Heritage Regenerative Medicine
John E. Stavrakos, MS, MD
Sports Medicine Clinic & Wellness Center serving The Greater Charlotte Area
Injections Q & A
Why would I need injections?
There are all kinds of reasons for getting injections, from annual flu shots to aesthetic wrinkle treatments. At Heritage Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Stavrakos specializes in using biologic injections to relieve pain and improve your appearance.
Biologic injection therapy is an exciting and growing area of medicine that offers new hope to patients with treatment-resistant musculoskeletal disorders and chronic pain. It can also help many people avoid the need for surgery.
Biologic injections have enabled athletes at all levels to recover from injury sooner and play at their peak longer. That includes high-profile NFL players, baseball pitchers, golfers, and other world-class athletes. It is no secret that biologics play a major role in the ability of today’s professional athletes to remain productive in their sports longer and more efficiently than athletes of previous generations.
In addition to their value as a treatment for medical conditions, biologic injections also enable you to reverse common signs of aging like drooping skin, hollows, lines, and wrinkles.
What kinds of injections might I need?
The injections that might benefit you the most vary according to the nature of your problem. Treatments Dr. Stavrakos uses at Heritage Regenerative Medicine include:
Prolotherapy is the injection of natural substances into your joints that trigger your body's built-in healing abilities. Dating back to the 1930s, prolotherapy (from the latin proli, “to regenerate”) involves the injection of a low concentration of dextrose, a natural sugar, as well as sarapin, a product derived from the pitcher plant, to stimulate some inflammation at the injection site that compels the body to initiate a healing response.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
PRP contains platelets (the substance in your blood that causes clotting, as with a cut) that are full of growth factors. In concentrated doses, growth factors stimulate significant healing even when your body has achieved all it can without help. The PRP process enables platelets to be concentrated at levels far above what the body can itself provide, before injecting them into the damaged area to effect healing. A good way to think about it is that it’s like adding fertilizer to a sick plant, along with water and sunshine.
Birth tissue products
Birth tissues such as the placenta, umbilical cord, and amniotic fluid are products that are discarded after the birth of a baby, but contain powerful healing and anti-inflammatory properties. Healthy mothers who have undergone a rigorous health screening process and deliver via C-section can donate these tissues for joint pain and other treatments.
Wharton's jelly comes from the umbilical cord of newborn babies delivered by C-section, in a process that does not do any harm to the mother or child. It contains proteins that help bind other substances used in your treatment in a framework that prevents them from draining away. It also contains powerful growth factors and live cells that stimulate the body's healing processes by directing the body’s own stem cells to congregate at the injection site, multiply there and form the necessary tissues and structures.
Exosomes are cellular products that “bud” off of the outer cell membrane. They are critical for cell-to-cell communication, including that of stem cells, which have powerful healing and rejuvenating properties. They contain growth factors, messenger RNA, and microRNA, the latter being very important for handling chronic inflammation.
At Heritage Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Stavrakos performs both spinal and joint injections. He has over 20 years of injection experience, is board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, and is fellowship-trained in sports medicine.
Dr. Stavrakos has devoted his professional career to treating conditions that affect people's health and quality of life, and he specializes in using biologic injections.
What happens when I have an injection?
The procedure for your injection varies depending on the treatment. For example, before a PRP injection, you need to provide a blood sample for processing. Injections are usually in-office procedures that cause minimal discomfort and don't require any significant downtime.
As the chief medical officer of a nationwide tissue bank, Dr. Stavrakos continually learns more about the best biologics for particular conditions, from joint pain and systemic disease to aesthetics.
Dr. Stavrakos also offers supplementary treatments alongside biologic injections, such as ozone therapy and IV infusions to increase the healing potential.
To find out more, call Heritage Regenerative Medicine today or book an appointment with Dr. Stavrakos online.
Sports Medicine Clinic & Wellness Center located in the greater Charlotte, NC area