Chronic pain is a problem that’s often difficult to treat. In some cases, it’s due to degenerative disease — problems such as arthritis where the rate of deterioration exceeds the speed at which your body can rebuild itself.
Conventional treatments often start with pain management to mask the symptoms of your condition, perhaps combined with other therapies to slow the rate of deterioration. This approach can seem effective in the early days, but you may face side effects and diminishing results from pain medications.
Dr. Franz Jones and his team frequently recommend regenerative medicine approaches that involve biologics — treatments that include natural substances that enhance your body’s healing ability. Ideal complements to many other therapies, biologics can help you heal from within and reduce your dependence on pharmaceuticals, which create their own problems.
What are biologics?
Any medical treatment derived from natural organisms and or natural tissues falls under the category of biologics. Bone marrow transplants, long used as a treatment for leukemia, is an excellent example of both a biologic agent and a regenerative medicine technique.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell (or cellular based) therapies are two emerging treatment protocols that are classed as biologics. Both help to bolster the healing abilities of your body, reducing pain and inflammation, potentially slowing or reversing the progress of degenerative diseases, and speeding healing of musculoskeletal injuries.
Platelets are known for their ability to clot blood and start healing injuries. Along with clotting factors, platelets also carry growth hormones, chemical messengers that guide the healing process. Platelet-rich plasma is all natural — derived from your own blood, which is separated to produce a concentrated platelet filled serum.
Injected into the site of an injury or into a deteriorating joint by a PRP specialist, the serum adds a refreshing splash of resources to the healing process. Many joints, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage are tissues that have limited blood supplies under normal conditions.
A PRP injection does what your blood vessels can’t in terms of supplying an abundance of platelets to those tissues. For many patients, this means less pain and greater mobility, not to mention reduced dependence on conventional pain medications.
Your body has cells that serve as the raw material of body repairs. Popularly referred to as ‘stem cells’, they have few distinct characteristics of their own, but when acted on by messengers of the body, including the growth hormones in platelets, these versatile cells can make copies of themselves as well as convert into the type of tissue needed for body repairs.
Stem cells, too, can be harvested from your own body — often from bone marrow but potentially also from other tissue, such as fat cells — before relocation to the site of a body repair.
Stem cells and PRP are often used in conjunction because the therapies work together to speed body healing.
To find out more about biologic treatments and how they can help you heal, contact Dr. Franz Jones by phone or online at the nearest of his three locations. Scheduling an informational consultation may be the first step toward an effectively revised treatment plan. Book your appointment today.