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Posted on 09-27-2017
The body's ability to heal itself has always been an amazing natural wonder --and medical science would be meaningless without that ability. After all, we do not actually heal you; we merely optimize the conditions for your body to perform its own healing processes. Here at Lubbock Advanced Physical Medicine, our integrated, multi-disciplinary team of practitioners employs a variety of healing modalities to facilitate healing, from chiropractic care to weight loss and massage therapy. But there's another cutting-edge technique we offer that you may not even have heard of: regenerative medicine. Let's take a look at this form of care, and how it might be just what the doctor ordered for your particular health challenge.
How does the body heal itself? The answer lies in your own blood. Among the blood's other components are cells known as platelets. These little "repair cells" perform many healing functions, including the essential clotting that seals damaged blood vessels, thus preventing massive blood loss in an injury. Platelets are also notable for their ability to produce growth factors, specialized substances that trigger the synthesis of proteins and other important tissue-building materials. The influx of these materials allows tissues to repair themselves normally.
But what happens when you experience an injury or chronic degeneration in a part of your body that doesn't have particularly good blood flow? Certain areas of the body simply have fewer and/or smaller blood vessels than others, while previous surgeries or diseases such as diabetes can significantly reduce access to blood flow -- thus reducing access to platelets and their growth factors. Fortunately, there's another way to get platelets to a trouble spot. In a technique called platelet-rich therapy (PRP), concentrated plasma from your own blood is injected directly into the damaged tissue. The massive dose of platelets in the plasma can then get to work releasing their growth factors, resulting in greatly-accelerated tissue healing.
What kinds of conditions can this type of regenerative medicine treat? Our Lubbock integrated medicine team may consider it for pretty much any health challenge that can benefit from enhanced tissue regeneration. It's commonly prescribed for acute or chronic muscle, tendon and ligament injuries. Professional and amateur athletes alike have enthusiastically adopted it in recent years to help them recuperate from sports injuries more quickly and completely.If you're in that crowd, we may recommend PRP therapy as part of a holistic rehabilitation plan.
Regenerative medicine is also highly useful as a treatment for chronic pain conditions. If you suffer from the ongoing inflammation and cartilage degeneration of osteoarthritis, for instance, we may prescribe PRP injections to help manage your condition. Overuse injuries such as tennis/golfer's elbow, plantar fasciitis, and runner's knee may also benefit from it, especially when paired with our other healing techniques. PRP can even help you recover from surgery.
Before we can prescribe regenerative medicine for your individual issue, we will make sure you're a good candidate for the procedure. (Platelet abnormalities, active cancers, infections, and anemia might be disqualifying factors.) We then draw a sample of your blood, which is run through a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma from other components such as red and white blood cells. It's then a simple matter to inject this potent healing substance into the treatment area.
Once you've received this form of treatment, what can you expect? There may be a little soreness at the treatment site for a couple of days. In the weeks that follow, you should start to feel better and better as your condition improves. A single injection can provide healing and pain-relief benefits for up to 9 months.
Now that you know more about regenerative medicine, maybe you ought to find out whether this approach can regenerate your quality of life. Call our Lubbock office at (806) 791-3399 for a consultation!
Where does it hurt? Tell us about your current injury or chronic pain condition!
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