Surgery can be an amazing way to treat pain and injury, and in the past, it was often the only option. Today, however, medical breakthroughs are changing the way we treat these issues, and the most promising new therapies are in the field of regenerative medicine. This field harnesses the body’s own restorative powers to rebuild tissues and solve issues of pain and healing without surgery. At The Guyer Institute of Molecular Medicine in Indianapolis, IN, we can help you live life to the fullest without pain or surgery.
Understanding Regenerative Medicine
The human body is capable of amazing feats of self-healing. You’re probably already familiar with much of this, as most of us have seen a cut scab over or a broken bone knit itself back together with only a cast to keep everything in the right place. Our bodies are able to repair themselves in many situations through a sophisticated network of healing agents.
Regenerative medicine is all about harnessing these healing agents and directing them where we need them to go. This allows us to heal an injured or diseased area of the body much more quickly and effectively than could otherwise be done and using entirely natural techniques to do so.
What Can Regenerative Medicine Be Used For?
An Alternative to Surgery
Until recently, many conditions could only be corrected using a surgical procedure—especially conditions involving the spine and neck. Yet despite all the advances in medicine, surgery remains a risky proposition. Things can go wrong, the surgeries themselves come with side effects that can’t be avoided, and the downtime is significant. Some of these surgeries are so difficult that people choose to live with ongoing pain rather than take the risk.
Where Surgery Fails
Then there are other issues that can’t be cured through any type of surgery. Osteoarthritis, for example, is very common and yet difficult to treat. In this degenerative condition, the body’s cartilage wears out. As it does, there isn’t enough cushion for the joints, which swell and become painful as a result.
No surgery can fix worn-out cartilage, so for many suffering from this condition, medication has historically been the only answer. Yet these medications can cause many unwanted side effects, and some of them can even be addictive.
Injuries and Cosmetic Concerns
This type of medicine can treat sports injuries and similar issues, acne, hair loss, cosmetic concerns, back and spine pain, and even the pain of degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis. This is an especially promising field when it comes to addressing conditions that are difficult to manage with anything other than medication.
In all these situations, healing and comfort are possible through the body’s own rejuvenating abilities. The body doesn’t always naturally heal these areas as it should, but advances in medicine are allowing us to understand how to direct these healing capabilities where we need them to go.
What Kind of Therapies Are There?
At The Guyer Institute of Molecular Medicine, we offer many types of regenerative therapies. Here are just a few worth knowing about:
The concept behind this therapy is really quite simple: inject a mild irritant into damaged tissues to send a strong signal to the body to send out healing agents. The irritant is basically just sugar water combined with an anesthetic for comfort. The glucose in the injection can’t hurt your body in any way, but it has a pH very different from the surrounding tissues.
This tells your body there’s a problem, and the body begins sending regenerative agents to the area to build up new, healthy tissue. This is actually one of the oldest therapies in existence, and some form of it has been in use since antiquity.
Modern techniques have been in use since the 1930s. For most people, five to eight injections can achieve lasting healing, though for some people only one or two injections are necessary.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
PRP is a very exciting treatment that has been used for years to help cardiac surgery patients heal more quickly and allow professional athletes to get back onto the field following injuries that would have been career-ending not that long ago.
To perform this therapy, we take the patient’s own blood and spin it in a centrifuge to isolate the platelets. These are then injected into the injured site. Our platelets are responsible for marshaling the body’s healing agents and then coordinating their efforts. PRP therapy simply directs the platelets to concentrate their efforts where you most need healing.
The platelets will call on the body to regenerate fresh, new tissues to repair muscles, ligaments, joints, and whatever other tissues need to be regenerated to accomplish full healing. For most people, repairs start within just a few days of treatment and continue for weeks afterward. This is an especially effective treatment for ligament and joint pain.
IV Vitamin Therapy
All of us know that we need vitamins and minerals for healthy function, but what a lot of us don’t realize is how difficult it can be to get the necessary nutrients at times. Fruits and vegetables can only get their nutrients from the soil, so if the soil is depleted, the resulting harvests will be vitamin-poor. And though the animals we eat process these nutrients and make them easier for us to digest, if our meat comes from factory-farmed sources, chances are the animals never ate their proper, natural diet. This means their meat is also poor in vitamins and minerals.
Compounding the issue, various things can interfere with the body’s ability to get vitamins and minerals out of food. Issues with the gut biome, certain autoimmune conditions, and other diseases and medications can make it hard for our bodies to get the nutrients they need for optimal function.
IV vitamin therapy bypasses the gastrointestinal system to deliver nutrients directly to the bloodstream. Even better, these therapies can be custom-crafted to meet the needs of each patient, delivering precisely the nutrients a patient is lacking.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cells are the building blocks of the body. These cells are capable of becoming any other type of cell as necessary, and this therapy allows us to basically “assign” a specific task to these cells and urge them to generate the necessary tissues to accomplish healing and rejuvenation.
Stem cells can generate new ligament tissues or stronger tendons in the case of injury, for example, or they can create new bone or muscle. The goal of stem cell therapy is to help the body become more effective at what it already knows how to do.
These stem cells can be obtained from the bone marrow or from the fat, and when the cells come from your own body, the chance of any rejection is almost zero. The whole process takes about one to three hours to accomplish, but the results are well worth it.
Do These Therapies Work?
The idea of regenerative medicine may seem innovative, but in reality, this is one of the oldest therapies known to medicine. The doctor long considered the Father of Medicine, Hippocrates (for whom the Hippocratic Oath is named), used a form of regenerative therapy to heal an injured shoulder as long ago as 400 BC. In reality, we are just re-discovering what ancient medical professionals knew and practiced.
Since the late 70s, the medical world has been actively exploring the possibilities of regenerative therapies, and the success record is amazing. From sports stars back on the field in record time to Hollywood stars using regenerative therapies to keep their skin young and fresh, the work of regenerative therapy is evident all around us.
Am I a Good Candidate for These Therapies?
These therapies and more are good choices for many people, including those suffering from chronic conditions as well as from acute injuries. In some cases, these therapies offer hope where there previously had been none. In other cases, they offer a gentler and more effective alternative to invasive surgery.
For those who are not candidates for surgery at all, regenerative therapy offers a way to get real relief from pain without the danger of drug addiction. Because these therapies direct a patient’s own body to do the healing, there is virtually no chance of allergic reactions or rejection.
The best way to find out of these therapies can help you is to visit us at The Guyer Institute of Molecular Medicine to have a consultation. We can help you evaluate your condition, understand more about the options, and decide on the best therapies for your condition.
How Long Do These Therapies Take?
Each person’s experience will be different, and there are several factors that go into determining the time frame for treatment. The size of the treatment area, your age, how long you’ve been suffering from the condition, and which therapy is used will all work together to determine how long it takes.
As for the treatment times themselves, most are very quick. In the case of PRP, for example, most therapies can be done in less than an hour, and most of that time is spent waiting for the centrifuge to separate the platelets from the rest of the blood.
In terms of results, most patients will see some positive results within a few days, but the full results don’t manifest for a few weeks to months. It’s important to allow the body’s natural regenerative factors enough time to do their job. We can give you more details about your specific situation in your consultation.
Why Choose Regenerative Therapy for Pain?
The medical world has historically treated pain as something to be reacted to. Once you feel it, you take something to treat the feeling. The medications prescribed for these cases always deliver temporary effects, and they come with an array of unwanted side effects that can affect bodily function, sleep, and mood.
Because these medications only cover up the pain rather than treating the underlying issue, pain can become a part of daily life, making it impossible to keep up a positive outlook, disturbing family relationships, and even interfering with work. While medications have their place, they should be a last resort, not a first, and should always be temporary as you wait for true healing to be accomplished.
How Can I Get Started?
If you’re interested in how regenerative medicine can help you truly heal, contact The Guyer Institute of Molecular Medicine in Indianapolis, IN today to learn more. We believe in a personalized approach that seeks to understand how the whole body works together, physically, mentally, and emotionally, to accomplish true healing.
Our goal is a new standard of medicine: one where you are valued and respected as a patient. Come visit us and see the difference. Don’t put up with pain and dysfunction any longer when your body has the power to heal itself!