• Request a Free Screening Today

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

    by
  • Request a Free Screening Today

    We have performed over 20,000 Viscosupplementation procedures to Lubricate and Cushion Worn Out Joints! Is It Right For You?

    by
  • Request a Free Screening Today

    What are the most common symptoms of arthritis, and what’s the best treatment?

    by
  • Request a Free Screening Today

    Sports Medicine Treatments are so advanced that we can have you back playing your favorite sport in no time. Get back in the game!

    by
  • Request a Free Screening Today

    The total number of spine surgeries in the U.S. approaches 500,000 per year. Spinal decompression not surgery could be the answer for you.

    by
  • LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SEMINAR!

    Do you or a loved one suffer from Knee, Hip or Shoulder Joint Pain? If so, come join our FREE SEMINAR that focuses on non-surgical alternatives to joint arthritis.

    by
  • Request a Free Screening Today

    Medical Ozone Therapy is remarkably effective for severe cases of osteoarthritis of the hip or knee. Don’t live with pain anymore!

    by
  • REQUEST YOUR FREE MEDICAL SCREENING!

    Are you a good candidate for either Stem Cell or PRP Therapy? Get a Free Medical Screening from our doctors and see which treatments is right for you.

     

    by
<
>
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. Richard Rowley

Stem Cell Therapy For Thumb Injuries

Thumb injuries can occur when you least expect it, during skiing, workouts, gaming, redundant work and various other ways. Fingers and thumbs are part of what make humans special compared with most animals, as they help us do things other creatures cannot do. Damage to any part of the hand can be painful both physically and emotionally

The GOOD NEWS is that recent advancements and successes with stem cell treatments have provided hope for people afflicted with nagging hand injuries.

Understanding Stem Cells

Adult stem cells, unlike embryonic stem cells, are contained in adult bone marrow, fat, tissues and organs. These stem cells can be used to repair damaged tissue. They have been nicknamed the “body’s own repair kit” for how effective they are in treating a variety of ailments.

Stem cell therapy involves stimulating the natural healing process for difficult injuries through injecting adult stem cells into damaged areas of the body. Initially, the stem cells are harvested from your own Adipose fat tissue. (Typically around your stomach or hip areas).

Once the adipose tissue has been gathered, the stem cells are separated by spinning them in a centrifuge. They are then ready to be reintroduced to the patient’s body.

By introducing stem cells to injured tissue, the process can either accelerate an otherwise slow healing process or allow the body to heal tissue that would have otherwise remained damaged permanently.

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

Instead of opting for surgery, which is usually the only option many doctors present, patients now have safe, natural and effective alternative for joint disorders and beyond.

Los Angeles Angels pitcher Garrett Richards is a recent high profile example of the success of stem cell treatment for a torn UCL in his pitching arm. The devastating injury usually requires Tommy John surgery. Successful stem cell treatment allowed Richards to avoid surgery and return to the field in half of the usual recovery time. He will be ready to resume his role as the Angels ace in spring training.

Common Thumb Injury Causes

Various thumb injuries that can hamper everyday activities include cuts, sprains, tears, fractures and torn ligaments, which often affect skiers.

stem-cell-therapy-for-thumb-injuriesLigament tears, while not as common as sprains, can be devastating to overall health and wellness, and certain activities can increase the likelihood of a long-term injury.

A very common thumb injury from skiing (known as “skier’s thumb“) occurs when the ulnar collateral ligament, which helps connect the thumb and hand, is sprained.

Another growing cause of hand injuries is connected to the rising popularity of gaming. Gamer’s Thumb” is a very real condition that can have long-term effects on the hands and upper arms if the proper precautions are not taken.

“Gamer’s Thumb” is a repetitive stress injury (RSI) that causes swelling at the base of the thumb due to overuse of video games and hand-held devices.

RSI is an umbrella term for a collection of disorders most commonly affecting the hands, wrists, forearms, and shoulders. Symptoms can range from fatigue and loss of strength to minor aches and pains, burning, and tingling.

Other common causes of thumb injuries include:

  • arthritis
  • falling to the ground
  • getting hit with a high velocity baseball
  • cuts from sharp knives or tools like saws
  • accidentally hitting your thumb with a hammer
  • losing grip on rope
  • dropping heavy equipment

 

Treatment for Thumb Injuries

Depending on the severity of the thumb injury, traditional treatment ranges from bandages to orthopedic surgery. Patients, however, also have a more modern option, which is stem cell therapy.

Stem cell therapy is replacing traditional surgical treatments at a rapid pace for a wide array of conditions, including back, hip and knee injuries. The shift to this method has been visible with high profile athletes, such as Michael Jordan, Jack Nicklaus and Emmitt Smith.

Stem cell treatment has helped accelerate recovery for several sports figures, making it vital to their careers. But before a physician can usually determine if this innovative therapy is appropriate, he or she must give you a full evaluation.

The medical profession is very optimistic about the future of stem cell treatments, particularly how they can reduce human disease and suffering. It is a very promising procedure for arthritis patients.

A key reason why stem cell treatment is growing in demand and being favored by the medical community is that side effects and risks of rejection are minimal.

If you are suffering from a thumb injury, speak with a medical professional today to determine if stem cell therapy is right for you.

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

 

Can Viscosupplementation Relieve Arthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) of the joints is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 22.7% of the U.S. population adults 18 and over, or approximately 52.5 million Americans reported doctor-diagnosed cases.

Patients often suffer from pain when standing, waking up from sleep due to joint pain, or stiffness after prolonged sitting. If you have used traditional pain relief remedies, or some of the less traditional remedies like, horse liniment, pain relief creams, herbal remedies, teas and juices and the popular medical marijuana option and none of them have worked, then patients looking for Doctor Examining Male Patient With Knee Painrelief from arthritis pain, and who want to avoid surgery, viscosupplementation has emerged as a successful treatment for mild to moderate cases of osteoarthritis of the knee, hip, and shoulders.

Mainstream Treatments for Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis, is the most common chronic condition of the joints. OA can affect any joint, but it most often affects the knees, hips, lower back and neck, small joints of the fingers and the bases of the thumb and big toe.

In normal joints, a firm, rubbery material called cartilage covers the end of each bone. Cartilage provides a smooth, gliding surface for joint motion and acts as a cushion between the bones.

Once OA sets in, the cartilage breaks down, causing pain, swelling and problems moving the joint. As OA worsens over time, bones may break down and develop growths called spurs.

Bone or cartilage may chip off and float around in the joint. In the body, an inflammatory process occurs and cytokines (proteins) and enzymes develop that further damage the cartilage. In the final stages of OA, the cartilage wears away and bone rubs against bone leading to joint damage and more pain.

OA develops slowly and the pain it causes worsens over time. Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are many treatment options available to help people manage pain and stay active.

In its early stages, treatment consists of primarily nonsurgical methods. Your doctor may recommend a range of treatments, including:

  • Changes in activity level
  • Weight loss
  • Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen
  • Physical therapy
  • Corticosteroid injections

How Viscosupplementation Works

Viscosupplementation is a promising alternative treatment option to assist with pain management. If you have tried all other nonsurgical treatment methods and your pain continues to limit your activities, viscosupplementation may be a promising option.

Viscosupplementation is a lubricating cushion injected between the rubbing bones thus minimizing the pain and discomfort of osteoarthritis.

In this procedure, 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.

Depending on the product used, you will receive one to five shots over several weeks.

During the procedure, if there is any swelling in your knee, your doctor will remove (aspirate) the excess fluids before injecting the hyaluronic acid.

For the first 48 hours after the shot, you should avoid excessive weight bearing on the leg, such as standing for long periods, jogging or heavy lifting.

Many patients report significant pain relief with the procedure.

Viscosupplementation was first used in Europe and Asia, and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1997.

How Long Does It Last?

As noted above there is currently no cure for osteoarthritis. Depending on the severity of the deterioration of the joint some patients may not be helped by viscosupplementation, while others may receive significant relief.

It may take a few weeks post treatment to notice an improvement. How long the effects last will vary from patient to patient. Some patients report pain relieving effects for several months following the injections.

It is important to note that while patients may realize decreased pain, improved mobility, and a higher quality of life, viscosupplementation is not permanent and may need to be repeated. If the injections are effective they may be repeated after a period of time, usually 6 months.

Although some patients report relief of arthritis symptoms with viscosupplementation, the procedure has not been shown to reverse the arthritic process or re-grow cartilage.

Typically, viscosupplementation is most effective if the arthritis is in its early stages (mild to moderate). If you have tried the mainstream remedies with little success, viscosupplementation may offer the pain relief that you are searching for.

Consult with one of our doctors to review your case and see if you are a candidate.


Viscosupplementation-for-arthritis
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

Treatment Options For A Torn Meniscus

The meniscus is a small piece of cartilage that protects your knee by cushioning the connection between your thighbone and shin. Severe trauma or wear over time can cause the meniscus to tear; when this happens, pain ensues and it becomes extremely difficult — if not impossible — to walk. If you have suffered a meniscus tear, then you should know how it can be treated for the best recovery potential.. Here are your options:

Rest

On rare occasions, it may be recommended to you that rest and anti-inflammatory action (ice, pain killers, etc) are the only necessary treatments for a torn meniscus. Doctors will only recommend this if there is only a small partial tear in the meniscus. Since there is no guarantee that your body will correctly heal itself, this treatment option is often used in conjunction with other forms of meniscus tear treatment. In these cases, rest and anti-inflammatory treatments serve as a way to prevent the body from undergoing further damage before the other treatments begin. Although rest is the least expensive treatment option, it is also by far the least effective.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy for meniscus tears is designed to optimize knee stability and reduce the level of inflammation during recovery. A physical therapy treatment usually includes a combination of strength and flexibility exercises for the muscles and tissues surrounding the meniscus, compression and the use of a brace.

Physical therapy is occasionally used in conjunction with other treatment options, including PRP therapy, rest and surgery; this usually enhances the success rate of all meniscus tear treatment options involved. When used alone, though, it costs less than half as much as surgical treatment.

treatment options for a torn meniscus

Surgery

Surgery has been a common torn meniscus treatment option for many years. If the meniscus is so badly torn that it appears to be impossible for the body to repair it without help, then surgery may be your only option. Because of its invasive and expensive nature (surgery is the most expensive treatment option on this list), surgery is often sought out if other treatments have not had enough success. There is not, however, a singular surgical approach to treating a torn meniscus. There are actually two:

Surgical meniscus repair

This meniscus tear treatment option involves sewing the torn meniscus tissue back together. This is the most common — and least invasive — form of surgical meniscus tear treatment.

Partial or total meniscectomy

Due to the invasive nature of a meniscectomy, and the fact that it increases the risk of osteoarthritis, this treatment option is to be avoided whenever possible.

*Full recovery from all forms of meniscus surgeries will take many months.

Platelet rich plasma therapy

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy is an extremely popular treatment option for treating a torn meniscus. This is a very straightforward treatment solution that only takes minutes to complete. During PRP therapy, a small amount of blood is removed from your body. The blood is then placed in a centrifuge so that platelets, which play a critical role in tissue repair, are highly concentrated. The platelet-rich blood is then injected at the site of the injury. PRP therapy is an outpatient treatment, so after this, you can go home. There may be some minor pain after the treatment.

In addition, PRP therapy can be seamlessly combined with other treatments to further enhance your ability to recover from a meniscus tear. For example, the rate at which you can recover from a meniscus tear via a combination of physical therapy and PRP therapy can dramatically enhance the quality and speed of your recovery; even if you only undergo rest and anti-inflammatory treatment, PRP will enhance the results. With a cost that is lower than that of physical therapy or surgery, PRP therapy is extremely cost effective as a standalone meniscus tear treatment solution.

Which meniscus tear treatment option is best for you?

It is important that you choose the best meniscus tear treatment option for yourself to maximize the chances of successful recovery while minimizing the recovery time — without breaking the bank.

torn-meniscus

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

 

 

PRP Treatments Gaining Popularity with Pro Athletes.

A therapy using blood cells, favored by pro athletes is fast becoming the “go to” medical treatment option for both those with joint pain and those who seek a less invasive alternative to surgery. PRP treatments or therapy is no longer just for elite athletes, it’s now available to you and me.”

Research shows that PRP therapy can speed up the healing process for a number of muscle, ligament and joint related issues. For the professional athlete, whose career is finite, shortened recovery times can be crucial to their successful return to the field after injury.

The list of athletes using prp treatments reads like a who’s who of Hall of Famers:

The Pittsburgh Steelers all-time leading receiver Hines Ward, who used the treatment prior to the Super Bowl in 2009, and his teammate Troy Polamalu are two well-known NFL players who used PRP to get back on the field.

Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose from the NBA and Alex Rodriguez, who underwent five platelet rich plasma therapy treatments to increase the healing process and accelerate recovery following a hip surgery that had left him in a great deal of pain are advocates of the therapy. Rodriguez’ recovery time was shortened and his trainers were amazed at the incredible results.

Tiger Woods has used the therapy, and so has Maria Sharapova, and no, it’s not the issue in her recent failed drug test.

What is PRP Therapy?

The body’s first response to soft tissue injury is to deliver platelet cells. Packed with growth and healing factors, platelets initiate repair and attract the critical assistance of stem cells. PRP’s (Platelet Rich Plasma) natural healing process intensifies the body’s efforts by delivering a higher concentration of platelets directly into the area in need

To create PRP, a small sample of your blood is drawn (similar to a lab test sample) and placed in a centrifuge that spins the blood at high speeds, separating the platelets from the other components. The process is handled manually by a lab technician, producing higher concentrations of platelets and purer concentration of the beneficial blood components

The sample is then injected into and around the point of injury, jump-starting and significantly strengthening the healing process. Because your own blood is used, there is no risk of a transmissible infection and a low risk of allergic reaction

Which injuries are treatable with this therapy?

  • Knee Arthritis
  • Rotator Cuff Tears
  • Chronic Plantar Fasciitis
  • ACL Injuries
  • Pelvic Pain and Instability
  • Back and Neck Injuries
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Ankle Sprains
  • Tendonitis and Ligament Sprains

 

Is the Therapy Good for Non Athletes?

Helping heal without surgery is good for all of us, including those of us who weren’t endowed with athletic prowess, or those that no longer have the recuperative powers we had when we were young. A new front has opened up with this therapy, moving away from just athletic injury.

PRP is now being used to treat chronic osteoarthritis. There are over 20 million Americans affected by this degenerative disease and with this therapy, PRP has the potential to help nearly 10 percent of the adult population. It’s not a cure, but a treatment that will improve joint function, reduce pain and possibly slow or repair cartilage damage. That could save so many from the long term adverse effects of this disease. This outpatient procedure only keeps you down for a few hours. Of course, recovery depends on which body part is being treated with injections, but the downtime is insignificant considering the upside and benefits.

Additionally, if you do choose surgery, take into consideration the other non-monetary factors like downtime, long term side effects, and infection to name a few. For these reasons, a “free surgery” can often be much more expensive than a paid PRP Injection.

This therapy whose trail was blazed by pro athletes trying to sustain their career, is helping all of us by making its way into mainstream treatment for injury. For those that are struggling with joint related issues, PRP may be just the ticket to help you recover from a nagging injury and a less invasive alternative to surgery.

Ask your doctor if PRP may be right for you.

prp theraphy

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

The Top 4 Problems With Hip Replacements

If you or a loved one suffers from a hip problem that may require surgery, it is important to learn the facts and risks associated with artificial hip replacements. Although women and people under the age of 50 tend to have more problems after hip surgery than other populations, no one who undergoes this procedure is completely immune to its risks. They include pain, instability, infection in the hip joint, deterioration of the hip implant, bone loss, and/or loosening of the implant itself.

1. Metal-On-Metal Hip Replacement Implants Have the Highest Complication Rates

The frequency of problems occurring with hip replacements is associated with the type of material the implant is made from. All metal joints have double the complications of ceramic hip replacements and nearly four times the number of implants that use a metal ball and a plastic socket. In particular, all metal hip replacements with larger heads, the portion of the hip that fits into the socket, have the highest failure rates. These were originally intended to provide a greater level of stability in younger, more active people in need of hip replacement surgery.hip 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. In cases where the bone has deteriorated, bone grafts may be used to help rebuild enough damaged bone tissue to allow the replacement hip to be securely re-attached.

2. Movement of the Legs Causes the Implant to Release Particles

When the two components (the ball and the socket) of a hip implant rub together, a small percentage of those components are actually released and accumulate in the person’s tissues. While some people are more sensitive to them than others, these released particles have been known to create significant complications. Depending on the materials from which the hip implant has been created, different types of particles will be released into the body.

hip replacementsAll metal hip implants tend to release small amounts of cobalt and titanium ions, leading to a condition known as metallosis. Because these ions can cause the surrounding tissue to become oxygen starved and eventually begin dying, pain, loosening of the implant, deterioration of nearby bone matter, and cysts may occur. In severe cases, it can even lead to problems associated with the nervous system and brain where the metal ions have built up to a level that allows them to become distributed throughout the body.

Metal-on-plastic implants tend to release low levels of polyethylene particles which can lead to a condition known as osteolysis. This condition occurs as the body attempts to clean up and remove any foreign particles released from the implant and is responsible for approximately 75 percent of all problems associated with hip replacements. As the body’s immune system attempts to remove and/or dissolve these particles, it triggers an autoimmune response where bones start reabsorbing their own cells. Over time, the implant is likely to completely fail as a result of the loosening of the prosthesis, which is unable to remain securely attached to less and less bone matter.

3. Mortality and Infection Are Less Common But Serious Complications

Although mortality is not a common complication associated with hip replacements, occurring in only one percent of people during their original surgery, the rate jumps to 2.5 percent for those that are undergoing revision surgery. Perhaps not surprisingly, age was shown to be the largest determining factor in mortality from hip replacement surgery. The most common causes of death in older patients are circulatory and respiratory diseases.problems with hip replacements

Another less common, but very serious complication, is infection in the hip joint following surgery. When caught within four weeks of the procedure, a surgeon may be able to reopen the wound and inject antibiotics directly into the site. In more severe cases or when the infection has not been discovered quickly, the entire implant may need to be removed and re-implanted at a later time when the infection has completely healed.

Sadly, the most extreme cases of infection can lead to a complete amputation of the leg and hip joint, requiring the use of a prosthetic limb.

4. Recalls

This is not the same as taking your car in to repair a faulty part. Imagine having to undergo major surgery again just to get the defective part out of you and put a safer model in! Recalls happen and they typically happen long after the device has been approved by the FDA, years in many cases. Companies who manufacture the parts that are defective may not even declare a voluntary recall, they may choose to wait until the FDA orders then to recall their defective devices. Ultimately, leaving you in the dark until its too late.

If the defective parts have caused any type of infection or bone fractures, you now have additional pain, discomfort and additional healing time to look forward to.

Do Your Homework Before Undergoing Hip Replacement Surgery

Because of the numerous problems associated with hip replacements, it is crucial that patients are aware of and understand the risks before making the decision to have hip surgery. If your doctor is pressing you to get the surgery and doesn’t explain the risks or alternatives, you should get a second opinion. The non-surgical alternatives include stem cell and platelet rich plasma therapy. They have considerably less risks and the recovery is much less. So, do your homework and make an informed decision. Your long-term health may depend on it.

Hip-Replacements

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

Treatment Options for a Frozen Shoulder

Can you tell if you have a frozen shoulder or is it a sign of something more serious? What exactly is a frozen shoulder and are there any effective treatment options that will help me? Very common questions that get asked all the time. We have some answers for you.

How Do You Get a Frozen Shoulder?

A frozen shoulder (also called adhesive capsulitis) is a common disorder that causes pain, stiffness, and loss of normal range of motion in the shoulder. People aged between 40 – 60 years of age, women more often than men, are affected by it and if not treated the resulting disability can become serious. Frozen-Shoulder

A frozen shoulder usually starts out as an injury to the soft tissues like bursitis or tendinitis of the rotator cuff, however it can also be caused by a fracture. Inflammation causes pain that gets worse as you move your shoulder around and eventually limits your range of motion. People who have a shoulder injury and do not receive therapy right away can get a frozen shoulder. About 10% of people with rotator cuff injuries will develop frozen shoulder as well as certain disorders like a thyroid disorder or Parkinson’s disease.

Why the shoulder gets to a frozen state is unclear but inflammation is almost certainly involved and the fact that the shoulder has been probably been in an immobilized state for a long time. Fortunately, the shoulder can usually become unfrozen, though what type of treatment you prefer to use is a personal option. Care should be taken when choosing a specific treatment option as the side effects of certain treatments may not be worth the risk.

Typical Treatment Options for a Frozen Shoulder

There are several known treatment options that many of you may know and have tried already with varying levels of success.

  • Anti-inflammatory Medicine: Most people usually start here. Popping Advil, Ibuprofen or Aleve like they are candy to try and reduce the inflammation and pain. However, if you shoulder is frozen this type of treatment will have little to no effect.
  • Physical Therapy: A trained physical therapist can slowly manipulate the shoulder to gradually release the tightness and get your range of motion back. This can take several months going 3 times a week to accomplish and be quite painful to endure.
  • Cortisone Injections: One or a series of cortisone injections can be administered into the shoulder joint to relieve the inflammation. The problems with cortisone injections can be quite significant and could lead to more problems that the original injury.
  • Natural Anti-inflammatory Injections: An injectable analgesic like Sarapin, which has been used by physicians for pain management for over 70 years, can provide an alternative natural approach with few to no side effects.
  • Surgery: Many people turn to surgery once all of the previous methods have failed. This should always be your last option as the potential complications from surgery can be significant.

Are You Sure You Have a Frozen Shoulder?

If your shoulder is immobilized then there’s a good chance you have a frozen shoulder. However, as we mentioned earlier, an initial injury to the shoulder can be the root cause of developing a frozen shoulder. Add neglect over a period of time and in you’re in a world of pain.

frozen-shoulderMedical technology has progressed so far that new and exciting treatment options are now available to treat the initial injury. These new medical breakthroughs are making it easier to treat shoulder problems by being minimally invasive and using the body’s own cells to not only treat the problem, but to repair and regenerate damaged tissue. Treatments such as:

can repair an initial shoulder injury, like a rotator cuff tear, and stop the onset of a possible shoulder problem before it gets a chance to take hold.

If you think you have a frozen shoulder or something that may develop into one, seek medical advice right away. Don’t wait around thinking it may just get better on its own, seek out the possible treatment options and save yourself a lot of pain and grief!

Frozen-Shoulder

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

Top 4 Questions to Ask a Doctor’s Office about Treating Joint Pain

As we get older, especially for those of us who are over 55, joint pain can have a significant effect on your life. From getting up and down stairs to serious mobility issues affecting your job or career, living with joint pain is no picnic!

We all tend to think that living with pain is the tough part, but finding a qualified doctor or medical clinic that knows what they are doing can actually be the toughest part. So where do you start?

Is Your Insurance Company The Best Referral Option?

Sometimes, but it all depends on the type of insurance coverage you have and what relationships they have with doctor’s offices and other medical facilities. Keep in mind that insurance companies are very conservative in their coverage, so the doctors you will be referred to probably won’t have cutting-edge treatment.top-4-questions-to-ask-your-doctor-about-joint-pain

With an HMO, your primary doctor will refer you to a so-called specialist in an office that is in the network. These clinics tend to have an eclectic collection of medical doctors specializing in everything from internal medicine to dermatology. But is that referral the best doctor to be sent to for your joint pain?

A PPO lets you choose your doctor from their network. This can be a much better alternative for finding the right doctor, but again how do you know if the doctor in the network is any good?

Doctors Who Specialize in Joint Disorders

There are typically two types of doctors that specialize in bone, joint and ligament disorders. They are:

  • Rheumatologists
  • Orthopedics

You may even hear that general practitioners can also treat joint disorders; while this may true, it will depend on their experience and expertise level with using the current technology for treating such disorders. Either way, the doctor and facility should be experienced in the latest treatment options for joint disorders. The following treatments should be well-established treatment options in their practice:

Doctors, who prescribe anti-inflammatory medication or a series of cortisone injections as their only treatment options, show you that they lack the knowledge and/or experience in the latest medical procedures.

arthritis-specialistIf you own a Honda automobile, would you take it to a mechanic who specializes in Mercedes Benz? They both have experience in fixing engines, but with the complexity of today’s technology regarding mechanical engineering, going to a mechanic who specializes in your manufacturer’s engine is essential.

The same is true of doctors. Just because they have trained as a doctor, doesn’t mean they know how to treat a particular disorder. It may be fine for a flu or virus, but more complex disorders are a whole different story!

The Top 4 Questions to Ask a Doctor or Medical Facility

So, as you embark on your journey to find a qualified doctor and facility, we suggest asking them these 4 questions:

1. Do they offer a free medical screening?

This first question is a good barometer of their intent. Do they really want to help your condition get better or just charge you for walking in the door? Joint disorders come in many levels of trauma. You may have slight degenerative joint pain all the way up to worn out cartilage. Knowing which treatment options are best suited for your particular injury or condition takes an experienced doctor. Doctors or medical clinics that offer free medical screenings provide you an easy no-cost way to determine if they can help you.

2. What are the qualifications and experience of the doctors who will perform your treatment?

Don’t be afraid to ask this question. Sometimes doctors see financial opportunities in performing other treatments, even though this isn’t their specialty. Your health isn’t worth the risk of having anyone other than someone who specializes in your condition perform your treatments.

3. Do they offer alternative minimally invasive treatment options?

This question lets you know what services the medical facility offers and how well they are versed in the latest medical treatment options. If they only offer cortisone shots and surgery, you need to consider if it is worth it to meet with them. Also having a range of minimally invasive options available for you, gives you the best possible chance of a successful outcome.

4. Do they offer payment options for your treatments?

As you may already know, treatments like stem cell therapy and platelet rich plasma therapy may not be covered by your insurance. But what if this type of procedure is your best option for a successful outcome? How do you pay for it?

If your insurance does not cover the procedure, then ask the medical clinic if they offer any sort of payment plan. This shows how committed they are in helping you get better.

Take Charge of Your Treatment

It’s your body and times have changed. The old days of just doing what the doctor tells you to do have come and gone. With the advent of the internet, almost anyone can self-diagnose or research. The self-diagnosis thing, bad idea! But it is important to research and understand what your options are. Arming yourself with questions and concerns will help you find the best doctor and end up with a successful result.

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.

The Magic of Medical Ozone Therapy

You never realize how important your mobility is until you cannot move comfortably anymore. The sad reality is that we take for granted the ability to walk, to run, to lift things or simply to move our fingers. Our joints govern how well our bodies move, so when injuries or health conditions affect them, it can be devastating to our way of life. Joint problems usually start with stiffness, tenderness and loss of flexibility. If left untreated, it will eventually increase to pain. The typical treatments people seek include pain medications, anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, (the problems with cortisone injections) physical therapy and even surgery. Unfortunately, these procedures may only work temporarily.medical-ozone-therapy-helping-seniors-citizens

However, there is an alternative treatment that may help you permanently regain your mobility and live pain free. Unfortunately, very few doctors offer it, so many patients haven’t been told about it. This treatment is called medical ozone therapy. In order to understand this therapy and how it helps the joints in the body, you must first understand what ozone is.

What is Ozone?

Ozone is a natural gas that consists of three oxygenated atoms. When we hear the word “ozone”, we think of the layer of gases that surround the planet earth-gases we need to survive. This thought is actually very limited. There are technological advancements using medical ozone, which provides so much more than just comfort in breathing. When dealing with joint disorders and other issues, medical ozone can provide comfort, relief and elimination of pain.

Our Body and Ozone

How the body responds to ozone gases varies. High dosages of ozone can be detrimental to the body. At high levels, this gas can become a pollutant to the body and even cause death. However, at lower and controlled levels ozone can serve as a very powerful antibiotic that helps the body to heal in certain areas. The healing properties of this substance go above and beyond most other treatments.

What Joint Issues can be Treated with Ozone?

Ozone can treat many different diseases and joint disorders.

There are many different ways that ozone helps the body treat and repair joint disorders such as these. As far as joint issues go, medical ozone provides the nutrients that ligaments and muscles need to recuperate. This stems from the five basic properties of ozone that cause the advanced healing:

  • Ozone regulates the immune system, ensuring that nothing abnormal interferes with joint healing. Whether you have a low or high immune system, ozone can regulate the system back to normal.
  • Ozone stimulates an increase in oxygen, which is always necessary for the healing process
  • Ozone improves circulation, which decreases inflammation. This is done by increasing blood flow to problematic areas
  • Ozone increases stimulation and feeds mitochondria with efficient oxygen supply. Medical ozone treatment can be more effective at mitochondrial stimulation than taking regular vitamin C supplements, which have similar uses
  • Ozone also provides mighty antioxidants, which improves defenses against infection and inflammation

How it Works

Medical ozone therapy is a three-step process. The first step is to administer holistic and anti-inflammatory medications directly to the painful area. This is done to help the swelling go down and circulation to increase. This first step will be enough for you to realize that the process is an improvement over other procedures. The area is then treated with vitamins to improve the healing process. This step will help strengthen and fortify the joints to endure pressures that they previously withstood in earlier life. The last step is to treat the area with ozone in controlled dosages. The ozone helps heal the area and provides ample circulation for the healing process to complete.

When you are young, you don’t think about how playing sports, getting injured or simple genetics will impact your joints later in life. Thankfully, medical advancements such as medical ozone therapy offer an alternative to living a life of pain and activity restriction. If you are living with joint pain, consult a doctor who offers this treatment. It may be the answer to getting your life back.

Medical-Ozone-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

What is the Latest Stem Cell Research?

Whether it is football, baseball or soccer, professional athletes put their bodies on the line every time they step on the field. At risk is their physical health, their professional career, their financial future and their team’s future. That is why teams spend big money to hire the best doctors and the best trainers, presumably because they are at the forefront of the latest technology and treatments. Peyton Manning’s neck, Bartolo Colon’s peyton manningshoulder, Chris Johnson’s knee…just a few of the famous injuries that have been treated with stem cell therapy to maximize healing and speed up recovery. According to those in the medical industry, this is just the start of the many people who will use this therapy to heal injuries and degenerative joint problems.

Dr. James Andrews

The eminent orthopedic surgeon, who has treated many of today’s top athletes, indicated in a recent interview on the Dan Patrick Show that biologics were going to be the next big medical breakthrough. Biologics such as stem cell therapy, tissue engineering and gene therapy would become widely used to treat aging joints and injuries.

So, what is the latest in Stem Cell Research?

According to a recent Reuter’s article, Scientists “reset” stem cells to study start of human development, “British and Japanese scientists have figured out a way to ‘reset’ human stem cells to their earliest state, opening up a new realm of research into the start of human development and potentially life-saving regenerative medicines.”

Why is this significant?

Because these cells may represent the “real starting point for formation of tissues”. Humans experience their most significant growth early on when stem cells are human pluripotent stem cells, or “self-replicating” cells. As we age, those stem cells become less potent and less effective. This is why embryonic stem cells are considered the “holy grail” of healing injuries and diseases that currently have no cure. adult cellBecause of the controversy of using embryonic stem cells, the possibility that scientists have found a way to “reset” stem cells to their earliest state could mean a major step forward in treating debilitating diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, strokes and diabetes, not to mention joint disorders and injuries.

Can Stem Cell Therapy Help Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting an estimated 27 million Americans, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). It is a form of arthritis that is generally associated with the breakdown of cartilage at the weight-bearing joints, due to natural wear and tear from everyday tasks you perform. Those most affected by osteoarthritis are athletes and older people. Physical symptoms include pain, swelling, and loss of motion. Lifestyle effects may include anxiety, depression, limitation of daily activities, job limitations, and difficulty participating in personal and family joys and responsibilities.

Stem cells are currently being used in joint care because of their ability to make different types of cells. Your own stem cells, when injected into your body, have a higher chance of being accepted. This allows them the opportunity of taking on their new role in your body. By using your own stem cells –in this case- in the joint that has started to lose its cartilage, the cells will “transform” and encourage cartilage growth, or hold off its wear and tear. The stem cells will increase the cartilage growth in the injected location and slow the progress of osteoarthritis. This also lowers the chance of infection, rejection, a surgery-related complication, and future joint-related replacement and follow-up procedures. Since the cells are coming from your own body fat, your body will be more likely to accept it and allow it to grow. For these reasons, stem cells are becoming a more beneficial alternative to joint-related surgeries.

Stem Cell Research Pros and Cons

The morale issue of using embryonic stem cells is beat left for another article. However, the use of adult stem cells has a lot of pros and few cons.

Pros.

The natural healing benefits of stem cell therapy for joint pain are becoming more widely recognized as a safe and effective treatment. Stem cell therapy is a minimally invasive procedure allowing you to get back to work quickly. Tissue regeneration and repair will perhaps wipe out the need for certain surgeries and the long and painful recovery periods. Joint replacements could become obsolete, except in certain cases, and our quality of life could be extended far beyond that of our parents.

Cons.

The biggest current draw back is the cost. Since most insurance companies do not yet cover the treatment, it is usually an out-of-pocket expense. However, if you compare the costs of stem cell therapy vs surgery, then a different picture can emerge.

The Future

Up to this point, stem cell therapy has been less effective for older people because their stem cells are less pristine. Alternative treatments like Platelet Rich Plasma Injections, Prolotherapy or Medical Ozone Therapy may be more beneficial for elderly patients. However, this new development in being able to ‘reset’ human stem cells offers hope to all of us for a pain-free future and greater quality of life.

The-Latest-Stem-Cell-research

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.

PRP Injections for Hamstring Tears Show Promise

As one of the most common injuries suffered by athletes and adults, a hamstring injury is painful and can be debilitating. Worst of all, hamstring injuries are typically slow to heal and until now there are no optimal treatments proven to expedite recovery. However, new treatments have come to the forefront with great promise for treating hamstring injuries. Continue reading for more information about hamstring injuries and how platelet-rich plasma treatments are changing the way hamstring injuries could be treated.Hamstring sprain or cramps

What Are Hamstrings?

Your hamstrings are the tendons responsible for attaching your large muscles on the back of your thigh to your bone. The hamstring muscles are very large muscles that pull on the hamstring tendons. In most cases, when someone refers to the “hamstrings” they are referring to the long muscles on the back of the thigh.

The Function of the Hamstrings

Your hamstring muscles are responsible for bending and flexing your knee. In addition, your hamstring muscles are responsible for straightening or extending your hip as in the action of moving your thigh backward. When you are simply walking or standing, your hamstring muscles are not very active. As a result, people who aren’t very active can function with unconditioned or weak hamstrings. However, when you are participating in strenuous activities such as jumping, running, and climbing, your hamstring muscles are imperative. Individuals who are active and engage in physical activities must have well conditioned and healthy hamstrings.

What Causes Hamstring Injuries?

When someone has a hamstring injury, they have a strained muscle. In most cases, hamstring injuries are the result of instant acceleration when you are running or staring a running type of activity. If you participate in sports such as football, soccer, and track, hamstring injuries are extremely common.

Types of Hamstring Injuries

Hamstring muscles injuries are classified as a small minor strain (grade I tear), partial rupture (grade II tear), or a major tear or rupture (grade III tear). If you suffer a grade III tear, your muscle is considered to be severely torn, which causes impaired function. If you have a grade I injury, the muscle injury is considered to be mild because it will typically fully heal. In either case, athletic careers are often ended by severe hamstring injuries.

Typical Hamstring Treatments

In many cases, the treatments for hamstring injuries do not require operation. Instead, it involves the athlete resting from exercise or from the sport while the injury is allowed to heal. Other types of treatments include treating-a-pulled-hamstringanti-inflammatory medicines, compression, ice, and limited weight bearing with crutches. In any case, a hamstring injury can be disabling, and several of the more traditional treatments have been inconsistent. While corticosteroids injections have shown some type of success, these treatments can adversely affect other local tissue. Until now, orthopedic surgeons have had very few options for treating or speeding the healing time for injuries to the hamstring.

The Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatment

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has emerged to the forefront as one of the most safe and effective treatments for several different orthopedic pathologies. Today, this treatment is emerging as one of the latest and most promising treatments for hamstring injuries. In PRP, the physician collects a small amount of blood from the patient and uses a centrifuge to remove the red blood cells from the blood. Then, the physician reinjects the remaining plasma fluid concentrated with platelets back into the patient. When the platelets enter the patients body, it theoretically helps the patients body’s healing response because it delivers several growth factors and cytokines into the site of the injury.

The Effectiveness of PRP Injections for Hamstring Injuries

To confirm the effectiveness of PRP treatments, a study was conducted and the findings were published in Ocotober 2014 American Journal of Sports Medicine. The results of the study show great promise toward the treatment of hamstring injuries with PRP. Simply put, the individuals who received PRP for hamstring injuries returned to play and activity much faster than those who didn’t. Particularly, patients who received PRP treatment returned to their activity in 26.7 days, while those who didn’t receive the treatment healed from their injury and returned to play in 42.5 days.

Returning after hamstring injury

Keynotes from the Study

It’s important to note the study didn’t use the instincts of physical therapists or orthopedic surgeons to determine when the participants could return to play. Instead, the study used intuitive pain assessments and objective findings on isokinetic tests. According to the authors, “Our results showed that patients with a grade 2a hamstring injury treated with a single autologous PRP injection combined with rehabilitation recover significantly earlier than controls.”

As the first study to test the effectiveness of PRP injections for hamstring injuries, it shows great promise for expedited recovery from potentially career ending hamstring injuries.

PRP-Injections-for-Hamstring-Tears-Show-Promise

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

 

 

 

7 Signs You May Have Osteoarthritis

If you are concerned that you may have osteoarthritis, acting quickly can save you significant amounts of pain and may be able to stop the progression of this common disorder. Men and women age 45 and older are particularly at risk for degenerative diseases including arthritis of various types. Certain symptoms indicate the need for further investigation with a specialist who can perform detailed tests to confirm or negate osteoarthritis. New treatments include a number of high tech options that may make surgery a thing of the past. Coupled with lifestyle changes, these new technologies are the wave of the future in medical care.7 signs of osteoarthritis

The Following Symptoms Indicate You May Have Osteoarthritis

Any of the following symptoms indicates the possibility that you are suffering from osteoarthritis. The more symptoms you have, the greater the probability of the disorder. It is important to visit your physician if you:

  • Are experiencing aching, burning, or sharp pain in any of your joints
  • Are unable to use your joints in their natural, full range of motion
  • Experience stiffness in your joints, particularly after being in one position for an extended period
  • Have joint swelling or inflammation
  • Are showing signs of joint deformation
  • Have muscle weakness not related to excess physical exertion
  • Hear crunching noises or have the sensation of bone rubbing directly on bone

While any joint in the body can become afflicted with osteoarthritis, specific locations are effected more commonly than others, and some locations are hereditary . If others in your family have osteoarthritis in their hands, for example, you are likely to experience similar symptoms. Knees are the single most common location for symptoms to occur, and can lead to severe disabilities that prevent patients from leading a normal life. Hips are another common location, as is any region of the spinal column, from the neck to the lower back.

A Combination of Methods Are Used to Detect Osteoarthritis

With a wide range of arthritis types, carefully evaluation of symptoms and clinical data is important to determine which type each patient is experiencing. Proper diagnosis is critical to obtain an effective treatment regimen. Your doctor will collect data from several different sources; first, he or she will discuss your personal and family medical history with you, including how and when your arthritis symptoms began as well as inquiring about any medications you are taking. A general physical examination is likely to follow to test your physical strength and reflexes. Your ability to complete normal activities such as bending and walking will also be evaluated.

Blood-tests-for-osteoarthritisLab tests are essential to complete a diagnosis. Blood work may be requested to rule out any suspicious symptoms which could indicate other chronic or acute diseases. X-rays are helpful to show the amount of cartilage loss, bone damage, and/or formation of bone spurs already present, and helps determine which particular type of arthritis you are suffering from. An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) may be performed if other tests are inconclusive. Taken together, all the testing methods typically allow for an accurate diagnosis of your particular disorder.

 

Much Can Be Done To Treat Osteoarthritis And Minimize Painful Symptoms

With a combination of lifestyle changes and high tech therapies, the likelihood of improving your quality of life after diagnosis with osteoarthritis is high. A commitment to regular exercise has been shown to reduce pain while increasing flexibility, in addition to improving your general mood and outlook on life. Be sure to talk with your physician about which types of exercises will best meet your needs and fit your lifestyle. Weight management is also critical, as joints that are forced to support excess body weight will naturally be more stressed and painful. Remember to listen to your body and slow down when you need to. And since physical healing occurs during sleeping hours, making sure you receive sufficient rest also aids in healing.

Additionally, high success rates have been documented with a number of newer treatments for osteoarthritis and other degenerative type disorders. Talk to your doctor about the follow options, all which generally produce rapid, safe results:

  • PRP injections (platelet rich plasma therapy) encourage the natural healing of the body by infusing the affected area with additional platelet rich plasma collected and concentrated directly from the patients own blood.
  • Stem Cell Therapy, where adult stem cells are harvested from the patient’s bone marrow and/or fat cells and injected into the arthritic area, inducing the body’s own natural healing response.
  • Viscosupplementation provides additional lubrication to painful joints via injection.
  • Prolotherapy injections use a non-pharmacological solution to strengthen connective tissue and reduce joint pain.

Remember, acting quickly is the key. The sooner you visit your physician, the sooner you can begin recovering from this degenerative disease which can significantly reduce your quality of life.

7 Signs You Have-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

The Problems With Cortisone Injections

Talk to anyone who has joint or injury pain associated with arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis or chronic back problems and most likely they will tell you that their doctor is giving them cortisone shots. They will also tell you that while the shots may work for a short time, the pain they experience in between shots can be debilitating and that they would do anything to have their life back. While this may seem dramatic to someone who has never experienced this, the emotional struggle that goes along with the pain can make one feel like they don’t have a life anymore. The truth is that cortisone shots do ease the pain, but they do absolutely nothing to solve cortisone-injectionthe problem of the condition or injury. So a person getting these shots is going through the roller coaster of having pain, getting a shot, pain eases then pain comes back, get another shot, pain eases then pain comes back again.

Cortisone also decreases its effectiveness with use. Patients receiving several cortisone shots tend to see no benefit at all from receiving additional injections but receive all of the side effects..

Here is how it works. Cortisone is injected directly into the area where inflammation and pain are present. The powerful dosage of cortisone acts quickly to lower the inflammation. The individual receiving the injection experiences pain for a few days, but then the pain levels start to decrease. The person starts to feel somewhat normal again and can do some of the things they weren’t able to do when in pain. Unfortunately, cortisone carries risk factors, so doctors usually limit injections to once every 6 months. Having cortisone injections more than once every 6 months, can increase the risk of you getting the following side effects.

Side Effects of Cortisone Shots

The following are some of the side effects associated with cortisone injections:

  • Infection – While this side effect is rare, infection at the injection site can occur. As long as the injection site is properly sterilized, the chances of infection are minimal
  • Tissue Damage – Some individuals have experienced weak tendons at the injection site. The individual may also notice pain associated with cartilage softening at the injection site
  • Cortisone flare-ups – Only 2% of individuals injected with cortisone have experienced this. During a “flare-up,” the cortisone crystallizes in the joint, causing a lot of pain. Icing the area after the injection can reduce the “flare-up” within a day or two
  • Bone Thinning or Death – Repeated cortisone shots near bones can cause thinning of the bone (osteoporosis) or death of the bone (osteonecrosis)
  • Cushing’s Syndrome – Individuals who have high levels of cortisol being injected over a long period of time, face significant reactions associated with Cushing’s Syndrome. Increased bruising, weakness in bones, increased hair growth, and infertility are among the symptoms associated with Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Increased Blood Sugar – Diabetics should be closely watched for a day or two after a cortisone injection, as the cortisone can increase blood sugar
  • Headaches – Although rare, painful headaches may occur

side effects of cortisoneWith these side effects in mind, individuals with joint disorders should exercise extreme caution when considering cortisone injections. This is especially true for chronic joint problems.The risk of side effects greatly outweighs the benefits of the cortisone injections. And, when you factor in that they do nothing to cure the problem, it sets the individual up on a cycle of injections that will have long-term damaging effects.

Alternative Treatments

There are other alternative treatments that have minimal side effects:

  • PRP Injections – Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy has helped individuals with chronic pain and osteoarthritis. A small amount of the individual’s blood is taken and placed in a centrifuge to separate out the platelets. These Platelet Rich Plasma cells are re-injected into the affected joint area and stimulate repair of the damaged tissue
  • Stem Cell Therapy – New adult stem cells are taken from the patient’s own fat deposits, usually around the stomach or hip, spun in a centrifuge and re-injected into the area where tissue damage is present. The new cells help to heal and stimulate the growth of new tissue at the injured site. There are little to no side effects associated with stem cell therapy
  • ViscosupplementationUsing image guidance technology, a lubricated gel is injected in between rubbing bones. A successful round of Viscosupplementation treatment should reduce the pain completely. However, the effects of the injected gel substance do not last forever. You may need additional treatment regimens
  • Medical Ozone Therapy – This therapy is a homeopathic anti-inflammatory treatment that is injected into the injured area. After the injection, the area is medicated with minerals and vitamins to accelerate the healing process. Lastly, oxygen, in the form of ozone, is gradually introduced to the injured area. This helps the damaged tissues get what is needed for healing.

If you are currently receiving cortisone shots or have a doctor that is recommending them, you should get a second opinion. Doctors who only offer cortisone injections often do so because they don’t perform the alternative pain treatments. A second opinion is always a wise course of action, so why not get one from a doctor who does offer the alternative treatments. Your long-term health and quality of life could depend on it.

cortisone-injections

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

Stem Cell Therapy For Shoulder Pain

Pain that originates from the shoulder or rotator cuff can make doing the simplest tasks a chore, such as driving, lifting or even just playing with your kids. It’s an area that is very susceptible to injury, and as many as 600,000 US citizens consider complicated surgery for rotator cuff injuries each year, leading to often long and arduous recovery times.

What if we told you there was another, pain free way to treat your shoulder pain? Stem cell therapy is a revolutionary and effective way of treating affected joints and other damaged areas of the body, without the risks associated with surgery.

No More Surgery

Surgery is the most common form of treatment for severe shoulder pain, but it’s certainly not an easy option, and you could take as long as six months to recover. Up to six weeks of that time, your movements will be even further restricted by a sling, making getting back to work nigh on impossible for weeks or even months.Shoulder-Surgery-or-Stem-Cell-Treatment

Non-surgical stem cell therapy could be the answer, with procedures taking place within just one day and offering a viable, effective solution for those in pain and facing surgery, or even a joint replacement. You’ll be able to return to your usual activities following the treatment, without the need for long and painful rehabilitation periods where you’d have to work to recover your mobility, strength and full range of motion that you’d usually have to experience after an invasive surgical procedure. The risks associated with surgery are also eliminated, such as blood clots, a bad reaction to anesthetic, or infection.

What are Stem Cells?

Your body holds billions of specialized cells that form particular organs such as your skin, brain, heart, muscles, joints, ligaments and even bone. Every day the cells in your body degenerate and regenerate, in a process where old cells die and new ones are created via stem cells, which can create multiple types of cells.

stem-cellsHowever, when you sustain an injury, this regeneration process is less effective and the affected area becomes painful, weaker and less functional. There are several types of stem cells, and they act like your body’s own repair kit. They hold the key to your body’s natural ability to heal itself, but sometimes your body needs a helping hand.

How it Works

Modern technology has allowed us to find a way to harvest stem cells from the patient’s own fat tissue, prepare and concentrate them using a specialized lab process, before re-injecting them directly into the injured tissue area. Advanced imaging (such as ultrasound) can be used as guidance to focus a concentrated treatment of stem cells directly into the rotator cuff exactly where they are needed. From there, the stem cells are able to significantly enhance your body’s natural healing process, and can help to generate healthy new tissue, as well as attracting more reparative stem cells to the area.

Stem cell therapy is minimally invasive and can reverse the damage of injury, arthritis or disease, halting the natural breakdown process we often experience as we get older or experience injuries. There is also less risk of rejection, as the treatments use your body’s own stem cells.

The Procedure

You will be awake during the procedure, which is carried out in an office with a doctor or experienced physician. You will be asked to lie face down while the doctor cleans and numbs the area, and then with image guideance, the stem cells are then carefully extracted. The stem cells are then purified and prepared in a lab so that they are concentrated enough to heal your injury.

stem-cell-treatment-for-shoulder-painStem cell therapy is a fairly quick procedure with minimal discomfort. As a rule of thumb, treatments generally take around four hours, and you’ll be able to go back to work the very next day. The affected area may be a bit tender, and in some cases there may be some bruising.

PRP injections can also be used in order to keep the stem cells activated to give your body the best chance of healing.

The Risks

Just like any other medical treatment, stem cell therapy comes with its fair share of risks. The biggest risk is infection, as treating an area such as the rotator cuff involves using a small concentration of Adipose or fat tissue. Occasionally, infection can occur, but the risk for this is quickly reduced as your body produces more white blood cells.

Are you Suitable for Stem Cell Treatment?

If you are currently experiencing shoulder pain, osteoarthritis or are suffering from a rotator cuff injury, you may be suitable for the regenerative process of stem cell therapy, and should seek further consultation from your doctor.

Shoulder Pain Relief

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.

How Does Stem Cell Therapy Work?

Stem cell therapy has become an extremely popular medical treatment, with many doctors recommending it and many patients reaping its benefits. Doctors are even recommending stem cell therapy for medical issues that once seemed as if they had no option for treatment other than surgery.

But how does this revolutionary medical treatment work? To help you answer that question, we’re going to take a look at what stem cell therapy is, how it works and how it could help you.how-stem-cell-therapy-works

What is a stem cell in the first place?

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.

Where do stem cells come from?

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

Once the adipose tissue has been gathered, the stem cells are separated by spinning them in a centrifuge. They are then ready to be reintroduced to the patient’s body.

What does stem cell therapy do?

Stem cell therapy is the process of using the aforementioned 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. Instead of opting for surgery, which is usually the only option many doctors present, patients now have safe, natural and effective alternatives for joint disorders and beyond.

It is also possible to combine PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) Therapy with Stem Cell Therapy, in certain situations, to provide an additional element that helps in the healing process.

What types of problems is stem cell therapy being used for right now?

Stem cell therapy is being used for a variety of ailments, from virtually untreatable diseases to joint injuries. Here is a list of a few of the medical problems being successfully treated with stem cell therapy:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Heart disease
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Diabetes
  • Joint injuries – Knee, Hips, Shoulders, Ankles, Hands, Back, Elbows and more
  • Neurological diseases
  • Liver disease
  • Cancer
  • Retinal diseases
  • Blood disorders
  • Immune disorders
  • Metabolic disorders

There are many other medical issues that stem cell therapy can treat and this list is expanding every single day. For example, one of the newest stem cell therapies is successfully treating osteoarthritis.

How long does stem cell therapy take to undergo?

Despite the advanced nature of stem cell therapy, the process has a surprisingly short lead time. In most cases, a single treatment will only take about four hours.

What are the risks of stem cell therapy?

As with any medical procedure, stem cell therapy does come with risks. However, advances in stem cell treatment have nullified many of the risks. For example, there was once a high level of concern that a patient’s immune system would reject stem cells. The fact that stem cells now come directly from the patient’s own body make this, in addition to many other risks, either negligible or nonexistent.

The biggest risk most patients undergoing stem cell therapy face is an infection from the removal of adipose tissue or the injection of stem cells.

How long does it take to recover from stem cell therapy?

The recovery time from a stem cell therapy treatment is virtually nonexistent. A stem cell therapy treatment is an outpatient procedure. Other than some minor discomfort at the injection site for a short time after the Recovery from stem cell therapytreatment, patients can return to work the next day.

This makes stem cell therapy a great treatment alternative for those who are concerned about the long recovery time associated with a surgical procedure.

What about the cost of stem cell therapy?

Stem cell therapy usually costs between 20 and 50 percent less than surgery for treatments of the same ailment; this doesn’t even account for the need for surgery revisions.

Stem cell therapy is the future of modern medicine

If you have a medical issue that you need resolved, then you should seriously consider stem cell therapy as a treatment option. It is much less invasive than most other types of treatments and it allows your body to heal the way that it was meant to.

Stem-Cell-Therapy-Joint-Disorders

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.

Why Did Kobe Bryant Choose PRP Injections

Over the last few years, platelet rich plasma (PRP) has received a lot of attention, partly because Kobe Bryant and other famous athletes have used it. PRP has been credited with helping Bryant and various aging sports stars recover from conditions like sprained knees and injured tendons in less time than would be possible with other forms of therapy. If you are unfamiliar with PRP, you may have questions like:

  • How does PRP work?kobe bryants knees
  • How is PRP administered?
  • Are PRP injections better than surgery?

What is PRP?

Blood consists mainly of liquid plasma that contains various particles like platelets and white cells. Platelets contain growth factors, which are proteins that are beneficial for the healing of injuries. Among other things, growth factors increase the secretion of collagen and encourage the proliferation of tendon stem cells; they may also improve blood circulation and thus make cartilage firmer and more resistant to injury. PRP therapy involves concentrating platelets and injecting them into the injured area. The PRP preparation will have a considerably higher concentration of platelets (and thus of growth factors) when compared to blood.

Lab tests have shown that concentrated growth factors are able to hasten healing and many professional athletes have testified to the benefits of PRP injections.

The Process of Administering PRP

The process of administering PRP therapy takes roughly 20 minutes from beginning to end and starts with the collection of 30 milliliters of the patient’s blood. A process called centrifuging is used to separate the platelets from the rest of the blood. The doctors will then inject the distilled platelets back into the patient at the point of their injury. The doctor performing the procedure should use image guidance to ensure that the PRP injections are placed in the correct areas where they will benefit the patient most. Should a doctor decide that his/her own judgment is better and wants to perform a manual placement injection, it would be advisable to ask for image guidance or a second opinion. The number of times a patient may need to have PRP therapy performed will vary depending on the severity of their injury. A single shot may suffice for some patients but others may need as many as five shots.

Why Kobe Bryant Chose PRP over Surgery

Kobe Bryant and many other athletes suffer from osteoarthritis of the knees. This is due to the toll that playing sports at a high level takes on their bodies. Early testing of PRP suggest that it is far more effective than other forms of treatment for osteoarthritis while offering a much shorter recovery time when compared to surgical alternatives.Kobe Bryant prp injections

Kobe Bryant has undergone multiple rounds of PRP therapy and has even recommended it to friends like baseball player Alex Rodriguez.

Recovery Time after PRP Injections

Soreness will last for about two to three days after PRP injections and painkillers may be prescribed to help with this. Many patients see a decrease in their pain in as short a time as 16 weeks. Along with the reduced pain, thickening of the cartilage has been observed. Thickening cartilage indicates that the patient’s body is actually healing. In one controlled study, 60 percent of patients who were given PRP saw a reduction in pain.

Are PRP Injections Better than Surgery?

In many cases, it is. While there are many patients for whom surgery may be a better option, there are many others where PRP will provide better and faster results. For example, patients who have excessive scar tissue within a tendon or ligament due to an incompletely healed injury may face reduced joint function. The tendon or ligament may be incompletely healed because there is insufficient blood flowing to the injury site. The growth factors within PRP can help to enhance the body’s own healing process thus making it unnecessary for the patient to have surgery.

Professional athletes have long been the first to try out innovative medical techniques to recover from injuries and to lengthen their careers. PRP appears to provide exactly those benefits if you consider Kobe Bryant’s resurgence after receiving PRP. PRP injections are now becoming popular outside of professional sports as well. People suffering from osteoarthritis in their knees are seeking out minimally invasive alternatives to surgery that involve shorter recovery times.

Kobe-Bryant-PRP-Injections-for-his-knee

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.

What to do About Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Osteoarthritis of the knee can be a painful and debilitating medical condition. It is a form of arthritis that is usually caused by excess wear and tear of the knee joint. As we age, the cartilage between the two knee bones begins to break down and the bones start to rub against each other. This condition gradually worsens over time, causing inflammation in the knee area, as well as pain, osteoarthritis-of-the-knee-smtenderness, and the loss of mobility. At first your doctor may suggest that you change your physical activities to put less stress on your knee joints, begin a physical therapy treatment plan, and take over-the-counter pain relievers. If over time these basic treatments are no longer effective, other treatment plans can be used. Below is a list of the top treatment options for osteoarthritis in the knee.

Viscosupplementation

Viscosupplementation involves the injection of natural joint fluid (hyaluronic acid) between the two rubbing bones of the knee. The hyaluronic acid acts like a shock absorber that allows your knee to move smoother. While it won’t repair the knee joint, it does help cushion, protect and lubricate the knee. It also helps to prevent further damage of the joint. It may take several injections before you feel the effects of viscosupplementation. However, it will eventually work to reduce your overall pain and discomfort and reduce the inflammation in your knee. Viscosupplementation can provide pain relief anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, depending on the patient..

PRP Injections

These platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections are designed to help stimulate the healing of bone and soft tissue in the knee joint. When your body has a soft tissue injury, the first thing it does is send platelets to the injured area. Platelets contain growth factors and cytokines that repair tissue naturally. This treatment mimics the body’s natural process. Blood is drawn from patient and spun in a centrifuge at high speed to separate out the platelets. These platelets are then injected into the injured knee joint to start the natural healing process. Patients will typically need three injections and start to see an improvement in 2 to 6 weeks after the first injection. Some patients have reported seeing continued improvements 6 to 9 months after receiving treatment. No anesthesia or hospital stays are necessary and patients usually return to work or job duties after treatments.

Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy is quickly becoming a popular treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee. Stem cells reside in adult bone marrow, fat, organs and tissue. The treatment is performed by injecting stem cells into the affected Stem Cell Treatmentknee area. Known as the body’s repair kit, they have the ability to regenerate and heal the knee joint naturally. Treatments usually involve retrieving stem cells from fat tissue or Adipose and injecting them into the knee joint. This is a non-invasive procedure that is completed right in the doctor’s office. Typically, patients are able to go back to work the next day. This translates into a quicker healing process and less time off work.

Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery actually involves the removal of your knee joint and then replacing it with an artificial knee joint. Most orthopedic doctors will recommend this type of surgery because they don’t perform the alternative treatments. Patients typically spend several days in the hospital after surgery and will have to complete several weeks of physical therapy as part of the healing process. On average, patients take several weeks or even months off work after surgery. Risks for this surgery include reaction to anesthesia, potential for infection, blood clots and limited mobility after surgery.

When determining what type of treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee is right for you, several factors must be taken into account. Viscosupplementation, PRP injections, and stem cell therapy can all be competed on an outpatient basis. This means that you will have a faster recovery rate and will need to take less time off work. These treatments are generally less expensive than surgery and may not include the need for physical therapy afterwards. Most importantly, these treatment options do not have all the risk factors that come with surgery.

Osteoarthritis-of-the-knee

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.

What Is Prolotherapy?

A few years ago the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report which revealed that a minimum of 116 million people in the United States suffer from serious chronic pain each year. The problem, which has been described as a “public health crises,” occurs as a result of complications from an array of medical condition and injuries.

The IOM estimates that the lost productivity, medical costs and lost work time can be as much as high as $635 billion annually. ProlotherapyOther studies show that lower back pain rates just behind the common cold as a cause of missed work.

The problem is that traditional medicine simply cannot provide enough relief for chronic pain sufferers. Consequently, patients end up turning to an array of alternative therapies such as massages, herbal remedies and acupuncture in order to gain some measure of relief.

While these alternative therapies may give some sort of relief from the pain, they do little to regenerate the damaged tissue. There is a relatively new treatment option called Prolotherapy that has increasingly gained recognition as an alternative treatment for chronic pain, including tendonitis, arthritis and chronic sprain.

What’s in the Prolotherapy Injection?

Conventional pain management therapy, such as cortisone shots or other medications are injected into the joint or pain area in order to reduce inflammation. Prolotherapy, which is short for “proliferation therapy,” has been around since the 1940s. The term actually describes the rapid production or “proliferation” of collagen and cartilage–the soft tissues that quicken the body’s natural healing abilities.

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 increased inflammation and activates the natural healing mechanism in the body.

How Does the Procedure Work?

The procedure can be performed by a number of physicians, including family practitioners, osteopathic physicians and physical –medicine specialists. Prior to the procedure, your doctor will probably advise to stop taking medications, such as naproxen, ibuprofen and aspirin, a minimum of 2–3 days before the procedure.

To begin the procedure the doctor administers a local anesthetic. Although most people tolerate the procedure well, the injection fluid may also contain a mild anesthetic like lidocaine or the doctor will give the patient a sedative to minimize any pain.

The physician injects the treatment into tendon and ligament structures. As a result of the “minor injury”, the natural regenerative qualities of the body and tissue kicks in to produce collagen and cartilage, which decreases the pain, improves the patient’s joint stability as well as range of motion for different types of pain, including:.

  • Lower Backeffective prolotherapy
  • Knee
  • Hip
  • Shoulder
  • Wrist
  • Ankle
  • Leg
  • Foot
  • Neck
  • Hand

The treatment protocol may require injection every four weeks. If the patient does not show improvement after 3-4 sessions, further treatment may be discontinued.

Prolotherapy Research Findings

Some physicians in the conventional medical establishment deride prolotherapy. Nonetheless, more doctors are beginning to realize its benefits as an effective treatment for chronic pain, including supporters at the Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School.

Increasingly, multi-specialty groups, including family doctors, sports medicine physicians, physiotherapists, neurologists, anesthesiologists and orthopedic surgeons, have implemented prolotherapy into their treatment options due to the positive clinical experience and research reports.

Researchers at Ohio State University conducted one of the most comprehensive studies of the treatment. According to the report, researchers concluded that several high-quality studies verify the effectiveness of prolotherapy as a treatment for chronic low back pain. This is especially true when the treatment is used in combination with other treatment methodologies, such as corticosteroid injections or spinal manipulation.

The evidence also reveals that prolotherapy may also be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis and other painful musculoskeletal conditions.

How Safe Is the Treatment?

Prolotherapy treatment requires an injection with a needle. Inherently, there can be a small risk for infection or short-term irritation in the area of the injection. Nonetheless, the treatment has proven to be quite safe. The is prolotherapy safeinjection, which avoids nerves and blood vessels, goes directly into a joint or around the bone. The most common complaint concerns increased pain for 1-3 days.

Potential risks of the treatment, which vary depending on the treatment area, may include weakness, infections, nerve damage, permanent numbness, bleeding, spinal headaches, and allergic reactions. Nothing even close to what Dustin Hoffman experienced from Sir Laurence Olivier in “The Marathon Man.” However, selecting an experienced doctor and medical facility to perform the treatment reduces the chances of any risk occurring, if at all.

Benefits of Prolotherapy

The treatment has the potential to improve the quality of your life by significantly reducing chronic pain—and without all of the side effect associated with pain management therapies such as cortisone. Successfully proliferation therapy treatment repairs the joint through the natural regenerative process and rebuilds healthy connective tissues in the treatment area, thus eliminating the need to for repeated injections.

Prolotherapy will not provide the answer for every person suffering from chronic pain, especially if it affects the entire body. To find out if this alternative treatment can work for you consult with a physician who specializes in this alternative pain management option. There may be other treatment options that will work for your particular

Prolotherapy

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.

Why Knee Replacement Surgery May Not Be Your Best Option

A study conducted by the Commonwealth University of Virginia has found that many people with knee osteoarthritis have knee replacement surgery even when their symptoms are relatively minor or low grade. In other words, the surgery was not necessary.

Knee replacement surgery is a serious procedure that presents potentially life-threatening risks like blood clots and failure of the implant. It should not be your first option for treating knee ailments. Several noninvasive alternatives are effective for easing the pain of knee osteoarthritis or trauma. If you are contemplating knee replacement surgery, you should consider looking into the following:

Prolotherapyknee-replacement-surgery-scar

This form of therapy involves the injection of a sugar solution like dextrose, phenol or glycerininto the knee to help relieve pain and stiffness, strengthen the tendons or ligaments that can hold the body’s structure more effectively. This type of treatment is not new; it has been around for 75 years and has proven effective for many patients. A study by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health has found Prolotherapy to be beneficial for patients who suffer from mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis. In the study, patients received injections at intervals of four weeks. It was found that the patients who were given the injections saw improvements in the function of their knees when compared to those who were given saline or who received no injections.

Stem Cell Therapy

With Stem Cell Therapy the patient’s own stem cells are harvested from their own fat tissue,in a different part of their body,and then injected back into the injured joint. The Stem cells enhance the body’s own natural healing process and help regenerate damaged tissue and lower inflammation. The process is a minimally invasive procedure where patients can resume fairly normal activates after leaving the clinic. However, a 48hr recover period is often prescribed. The benefits of stem cell therapy far outweigh the risks associated with stem cell therapy, especially when compared to surgery.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Platelet Rich Plasma therapy or PRP as it is commonly known is the process of injecting the patient’s own platelets into their knee. The platelets are obtained by first drawing the patients’ blood, then spinning the blood in a Platelet-Rich-Plasmacentrifuge to separate the platelets from the white blood cells. The Platelet Rich Plasma is then drawn off and injected into the injured area A study by the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York has shown that patients who were injected with PRP saw their pain diminish by as much as 56.2 percent over the first six months of the study. That result went up to 60 percent after a year; the patients’ ability to undertake daily living tasks improved by 46.8 percent at the six-month mark and 55.7 percent at a year.

Medical Ozone Therapy

Ozone is a soluble gas that consists of three oxygen atoms. It is used to treat a variety of ailments affecting joints, muscles and tendons. When it is injected into the joint capsule, ozone treatments can aid with the regeneration of cartilage, which is why it is effective for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. In many cases, pain is caused by low levels of oxygen, which may result in an accumulation of lactic acid; in these instances, the lactic acid is what causes the pain.
Aside from the risk of complications from medical ozone therapy, knee replacement surgery comes with a long recovery period. With some patients, it may take as long as a year for them to regain full use of the joint. Another fact to consider is that the prostheses may not last for the rest of the patient’s life. They have a lifespan of between 10 and 20 years. If they fail, it will be necessary to have them replaced again. In comparison, the alternatives to knee replacement surgery listed above are relatively safe and minimally invasive.

Knee-Replacement Alternatives

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.

 

Bulging Disc Problems - Why Spinal Decompression May be the Cure

Bulging discs are a common source of back pain in the United States and can be very disruptive to your lifestyle. Sometimes this type of back pain can be relieved by moderate exercise and changes to your lifestyle. But when the bulge grows to a point where these changes are no longer effective, alternative treatments need to be used. So what is the best way to treat bulging disc pain? Traditionally, doctors have gone to corticosteroid injections, but these don’t fix the existing medical problem and provide only temporary relief. The next step for a lot of doctors is surgery, but non-surgical spinal decompression is another alternative that is proving to be much more successful at treating bulging discs.

What is a Bulging Disc?bulging disc

Did you know the bones in your spine are cushioned by multiple small discs which run along your vertebrae? These discs have often been compared to a jelly donut, because they too are filled with a gel-like substance. When one of these discs becomes damaged, it may eventually start to bulge. When the disc actually ruptures it is referred to as a herniated disc, which is its commonly used medical term.

What Causes It?

Disc bulges are usually caused by age-related disc degeneration. But they can also be caused by doing a lot of heavy lifting, incorrect lifting, twisting or strenuous movements. You are particularly at risk of disc bulges if your job or lifestyle involves strenuous activity. As you begin to age, your spinal discs can lose some of their water content, in turn resulting in a loss of flexibility and an increased susceptibility to rupturing or tearing.

Symptoms and Identification

Symptoms of a bulging disc can vary depending on the person and location of the problem. Typically, if you have a bulging disc, you can expect to experience sharp pain in your lower back, pain and numbness in your buttocks and legs, and even numbness or tingling in your hands and feet. If you suspect you have a bulging disc, you must first consult with your doctor so he or she can properly identify the problem, be it a bulging disc or just a pinched nerve. An X-Ray can give the doctor an indication that you have a bulging disc, but it really needs to be identified by an MRI scan.

How Spinal Decompression can Help

Non-surgical spinal decompression therapy is a fast and effective method of treating bulging discs. It uses motorized traction to relieve tension and stretch out the spine. The force and position of the spine is gently modified, taking away some of the pressure and gradually allowing the bulging or herniated discs to retract. This usually happens during a course of around five to seven weeks, in which time the treatment will also help to improve the flow of water, oxygen and nutrients into the discs, effectively healing them.

spinal-decompression-in-los angelesSpinal decompression is a relatively easy procedure that you can experience fully clothed. You doctor will fit you with harnesses around your pelvis and trunk area, before you are asked to lie either face up or face down on a computerized table that is controlled by your doctor. The treatment will be modified to suit your therapy requirements. A typical treatment can last anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes. You may need up to 28 treatments before you experience the maximum benefits depending on your case and level of pain.

Are you a Suitable Candidate?

Spinal decompression therapy is not suitable for everyone. You will not be suitable if you are pregnant, suffering from a tumor or fracture, have advanced osteoporosis, an abdominal aortic aneurysm, or metal spinal implants. You will also not be suitable if you are under the age of 18.

If you do not have any of these conditions, it is worth looking into this alternative. Non-surgical spinal decompression allows you to repair the disc and avoid all of the risks of surgery – infection, adverse reactions to anesthesia, blood clots, lengthy recovery, and time off of work.

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.

 

PRP Injections for Knee Arthritis

If you suffer from bad knee pain, you’ll know it can seriously hamper your daily routine and your ability to do even the simplest things, such as climb a flight of stairs, or walk across a parking lot. Many people suffer from knee pain brought on by knee arthritis, or other common conditions which can lead to surgery or even knee replacement. However, not everyone knows that pain from knee arthritis can be greatly reduced, or even Guided-PRP-Knee-Injectioncompletely eliminated with the help of PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injections. This is because up until recently, there was no real way to treat painful knee arthritis without drugs, surgery or physical therapy. If you’ve been considering some of the surgical options available, chances are you could be one of the many to benefit from PRP injections.

What is PRP?

Since 1987, PRP has been used to promote cell regeneration in various types of surgeries. More recently, evidence has been accumulated to show PRP may also be an effective treatment for tendinitis, and since 2000, studies have been under way to assess PRP’s efficiency at treating osteoarthritis, and most research articles have only been published around 2010 or later. Because PRP injections for knee arthritis is such a new theory, research is still under way, however there is encouraging evidence to show PRP is an effective way to treat osteoarthritis.

Is It Hype or Does It Really Work?

There are plenty of studies showing the positive results of PRP for treating knee arthritis and knee pain, but PRP also has its fair share of critics and physicians who claim there has not been enough research done yet to really push this treatment. However, many patients who have had the treatment themselves and have experienced great results are more than happy to express their gratitude, such as 61-year-old Charlotte Marsden, who reported to feel completely pain-free after almost 20 years of suffering.

tiger-woods-prp-injections-for-kneePro golfer Tiger Woods received PRP injections to accelerate the healing process following his knee surgery. Troy Polamalu and Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers also had treatments before their Super Bowl victory in 2009.

Many doctors who treat professional athletes are on the forefront of new medical technologies and treatment options for sports related injuries. Dr. James Andrews, the eminent orthopedic surgeon who has treated and performed surgery on many of today’s elite athletes, indicated in a recent interview on the Dan Patrick show some interesting insights into the future of sports medicine. Dr. Andrews indicted that the arthroscope has been the biggest invention in orthopedic surgery in the last 40 years and they were always wondering what was going to be the next big revelation. For him and many other sports medicine doctors the next big thing is going to be, what he calls the biologics, stem cell therapy, tissue engineering and gene therapy. You can see and hear Dan Patrick’s complete interview with Dr. Andrews here. Start at minute 7:28 if you just want to listen to this particular section.

The Procedure

PRP injections are usually undertaken as an outpatient procedure, and because an experienced physician must first draw the patient’s blood before preparing for injection, a typical procedure can last anywhere between 45 and 90 minutes. The number of procedures required really depends on each individual case, and that is something your doctor should decide in a consultation with you. The typical number of treatments is usually 3 – 5, depending on the severity of your symptoms.

Sometimes when your doctor plans a series of injections, these can be planned with a single blood draw, so the remaining PRP treatments can be frozen for future use. However, some argue this lessens the effectiveness of the PRP, and recommend a fresh blood draw with every treatment.

Precision injections

PRP treatments for knee arthritis require an experienced physician and the use of imaging technology (such as an ultrasound) to ensure precision. This is because PRP injections are similar to Viscosupplementation treatments, and need to be injected directly into your joint capsule. There are also certain precautions that must be taken before these injections are carried out, as recommended by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. These include:

  • Avoiding corticosteroid medications for around two to three weeks before treatment
  • Avoiding non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including arthritis medication (like Cerebrex), ibuprofen and aspirin up to a week before treatment
  • Avoiding anti-coagulation medication for five days before treatment
  • Drinking plenty of fluids one day ahead of procedure

Procedure explained step-by-step

As an in-office treatment, the procedure is relatively simple and involves the initial blood draw, followed by PRP preparation, and the actual injection. This is the order that your treatment will occur:

  1. Your doctor or physician will first extract 15 to 50ml of blood from your arm. This will go directly into a vial.
  2. A centrifuge machine then processes the blood.
  3. The centrifuged platelet-rich plasma is then prepared by a technician or doctor.
  4. The skin around the affected joint will be cleansed with disinfectant to ensure the area is clean.
  5. For ultrasound procedures, a gel will be applied so the ultrasound probe can be pressed against the skin. This allows the doctor to clearly see the joint on-screen.
  6. Relaxing will make the treatment a lot easier and less painful for you, so your doctor will try to ensure you are feeling relaxed. Some patients may prefer to take anti-anxiety medication before the procedure.
  7. Your doctor will inject a small amount of PRP (around 3 to 6ml) directly into your knee’s joint capsule.
  8. Your doctor will finish up by cleansing the area before applying a bandage.

Aftercare

Following the procedure you will be advised to rest and avoid putting unnecessary strain on the affected knee joint. You may be advised not to take anti-inflammatory pain medication, and your doctor may prescribe you with something suitable. A brace or crutch may be required. A cold compress can be applied for 20 minute intervals. You will probably be asked to refrain from doing most activities for 48hrs following the procedure.

PRP-Injections

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.