from other cells by two vital characteristics:

  • Stem cells do not have any specialized function and are able to renew themselves through a process called cell division, sometimes even after longer periods of being inactive.
  • In certain experimental or physiologic condition, stem cells can become specialized cells with functions, like organ-specific or tissue specific. Organs like bone marrow and the gut have stem cells that regularly divide to replace and repair damaged and worn out tissue. However, in other organs like the heart and pancreas, stem cells will only divide when certain conditions are met.

Stem cells do not have any specialized function and are able to renew themselves through a process called cell division, sometimes even after longer periods of being inactive.

In certain experimental or physiologic condition, stem cells can become specialized cells with functions, like organ-specific or tissue specific. Organs like bone marrow and the gut have stem cells that regularly divide to replace and repair damaged and worn out tissue. However, in other organs like the heart and pancreas, stem cells will only divide when certain conditions are met.

Generally, scientist work with two different types of stem cells from humans and animals: embryonic stem cells and “somatic”, “adult” or non-embryonic stem cells.

What Are Adult Stem Cells?

Somatic or adult stem cells are found throughout the body following embryonic development. In other words, they are stem cells found in your body as an adult. Adult stem cells are considered to be an undifferentiated cell, located among differentiated cells in an organ or tissue. These stem cells are located in various types of tissue. Somatic stem cells have been found in bone marrow, skeletal muscles, the brain, blood vessels, blood, and fat deposits.

Adult stem cells stay in a non-dividing state until they are activated by tissue injury or by disease. Adult stem cells have the ability to indefinitely self-renew or divide, which allows them to create a wide range of types of cells from the original organ. At the same time, these cells can even regenerate the original organ in its entirety. However, the primary job of adult stem cells are to repair and maintain the tissue where they are located, such as muscle stem cells.

What Are Embryonic Stem Cells?

Embryonic stem cells are the most controversial stem cells. As the name suggests, embryonic stem cells are derived from human embryos that are still in the blastocyst phase of development. Most of these stem cells come from embryos derived from eggs fertilized through in vitro fertilization in clinics that have been donated for research. In a situation of a normal pregnancy, the blastocyst stage commences until the embryo is implanted in the uterus and becomes a fetus.

However, when embryonic stem cells are used in the labs, these cells are placed in a nutrient rich cell culture. In this setting these cells lack the necessary stimulation to begin to differentiate. As a result, these embryonic stem cells simply divide and reproduce with the ability to become any cell type. This property makes embryonic stem cells highly valuable in the medical profession.

Development Potential

Typically, embryonic stem cells are much more versatile and flexible than adult stem cells. Embryonic cells possess a far greater differentiation potential because they can almost turn into any type of cell in the human body. On the other hand, adult stem cells may be limited to the number and types of cells they can develop into, which reduces the number of possible potential applications. However, more of the recent studies suggest that adult stem cells may have a much greater range of plasticity than originally was thought. The latest stem cell research suggests that adult stem cells may have the capabilities to differentiate into a much wider range of specialized cells types.

what-are-stem-cells-for-joint-disorders

Stem Cell Potency

Stem cells are generally categorized by their potential or ability to change into other cell types. As the most potent types of stem cells, embryonic stem cells are able to change into any other type of cell in the body. The classification of stem cells include:

  • Totipotent explains their ability to grow into any possible cell type. Examples of totipotent stem cells are the first few cells that result from the dividing zygote and the zygote itself
  • Pluripotent cells have the ability to differentiate into most types of cells
  • Multipotent stem cells possess the ability to differentiate into a family of closely related cells
  • Oligopotent stem cells can only differentiate into a few different types of cells
  • Unipotent stem cells possess the ability to only produce cells of their own type. However, unipotent stem cells do possess the property of self-renewal, which is required for it to be a stem cell

Adult Stem Cells

Adult stem cells fall into the Multipotent family of stem cells. However, recent research indicates that they can be reprogrammed like embryonic stem cells to become Pluripotent cells. For many joint disorders the use of adult stem cells to treat the underlying problem is fast becoming a real alternative to surgery. One thing is for sure, with the advancement of medical technologies in today’s world, the use of stem cell therapy for joint pain and other medical conditions will only expand and flourish.

When surgery was considered the only option for a joint disorder, the future now holds that it may soon become the very last resort for many joint related issues.

What-are-stem-cells

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition

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Top Two Ankle Surgery Alternatives

Most people suffering from ankle problems are between the ages of 35 and 85 years. Most go opt for surgical treatments, more out of familiarity with surgery than knowledge of alternative options. But did you know that the chance that you’ll develop post-surgery problems when being treated for foot and ankle problems is 10%? Depending on how your problem affects your life at the moment, you may or may not consider surgery.Ankle Sprain

Some of the problems that could as a result of ankle surgery include:

  • Post-surgery pain which may last a long time, especially if the wound heals slowly
  • A long period in rehab. If you are the sole source of income for your family this could cause problems
  • Infection of the wound
  • The bone heals slowly
  • Depending on the foot being operated on your ability to drive could be affected
  • If you need screws or pins a second surgery may be needed to remove them
  • Infection of joint replacement parts
  • Possibility of another surgery if some problems are too major among others

Most of these issues will go away in the long term and do not affect whether the surgery helps you are not. The more serious issues like infections in the bone could result in a much longer recovery time. The “hassle” factor may be more of an issue for most people when considering ankle surgery than the potential for post-surgical problems.

Until fairly recently, alternatives for ankle surgery were virtually non-existent. Bone fractures and breaks were fairly easy to treat. Surgery or a cast was the normal course of action, but what about other types of ankle injuries?

Common Causes of Ankle Injuries

The most common injuries on the ankles are: Osteoarthritis, ligament tears, sprained ankle and instability of the joint.

Osteoarthritis

This is usually an “aftermath” of trauma, infection or injury of the ankles. Between the ankle bones is the articular cartilage, a smooth and slippery fiber that acts as a connective tissue and a cushion protecting the bones. If the cartilage starts deteriorating or gets lost, the space between the bones at the joint narrows. This usually signifies osteoarthritis of the ankle. It can easily be seen in X-rays.

Ligament tears, sprained ankle and instability

Bones are connected to each other by tough bands of tissue known as ligaments. On the side of the ankle furthest from the other ankle are three ligaments: The ATFL, the CFL and the PTFL. These form the ligament complex on that side. The sprained ankle alternativesATFL and the CFL are usually the ligaments involved in an inversion injury because the CFL prevents inward roll of the ankle while the ATFL prevents a forward slide of the ankle. An ankle sprain, if not attended to, result in the ligaments tearing or stretching. Depending on the degree of the sprain, all or part of the ligaments may be torn.

Ankle sprains are classified as grade 1, 2, and 3. Depending on the amount of damage or the number of ligaments that are damaged, each sprain is classified from mild to severe.

  • A grade 1 sprain is defined as mild damage to a ligament or ligaments without instability of the affected joint
  • A grade 2 sprain is considered a partial tear to the ligament, in which it is stretched to the point that it becomes loose
  • A grade 3 sprain is a complete tear of a ligament, causing instability in the affected joint.Bruising may occur around the ankle

In the past the typical treatment options revolved around R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), anti-inflammatory medication, ultrasound or physical therapy. Recent medical breakthroughs have now added two more treatment options for ankle injuries and postponed or alleviated the need for ankle surgery altogether.

These top two ankle surgery alternatives, Stem Cell and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) procedures, are usually simple office procedures and you don’t have the same risks associated with surgery. In fact, patients who undergo these procedures are normally encouraged to exercise (walk) that same day with little to zero downtime resulting from the procedure.

Stem Cell Therapy for Ankles

The entire procedure should involve the following steps:

Step 1. Prolotherapy Injection

In order to stimulate the healing response prior to injecting stem cells, a prolotherapy injection is performed two days prior to the stem cell procedure. A typical prolotherapy injection consists of a solution made of dextrose (sugar) and water—and sometimes other harmless substances such as vitamins—which can be used to temporarily increase inflammation and activates the natural healing mechanism in the body.

Step 2. Harvest the Stem Cells

Once you are found to be a good candidate, the first procedure is to draw the adipose fat tissue in order to prepare the stem cells. Typically, the fat will be taken directly from your stomach or hip area.

Step 3. Prepare the Stem Cells

The adipose fat that was taken is placed in a centrifuge and spun at high velocity to separate out the stem cells from the other elements in the fat. Once separated, they are placed back into a syringe and are now ready to be reintroduced into the affected joint.

It is important to note that once the stem cells are harvested, they should be reintroduced back into the body within a few hours. If a medical facility tells you to come back tomorrow to complete the procedure, the stem cells will have degraded to a point that will render them virtually useless. Ensure the medical facility performs the entire procedure during the same doctor’s visit.

Step 4. Inject the Stem Cells Back into the Body

This next step is very important and one that is often overlooked by patients. How the physician determines where to place the new stem cells is critical. In most joints, there are very small areas that will be targeted for reintroducing the stem cells into the affected joint. To ensure the accuracy of the injection, image guidance technology should be used by the doctor.

This technology will guide the doctor’s injection into the correct place. If the injection is just slightly off, the procedure will most likely fail and the patient will receive no benefit at all.

If your doctor tells you he manually injects the stem cells into the joint based on experience, it would be wise to seek a second opinion before starting any procedure.

Step 5. Aftercare

After 3 months and 6 months a PRP injection should be given to the patient to aid in the healing process.

Platelet Rick Plasma Therapy (PRP)

PRP therapy for ankles is a fairly similar process to stem cell therapy, except that the process uses your platelets rather than stem cells. The procedure starts out with the patient getting between 40 and 60cc of their blood drawn. That blood is then placed in a centrifuge, which spins it at a high speed for between 10 and 15 minutes. The result is that the different types of blood cells that make up the blood are separated; the portion with the platelets is then extracted.ankle treatment alternatives

The concentrated platelets are then injected back into the body at the site of the injury. Again image guidance is used to guide the needle to the precise point where the injection will be most helpful.

The PRP preparation may contain up to 10 times the amount of platelets found in blood.

PRP may be administered as one injection or in a series depending on the severity of the injury and how each person’s body responds to the therapy.

Types of Ankle Injuries That May Respond Well

If you have any of the following ankle injuries, you could be a very good candidate for Stem Cell Therapy of PRP Therapy:

  • Arthritis
  • Peroneal tendon split or tear
  • Instability of the ankle
  • Sprain or tear of the ligament
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Sub-talar arthritis (instability)
  • Bunions
  • Plantar fasciitis.

Contact your physician to learn more about the alternative treatments for ankle problems. Advancements in the treatment of such disorders is always progressing and may suit your condition better than surgery ever could.

Ankle-Problems

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition

 

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How to Prevent Back Pain at Your Desk

Back pain is a common ailment that affects eight out of ten adults in the US, according to the National Institutes of Health. While some people only experience occasional pain, others develop chronic back pain. If you’ve been experiencing ongoing back pain that doesn’t seem to be going away, it’s easy to think poor posture or the aging process is to blame. However, your work environment could be the true culprit. Fortunately, there are ways to ease this discomfort and reduce the occurrence of back pain.

Do you know what the top 12 lower back exercises are?How to prevent back pain at your desk

Causes of Back Pain at Your Desk

Back pain at work can start out as occasional twinges that eventually turn into more severe and widespread pain, especially in the shoulders and lower back. If you spend most of your workday sitting at a desk working on a computer, you’re at risk of developing back pain resulting from spinal misalignment. In most cases, it is because their workstations are not set up correctly. Typical problems are:

1. Sitting all day affects your body in ways that can lead to back pain, such as:

  • Puts muscle strain on your lower back
  • Weakens your core muscles, which puts additional strain on your back
  • Causes poor circulation, or blood flow, to your back muscles and joints
  • Causes strain in the shoulders from trying to maintain long-term proper posture

2. Improper seating leads to the following:

  • Lack of lower back support
  • Improper pelvic tilt, putting strain on lower back
  • Sitting forward in seat with no back support
  • Slouching

3. Lack of a keyboard tray leads to:

  • Forced lifting of shoulders, causing upper back, shoulder and neck pain

4. Incorrect monitor height causes:

  • Improper head position, causing upper back , shoulder and neck pain

Importance of Ergonomics

The term “ergonomics” has been used more and more in association with back pain in the workplace. It refers to the science of making work environments more comfortable in order to minimize the risk of back pain and other medical issues. The basic principle of ergonomics is to make sure that your work environment accommodates you physically, instead of you having to adjust your body to your workspace.

adjust ergonomic chairThere are ergonomic desks, chairs and even keyboards available that have been designed to help you keep your body in the proper position. In most cases, these are worth the investment. However, if you don’t currently have these or your employer hasn’t provided them for you, there are ways for you to improve your workplace ergonomics and prevent back pain by making some slight changes to how you work.

Adjust Your Chair

When sitting in your chair at work, both of your feet should be flat on the floor and your knees should be even with your hips. Adjust the height of your chair until you’re able to sit in this position comfortably. Use the lumbar support feature on your chair, if you have it. If not, give your lower back more support with a cushion. Your chair should also have an adjustable seat base that lets you sit up straight. If possible, take off or lower the armrests as well so that your arms form 90-degree angles.

Lower Back Treatment Options

If you have back pain or lower back pain due to poor ergonomics at your desk, there are treatment options that can help. For example:

Get the right medical treatment to stop the pain and get your body corrected so future problems don’t complicate your life!

How-to-prevent-back-pain-at-your-desk

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition

 

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Top 12 Lower Back Exercises

Whether you’re lower back problems were caused by an injury, a result of sitting or standing all day at work, or simply that you’ve let yourself go and you’re now suffering the consequences. The pain and effect you’re lower back has on your daily life is enormous.

lower-back-painSerious lower back problems may need more medical treatment than simple back exercises, but even after receiving medical treatments like spinal decompression or even surgery, an exercise program will be need to employed. Increasing your strength and flexibility is very important in maintaining a healthy and strong core.

Even after years of neglecting your body by indulging in fast food and couch surfing, your lower back and overall health can be rectified by starting a simple but effective lower back exercise program.

We have put together the top 12 lower back exercises for you in an easy to use brochure with instructions on how to perform each exercise. The brochure is absolutely FREE for you to download and use.

A note of caution here! The exercise program should be performed only with the approval of your doctor!

Take the brochure with you; it will actually fold up into a Tri-fold brochure when printed out on both sides of the paper, when you visit your doctor. Here’s a little sample of the exercise you will see in the brochure:

Here are a few examples of the types of exercises you will perform.

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The key in ensuring your lower back will increase its flexibility and strength is consistency in doing the exercises. Yes, that means you have to put your effort into it.Doing the program half heartedly will not make your lower back better!

lower-back-exercises

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition

 

 

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Stem Cell Treatment for Joint Pain

Joint pain can be a significant burden for you. Whether the problem that you face is debilitating or simply frustrating, it can make it difficult to get through a single day.

Fortunately, there are ways to treat joint pain. It is common practice to think of surgery as the only real treatment for joint pain, but there are other options. Stem cell treatment, for example, is quickly becoming one the best solutions for all types of problems that cause joint pain.Stem Cell Treatment for Joint Pain

What Stem Cell Treatment is and How it Works

In short, stem cell treatment is the process of applying active stem cells to an area in the body that is causing a medical issue. The stem cells then help heal tissue that would have either taken a long time to heal (if it would have every healed at all in the first place). This works due to the regenerative capabilities of stem cells, as well as their ability to transform into any of the 220 different types of cells that the human body is composed of.

How does stem cell treatment work?

Stem cell treatment is a fairly simple process as far as medical procedures are concerned. It can be broken down into the following three steps:

1. The stem cells are extracted from the patient’s body

Stem cells are extracted from the patient’s own body via fat cells — also known as adipose tissue. Adipose tissue is loaded with stem cells. Blood is typically drawn from the stomach or hip area to harvest the stem cells.

2. The stem cells are prepared for use

The blood that is extracted from the patient is then placed in a centrifuge to prepare it for reinjection it back into the affected area.

3. The active stem cells are reintroduced back into the patient’s body

In the final step, the stem cells are injected into the patient’s body at the site of the joint problem. Image guidance technology should be used to accurately pinpoint the where the stem cells need to administered at.

4. What do the Stem Cells Do?

Stem cells act like the bodies own repair system. Once they injected into the affected area, they start to go to work and seek to repair the damaged tissue and even regenerate muscles and tendons.

stem cell treatment joint pain

What Makes Stem Cell Treatment for Joint Pain so Great?

Stem cell treatment has a number of unique benefits that make it an excellent solution for joint pain sufferers. First and foremost, it is extremely safe compared to other options. Second, with 85 percent success rate for stem cell treatments for joint pain, it works extremely well. Third, it works for many problems that cause joint pain, including the following:

What it is Like to be a Patient Undergoing Stem Cell Treatment

A lot easier than going through surgery! Since the procedures are performed in the doctor’s office, the total treatment time, cost and intrusion into your lifestyle is very minimal.

How long does it take to undergo stem cell treatment?

Stem cell treatment is an extremely short process. In most cases, a patient will have completed their treatment within four hours.

How long is the recovery time after stem cell treatment?

Because it requires someone to damage your body before they fix anything, surgery usually takes anywhere from a few weeks to several months to recover from. Those who undergo stem cell treatment, on the other hand, are usually able to go back to their normal routine the very next day.

What are the risks of stem cell treatment?

Not surprisingly, very slight. This revolutionary treatment is safer than alternatives like surgery. A few risks include:

  • Possible infection at the injection site
  • Incorrect placement of the stem cells – Image guidance should be used to ensure proper placement
  • Poor harvesting of the stem cells from fat tissue

When compared to surgery, stem cell treatments are quite safe. The risk is no greater than what you would face from a typical shot at the doctor’s office.

Get The Facts!

Stem cell treatment is safer, more effective and less expensive than surgical options to relieve joint pain. It is important to know what types of treatment options are available to you and what benefit they can bring to your particular situation. Don’t get surgey performed until you have all the facts!

stem-cell-treatment-for-joint-pain

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition

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Stem Cell Therapy For Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a condition where the articular cartilage in your joints has worn down. This cartilage is the tissue that protects bones where they meet to create joints. When cartilage wears away, bone is exposed and can be damaged. There are several other names for this type of arthritis; they include terms like “wear-and-tear arthritis” and “degenerative arthritis”, both of which describe the nature of the condition.Osteoarthritis Treatment

People who suffer from osteoarthritis will have to cope with pain and limited function in the affected joint. Osteoarthritis can affect any of the joints in your body, but the areas where it usually occurs are the hips, knees and lower back. There are several treatment options for osteoarthritis but no cure. Of the treatment options, the most widely used are pain management and joint replacement surgery. In recent years, a more non-invasive treatment alternative has come along in the form of stem cell therapy.

What is Stem Cell Therapy?

Stem cell therapy makes use of your body’s ability to heal itself. When an injury occurs, stem cells are what the body uses to help heal the injured area. However, after an injury or prolonged period of arthritis, the stem cells can longer penetrate the affected area and pain and loss of motion ensues. By injecting stem cells directly at the point of the injury, the healing and regenerative process can begin immediately.

The stem cells are taken from the patient’s own Adipose tissue (fat tissue usually from the hip or stomach) that contains a high concentration of mesenchymal stem cells which are adult stem cells. A simple drawing of blood is needed from the patient’s own fat cells, then placed into a centrifuge to separate the correct cells out and prepare them for reintroduction into the injured area.

Stem Cell Therapy’s Benefits for Patients

  • It is a fast procedure. You may be able to have your stem cell therapy injections administered within single a day
  • It will not require you to undergo general anesthesia. The area where the stem cells will be injected will be numbed with a local anesthetic
  • Stem cell therapy is a noninvasive alternative for those who do not wish to undergo surgery
  • Adipose-derived stem cells have anti-inflammatory benefits; they may also be able to slow down the degeneration of cartilage and speed up the healing process
  • The risk of infection or of rejection by the immune system is greatly reduced since the therapy uses the patient’s own stem cells
  • The rich supply of stem cells in adipose tissue means that stem cells are never in short supply
  • Stem cell therapy has none of the risk of serious complications that can come with joint replacement surgery. Potential risks of surgery include the fact that patients have an increased risk of stroke and heart attack
  • Stem therapy does not have the long recovery period associated with joint replacement surgery. Patients may even be able to walk immediately after having the procedure performed.

osteoarthritis-and-stem-cell-therapy

How Stem Cell Therapy is Administered?

The doctor will first extract the stem cells from the adipose tissue on your stomach or hip. The point of the injury will be identified using image guidance technology. The stem cells will be injected into your joint at the site of the damage. Image guidance will be used again to guide the needle to the injury site thus ensuring precise placement of the stem cells. The use of image guidance also helps to ensure that no further damage is done to the injured joint.

Stem cell therapy may be administered alongside other nonsurgical osteoarthritis treatments such as platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy. In some cases, dextrose may be injected into the injured joint as well. Dextrose can help to get the injured joint get ready for the healing process that will be started by the stem cells. The PRP will be provided afterward to help the stem cells to remain active. While most patients respond to just one stem cell treatment, in some cases it may be necessary to administer 2-3. Multiple treatments are more likely to be used in severe cases.

Stem-Cell-Therapy-for-Osteoarthritis

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition

 

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