Joint pain is a common health issue among Americans, with one in four complaining of this disorder. The CDC report also corroborates this. Joint pain can occur due to arthritis or other orthopedic degeneration. People with this condition struggle with mobility issues, and chronic pain can affect their mental health and quality of life. You find different treatments for this. However, severity may lead to surgery. Else, physical therapy and rest can also help manage the condition. There can also be medications, including OTC pain relievers, steroids or other potent drugs, and analgesic creams. All these soothe inflammation and reduce the progress of the damage.
Physicians often recommend cortisone shots, which are powerful and anti-inflammatory. The local anesthetic also controls swelling, giving you an easy life for a couple of months. The challenge is this steroid-based medication doesn’t come without side effects. It’s also the reason the doses one can get a year remain limited for safety concerns. But thanks to advanced medical science, patients no longer have to depend entirely on these shots. There are some better alternatives.
Places like QC Kinetix (Gainesville) specialize in this field and treat joint pain and other conditions with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) or Stem Cell therapy. PRP therapy involves the use of centrifuged blood injections containing abundant platelets. Platelets are round blood cells enriched with healing properties due to their compounds like cytokines and proteins. In this treatment, a therapist extracts blood from your body to obtain a concentrated platelet solution to inject back into the painful joint. The shot induces faster recovery of the acutely damaged tissues.
On the other hand, stem cell treatment helps with cell repair. In this case, doctors use stem cells instead of platelets. The stem cells start growing in the human body from the gestational phase, but only those found in adult bodies come in handy in orthopedic regenerative procedures. The source of stem cells in the body can be bone marrow or fat tissue. Physicians consolidate stem cells with PRP or other relevant agents to inject the concentrated solution into the patient’s joint. Stem cell treatment can repair or replace damaged cells for pain reduction and improved joint movement.
Reasons for regenerative medicine adoption
Cortisone shots have many side effects – they can damage nerves, bone, cartilage, and other body parts. So, it’s worth exploring safer alternatives that offer more pain relief for a longer span. Since regenerative medicine treats the underlying problem of the joint issue and not just inflammation, one can experience better cell health. The damage can also repair. That means it doesn’t just reduce symptoms of the illness but goes deeper to offer much-needed relief. However, it doesn’t imply this medical treatment has no risks, but those are relatively minor compared to the extent of damages caused by corticosteroids.
Some believe that regenerative therapies are newer concepts, but studies confirm that stem cell and PRP therapies have been available since the 50s and 60s for therapeutic goals. Scientists have tested these options and found them effective in many ailments.