Do you undergo discomfort, swelling, and immobility in addition to the devastating joint pain? Usually, people think that joint pain can occur only in the shoulder, knee, and hip. However, that is not right. You get joint pain even in the thumb, ankle, wrist, foot, and toe as well.
This article aims to explain more about joint pain, the gaps in treatment, and the latest advances in non-surgical treatment.
Joint pain – Overview
The joint region is surrounded by a cushioning agent named cartilage. As you grow older, the cartilage may weaken and break down. Therefore, the bones will rub each other while doing any joint movements. The outcome? You will experience joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and difficulty in a range of motion.
Joint pain is the most common condition that occurs due to injuries or aging. Its risk factors include gender, weight gain, heredity, aging, and joint injuries.
Currently, there is no ultimate cure for joint pain. The available treatments such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), physical therapy, and steroid injections were focused only on symptomatic relief from pain. However, prolonged administration of NSAIDs and steroids provides only temporary relief from symptoms and leads to significant side effects. Hence, continuous research on non-surgical treatments is still ongoing that can offer long-lasting effects with no side effects.
Regenerative medicine appears to be the natural and minimally invasive treatment for your painful joint pain. Currently, it is the apple of every researcher’s eye. Let us learn how regenerative medicine could be an effective alternative joint pain treatment option:
What is Regenerative Treatment?
Regenerative treatment helps in accelerating the repair and regrowth of the injured tissues in your body.
Compared to other traditional methods such as medications, physical therapy, steroid injections, and surgery, regenerative medicine offers permanent relief from symptoms. Additionally, it does not cause any adverse side effects.
Regenerative medicine heals the underlying cause of the condition instead of only masking the symptoms, unlike other traditional methods.
Regenerative treatment can be administered in five types:
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
- Cellular therapy
- Combinational therapy
- GOLDIC therapy
All these methods are very effective against joint pain.
Prolotherapy involves the injection of natural compounds into the damaged area to promote the body’s natural healing mechanism, which in turn repairs, proliferates, and regrows the affected tissues.
You can find a drastic slowdown in the development of joint pain, followed by relief from pain, stiffness, difficulty in movements, and muscle spasms.
Hence, it is a safe and non-surgical method that can promote healing in the ligament, tendon, as well as muscle tissues. Even a 2022 review article revealed that prolotherapy is a safe treatment option for improving pain, function, and quality of life .
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
There is a common observation of the worsening of joint pain conditions among patients by the time they diagnose and seek treatment. Even the degree of tissue damage will go beyond the body’s natural ability to self-healing.
Self-healing is possible only if the body secretes adequate growth factors to repair and regrow the damaged tissues. What if the body doesn’t secrete enough growth factors? This is where PRP helps!
The injection of PRP (Platelet-rich plasma) releases growth factors from blood platelets to amplify the body’s natural healing capacity for healing the damaged area and its regrowth.
PRP preparation is not a herculean task. Extract the blood from the patient’s body and centrifuge the same for separation into multiple layers. One of the three layers will be the PRP layer. Take out that PRP segment and inject it directly into the damaged area.
The growth factors released from PRP can accelerate the body’s healing mechanism quickly and efficiently. Thus, the patient will get quick relief from joint pain problems without any adverse side effects.
A 2022 research study reported that PRP injections could be an effective conservative treatment to reduce pain, improve functional scores, and improve quality of life .
Stem cell therapy
What are stem cells? They are primitive non-specialized cells that can develop into any specific cell type like nerve cells or muscle cells by division and cell propagation procedure.
Hence, people who suffer from severe degenerative joint pain can opt for stem cell therapy as it could turn out to be a great life-changer treatment option.
Physicians derive stem cells from adipose cells and mesenchymal cells like bone marrow aspirate concentrate for joint pain treatment.
Let us see how stem cell therapy works. Extract the non-specialized stem cells from the donor. Or else, it is possible to extract these stem cells from the patient’s own bone marrow and fatty tissue. After harvesting the derived stem cells, inject them into the damaged area so that they will help the patient’s body to heal and regrow new tissue quickly.
A 2022 research article reported that a combination of bone marrow aspirate concentrate and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells was safe and effective with better outcomes in patients with joint pain .
Combinational regenerative therapy
At times, combinational therapy is more effective than standalone therapies. Stem cell therapy can be combined with PRP therapy to accelerate the entire regeneration procedure. However, only the specialist can determine whether you are eligible for combinational therapy depending on the severity of the condition.
A 2022 research study revealed that PRP therapy in combination with physiotherapy can offer quick and better outcomes with significant improvement in pain for a prolonged duration compared to PRP therapy alone .
GOLDIC denotes ‘Gold Induced Cytokines’. This procedure involves the contact between specially designed gold particles and the patient’s endogenous blood cells outside the body. This contact helps in producing growth factors, cytokines, and gelsolin proteins.
The secretion of gelsolin protein can develop stem cells into cartilage, reduce inflammation, as well as activate the patient’s natural healing mechanism without any complications.
In this procedure, the physicians extract the venous blood from the patient, transfer it into specially designed tubes with gold particles, and incubate them for 24 hours for gelsolin production. After 24 hours, centrifuge this sample to get the enhanced serum in concentrated form. Like the above therapies, inject this enhanced serum into the affected region to promote recovery.
A 2021 clinical trial revealed that GOLDIC therapy is a novel conservative treatment that can deliver faster and sustained improvement in pain with no serious adverse events .
Stop joint pain in its tracks
Currently, you might have tried all the alternative non-surgical treatment options for joint pain. Since there is no permanent relief from joint pain along with the fear of side effects, you must be looking for an alternative. However, you don’t want to directly proceed with surgery.
If you have undergone conservative methods like medications and steroid treatment, or are on the verge of choosing surgery, hold on. Make sure to try regenerative medicine.
As mentioned already, this alternative treatment to surgery will not cause adverse complications. Moreover, this regenerative treatment can provide long-term relief from all symptoms.
We assure you that you need not have to go through your entire life in pain. Since we offer PRP therapy, prolotherapy, and cellular therapy either in combination or as a standalone treatment, contact our Medica Stem Cells Clinic.
Schedule an appointment right away with our medical experts and we are here to serve you with utmost satisfaction. You can call our Medica Stem Cells clinic in London at 020 8 168 2000 or in Ireland at 01 298 8000. Better late than never!