How Regenerative Medicine Can Help Your Fight Against Pain

regenerative Medicine, pain, platelet-rich, stem cell

Pain is physically debilitating, but it can take a toll on your mental health as well. Research shows that people who have chronic or recurring pain also frequently suffer from depression and anxiety. At the same time, depression and anxiety make people more prone to pain, creating a debilitating cycle from which it can be difficult to break free.

Traditionally, the treatment of chronic pain has focused on pain medicines — sometimes long-term use of potentially risky medications. When pain is caused by joint degeneration, many doctors recommend surgery to repair or, very often, entirely replace the joint. But in recent years, doctors have turned to innovative treatment options aimed at helping the body repair itself. These treatments use injections of a patient’s own blood or stem cells to stimulate the body’s healing cascade and to regenerate new, healthy tissue so that damaged tissues can be replaced or repaired.

At Northwest Suburban Pain Center, we offer both platelet-rich plasma treatments and stem cell therapy to help patients get the care they need based on their unique symptoms and health histories.

Regenerative medicine: broad applications

Both platelet-rich plasma (or PRP) and stem cell therapy can be used to treat an array of medical issues. Today, doctors use these therapies to treat problems like:

Both therapies use injections that deliver the products where they’re needed the most, right to the site of your injury, and both are performed on an outpatient basis.

Platelet-rich plasma

Platelet-rich plasma is a blood product. More specifically, it’s a product that comes from your own blood. Platelets are a component of blood that play a big role in healing. Your platelets contain growth factors that promote the growth of new, healthy cells at the site of an injury. They also contain special proteins that increase your body’s natural healing responses.

In PRP treatments, the doctor extracts a sample of your blood, usually from your arm. The blood is placed in a special device that separates the platelets from the rest of the blood and concentrates them at very high levels. This concentrated solution is reintroduced to the plasma (liquid) part of the blood sample, creating PRP. The doctor collects the PRP in a syringe and injects it directly into the site of your injury.

Stem cell therapy

Stem cells are cells that have the ability to transform into any type of cell, including muscle cells, tendon cells, and cartilage cells. In the early days of stem cell therapy, cells were harvested from embryos. But today, stem cell therapy uses cells harvested from the patient’s own body, typically from their fat or bone marrow. When a patient’s own stem cells can’t be used, cells are harvested from a donor.

After the cells are extracted, they're processed so they're ready to be injected into your body at the site of injury. Once injected, special substances in your body act on the cells and "program" them to change into whatever cells are needed most to heal an injured area and regrow healthy tissue. 

Both PRP and stem cell therapy take a while to work. That’s because they both depend on your body’s ability to heal itself over time. Most patients notice a marked improvement within several weeks of their treatment, but the results can vary from one patient to another. The team at Northwest Suburban Pain Center will work with you to develop a treatment plan that’s best for you.

Find relief for your painful symptoms

Regenerative medicine spurs healing to help relieve your painful symptoms, and it also helps support long-term health by replacing damaged tissues. If you have joint problems or other issues causing chronic pain, the team at Northwest Suburban Pain Center can help you find the relief you’re looking for, without turning to potent drugs or surgery. To learn how regenerative medicine could help you relieve pain by restoring damaged tissues, contact the practice and schedule an evaluation and

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