Regenerative medicine is at the cutting-edge of medicine and has revolutionized how diseases, injuries, and disorders are treated. Some of the research in the field of regenerative medicine is still in laboratories, but many techniques and procedures are available now.
At Heritage Regenerative Medicine, Dr. John Stavrakos and our team bring the miracles of regenerative medicine to the people of Weddington, North Carolina. If you’ve found that traditional care isn’t meeting your needs, there’s a good chance that regenerative medicine could be a great alternative for you.
Prolotherapy is a surprising treatment that may seem counterintuitive at first blush. It works on the premise that inflammation is necessary for healing. Prolotherapy is the process of injecting an irritant with the goal of causing inflammation in the injured area, which is particularly effective in injuries involving ligaments and tendons that don’t have a strong enough blood supply to cause inflammation.
Prolotherapy mimics an injury and signals to your body that something needs to be healed. Dr. Stavrakos injects a solution into your injured area, it causes an inflammatory response, and your body sends white blood cells to ward off infection. There are three stages in prolotherapy: the inflammatory phase, the proliferative phase, and the remodeling phase.
The inflammatory phase lasts a few days, and you may feel a temporary increase in pain during this phase. The proliferative phase may last two to three weeks, and you’re likely to feel better as it progresses, though it’s still important to limit your activity so the healing can continue. The remodeling phase may take several months, but it’s when you regain your strength and the pain subsides.
The best-known and most widely used form of regenerative medicine is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. PRP therapy is similar to prolotherapy but with amped up healing power. It’s effective at treating soft tissue and joint issues and is used by most major sports teams and doctors who treat sports injuries.
Platelets are specialized cells responsible for clotting when you’re injured. Researchers have discovered that they can also aid in healing damaged tissue.
To administer PRP therapy, we draw a small amount of blood from your arm and use a centrifuge to separate the various components, which allows us to create a concentrated serum.
Dr. Stavrakos then injects the platelet-rich plasma precisely in the area you need it, such as the damaged tissue in your knee joint, for example. The platelets go to work accelerating the healing process.
Biologics are medical products made from living cells that are replicated, placed into a liquid form, and delivered via infusion or injection.
Biologics are different from conventional pharmaceuticals in many ways. Conventional pharmaceuticals are chemical compounds, whereas biologics are derived from living organisms. Biologics treat many conditions and diseases that were previously difficult or impossible to treat, such as osteoarthritis, for example.
Dr. Stavrakos typically uses biologics derived from umbilical cord products collected from full-term babies with the mother’s consent.
Wharton’s jelly, a clear, gelatinous substance from the umbilical cord, provides essential growth factors and fibrous proteins that build a foundation for regenerating tissues.
Umbilical cord blood contains blank stem cells that can morph into other types of specialized cells that are needed to heal the specific damaged tissue. These and other placenta products contain life-giving growth factors, cytokines, and exosomes that boost your immune system and tap into your body’s own healing abilities.
We’ve discussed three types of regenerative therapies here, but there are many others. If you’re struggling with sexual dysfunction, joint pain, back pain, or hormonal issues, regenerative medicine could be a beneficial path for you.
Regenerative medicine is making great strides in the treatment of these and many other conditions. Dr. Stavrakos is an expert in determining the likelihood of success with regenerative medicine treatments with an evaluation and consultation. You may be able find relief from your symptoms without surgery or the side effects that accompany so many medications.
If you have questions or you’d like to learn more about what we offer, schedule an appointment at Heritage Regenerative Medicine today.