With 350 million arthritis sufferers worldwide, and about 40 million people here in the United States affected by arthritis, it’s no wonder that pain medication alone is no longer the “cure-all” solution to this joint disease. Today’s arthritis treatments often include dietary changes, alternative therapies, and pain management methods such as physical therapy, massage, and even acupuncture.
Additionally, for many adults whose quality of life is hindered by arthritis pain, regenerative medicine has become an important and effective part of a comprehensive treatment plan to relieve pain and inflammation. At Commonwealth Pain & Spine locations throughout Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois, our pain management physicians offer regenerative medicine as a breakthrough treatment for arthritis pain. Take a few minutes to learn more about this cutting-edge treatment, and discover how you might benefit from it.
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis that affect children and adults. Two of the most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Both of these conditions cause chronic joint pain and restricted mobility, sometimes leading to a lower quality of life.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint condition in which the cartilage surrounding a joint—often your hands, knees, hips, or spine—breaks down so your bones rub together. Osteoarthritis is usually age-related and considered a wear-and-tear condition that occurs after years of joint use. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, and loss of flexibility.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which your body’s immune system attacks and breaks down the soft tissue in your joints. It causes painful swelling in your affected joints, which eventually leads to joint deformity and bone erosion. Symptoms include inflamed joints, stiffness, and fatigue.
Regenerative medicine is a broad term that includes various treatment protocols to encourage and maximize your body’s innate healing abilities. One type of regenerative medicine therapy is stem cell injections, which can help promote healing and the growth of newer, healthier cartilage cells within an arthritic joint. The most common type of stem cells used to treat arthritis is mesenchymal stem cells, which come from your own blood, fat, or bone marrow.
Stem cells have the ability to transform themselves into the exact type of cell your body needs. For example, if you have osteoarthritis in your knees and your doctor injects stem cells into the deteriorating cartilage around your knee joint, those stem cells can become new cartilage cells. They can help repair damaged tissue and therefore reduce your pain and increase your range of motion over time.
In a recent study, men and women who received stem cell injections for rheumatoid arthritis enjoyed therapeutic benefits for up to nine months after receiving treatments.
Typically, when you have arthritis, you may undergo physical therapy and dietary or lifestyle changes to help alleviate symptoms and slow down the progression of your disease. However, in many cases, you also rely on pain medications to get through the day, which often comes with adverse effects and an unintended dependency.
Regenerative medicine s a more natural approach to pain management with the potential to help relieve your pain, reduce inflammation, and regenerate healthier cartilage and joint tissue without the unpleasant side effects of prescription pain medications.
If your arthritis pain prevents you from fully enjoying your life and you no longer want to depend on prescription drugs, regenerative medicine treatments may be an ideal solution.