The growth of regenerative medicine now offers patients a variety of less invasive treatment options to joint surgery, replacement and pain management.  The basic principle of regenerative medicine uses the body’s own healing mechanisms to repair damaged tissues. The field includes injectables, patches, traditional Chinese medicine techniques and electronic stimuli equipment to name a few.

Gone are the days of icing every injury and pain associated with bones, ligaments, tendons or other soft connective tissue. Today, the use of heat or constitutional hydrotherapy like alternating hot and cold-water treatments is more conducive to proper healing and long-term recovery. 

Regenerative injections, simple procedures, also referred to as bio-puncture therapy, use the aid of natural solutions such as sugar water, vitamins, minerals, or growth factors from a patient’s blood. Commonly known treatment options include prolotherapy and platelet-rich-plasma (PRP), but the field has grown to include exosomes, peptides, and stem-cell-based or derived products as well. For pain management, numbing solutions often used in dentist offices and surgical procedures such as lidocaine and procaine can also be safely injected or applied via topical patches available over the counter. 

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) techniques, including acupuncture, cupping, or topical botanical formulas using an array of essential oils, are also beneficial for joint issues and pain. In fact, many present-day injection solutions and techniques like prolotherapy fall under the category of “wet needling,” as described in TCM.

Electronic stimulation devices like TENS units or pulsed electromagnetic force (PEMF) have also become exceedingly popular to help regulate not only blood flow but also the lymphatic system, which has been found to be critical for overall healing. Electrical stimulus from these devices or the prick of an acupuncture needle can help trigger proper communication between cells and activate nerves that are not firing properly due to discord. 

Older injuries resulting in scar tissue can also benefit from needling or injection techniques, even if an injury occurred a very long time ago. 

Regenerative medicine offers a variety of less invasive options in an out-patient clinical setting rather than a hospital or surgical ward. Discoveries of therapies that assist the body’s natural healing process are continuing, and the growth possibilities are endless.  

Dr. Ahmad is both a medical doctor and a licensed naturopathic doctor specializing in regenerative medicine. He is with Optimal Health Center in Palm Desert and can be reached at (760) 568.2598.

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