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Regenerative Medicine

Who Can Benefit from Regenerative Medicine?

Regenerative medicine is not new, in recent years, it has advanced incredibly and there are techniques which enable your own body to become a resource for the healing process. This means that there is relief from pain and it can help overcome disabilities. In fact, it may help a great many people to recover from various serious health conditions.

Benefit from Regenerative Medicine

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Nerve damage
  • Degenerative discs
  • Facet joint disease

 

Although regenerative medicine is still thought of as a relatively new field, it has already been proven to offer pain relief by accelerating the body’s healing process. It has a clear advantage over more common treatments in that it is using your own body cells to act as the nucleus for the treatment. By doing so, it lessens the chances of rejection as this is a common problem when introducing objects or cells that are alien to the body.

 

Regenerative medicine is almost certainly going to be on the front line for anti-aging treatments and the future is very exciting for this breakthrough in medical science. For now, it has proven to be extremely valuable in repairing and rebuilding damaged cartilage or bone.

 

How long before I become active again?

 

For anyone who is hoping to have this treatment, recovery will depend on the type and extensiveness of the damage but in general a 4 to 6-week recovery is to be expected.  The fact that this is a minimally invasive treatment and that it uses your own cells to help rebuild tissue – it aids a super- fast recovery and with outstanding results.

 

Is it painful?

 

Some soreness is likely after the operation but during the process, the area will be numbed. Once mobility returns and stiffness disappears then, all thoughts of discomfort during or immediately after the operation will quickly become forgotten. Expert medical professionals will have a pain management plan in place, but the recovery process is fairly quick anyway.

How Exercise Can Help Combat Foot Arthritis?

 Foot Arthritis

Have you been struggling to walk in late? Have you experienced aches and pains in the ankle or foot? If yes, you may have foot arthritis. Osteoarthritis is one type of arthritis caused by wear and tear to the joint. You may find that the joint starts to swell and in time, there may be some deformity. Arthritis is an umbrella term for one hundred or more diseases which affects the joints. Translated, arthritis simply means joint inflammation although, for many people, the word arthritis incites fear as these conditions have the potential to impact life on many levels.

 

Unfortunately, arthritis can be extremely painful, especially when affecting weight-bearing joints. The bones begin to grate against each other and this leads to the soft tissues of the joints also breaking down. Osteoarthritis is often associated with age. It’s certainly the most common of the arthritic conditions and is a degenerative disease.

 

Taking control of osteoarthritis.

 

Although seeking medical advice is paramount, there is much that can be done to keep osteoarthritis at bay. This includes exercising the joints to keep mobility. It is important to be gentle and to only exercise as much as you can without feeling pain. The joint may feel stiff and inflexible but, do this several times a day at least. Any movement is better than none. It is so important to retain as much flexibility as is possible. Yoga as an exercise system can ensure flexibility of the whole body and works well to combat arthritis generally and it will certainly help alleviate the potential for future joint pain.

 

The following are specific exercises to help offset the potential for foot arthritis and these include:

 

  • Toe pull – place an elastic band around all the toes and then, working against the resistance of the band, spread your toes wide. Repeat this up to 10 times.
  • Toe curl – If you have small circular objects or, marbles, spend some time trying to pick the marbles up using your toes only.
  • Achilles stretch – Standing up, place your palms flat on the wall and then, lean towards the wall. Place one foot back and one forward. Both heels should be on the floor and this stretches the calf muscles and Achilles tendon. Repeat three times.
  • Ankle alphabet – Sitting in a chair, place both feet flat on the floor. Lift the foot with arthritis from the floor and with your foot extended, try to slowly trace all the letters of the alphabet. Repeat this on the other foot too even if there is no sign of arthritis.

 

Look after your feet.

 

When you have osteoarthritis, comfort will suddenly mean everything. You must look for shoes that provide support and that fit properly.

 

  • Choose rubber soles for extra cushioning
  • Make sure the shoe is flexible
  • Ensure that the fit is correct
  • Avoid slip-on shoes

 

On a day to day basis, there is much that you can do to stop osteoarthritis from becoming worse. But, it is important to have a medical assessment to ensure that the condition is monitored. Arthritis can be a progressive condition and pain management is important as well as treatment to prevent it from becoming worse. Physical therapy may be useful to work alongside your exercise regime and you can also use arch supports or pads to help support your feet when walking.

 

There are many different types of medical treatments available and this will be discussed in full when you have your doctor’s appointment. It is worth considering stem cell therapy if offered as it has been providing excellent results for arthritic joints. Degenerative diseases now tend to heal much quicker and stem cell therapy promotes natural healing because it promotes the repair of tissues within the joints, thereby increasing mobility and flexibility.

Coping with Painful Elbow Arthritis

Painful Elbow Arthritis

Elbow arthritis is not as common as arthritis that affects other joints. The hands, hips, and knees tend to suffer more but the disease is still very painful in this area of the body and in some ways, can be more damaging to everyday functions, especially if both elbows are attacked.

Three types of arthritis may affect the elbow.

• Osteoarthritis
• Rheumatoid
• Post-traumatic

Osteoarthritis is relatively uncommon in the elbow joints but can cause much in the way of misery as it tends to make straightening out the joint very painful. Often linked to sports or heavy repetitive labor, it has a simple wear and tears effect on the joint. It would normally only be active in the one elbow that had the most strain.

Rheumatoid arthritis is the main culprit when it comes to elbow arthritis and can be extremely painful. It also can be even worse because it can affect both elbows at the same time, making normal daily activities awkward and painful. There is usually swelling with rheumatoid arthritis and this increases the pressure on the joint. It has a far-reaching effect on daily life.

Post-traumatic arthritis is where some trauma has damaged the elbow in the past and arthritis has set in. A dislocation or a fracture can often lead to torn and damaged cartilage and painful arthritis can develop from that.

Most people tend to cope with elbow arthritis better than when the lower body joints have been attacked, this is because elbows are rarely weight-bearing and most activities do not require the complete range of movement. Carrying a dinner plate from the kitchen to another room can be done with a locked elbow but if walking, the leg joint still needs to bear the full weight. That said, it is important to not detract from the pain and anxiety elbow arthritis can cause.

So, what can be done to help or cure elbow arthritis?

The first port of call in the treatment of any form of arthritis will be medication to ease the swelling and to block some of the pain. You may be experiencing some of the symptoms listed below:
• Locking of the elbow joint
• Swelling around the joint
• A grinding sensation when straightening the elbow out
• An inability to gain the full range of movements

Physical therapy will help to give back some movement and, steroid injections can ease the pain, but relief will not last long. If patients are not responding well to pain medication or treatment, surgery is often the next step. The removal of degenerated cartilage is often carried out, but a complete replacement of the joint is quite often the only option.

Stem cell therapy is now a very effective way of treating all degenerative diseases that affect joints. There are very few side effects with this kind of treatment as the body is basically being used to treat itself. Stem cells are taken from one part of the body and introduced to the damaged area. Stems cells promote healing growth and this treatment has been very successful in treating elbow arthritis.

This treatment is becoming more successful every year and may well be the way forward in the future of dealing with arthritis.

Postherpetic Neuralgia Pain Relief – The Options for Recovery

If you have shingles, it’s daunting to know that you may be one of the unlucky ones who develop a long-lasting nerve pain which occurs due to the varicella-zoster virus responsible for both shingles and chicken pox. If you do, know that it can take up to a year to recover fully and even longer for some people. The pain and discomfort are caused by inflammation of the nerves beneath the skin and postherpetic neuralgia pain relief will play an important role in recovery, enabling you to live as normal a life as is possible.  This complication occurs when the nerve fibers are damaged and so, the messages from your skin to the brain become confused and therefore pain can be ongoing, chronic and at times, excruciating.

Postherpetic Neuralgia Pain TreatmentSymptoms

Although it is unclear as to why some shingles sufferers develop postherpetic neuralgia, the symptoms are certainly unpleasant as pain may be continuous. This is difficult to deal with and usually affects the areas of the body where shingles first occurred, usually on one side of the body in the trunk area but, it can also occur on the face. Symptoms include itching which may seem unbearable at times but also, a burning, stabbing pain similar to an electric shock. Even the lightest of touches can feel painful as your skin becomes ultra-sensitive. Those who are over 60-years of age appear to be particularly vulnerable.

 

Pain Relief

Pain relief is of the utmost importance. It’s certainly easy to feel stressed and weakened by the ongoing pain. Some people also experience feelings of depression. Unfortunately, the usual ‘over the counter’ pain medications will not be strong enough and where necessary, your doctor can prescribe amitriptyline or nortriptyline which will help to target any feelings of depression but, some anti-depressants are also useful for pain relief. Lidocaine or capsaicin skin patches may alleviate any pain experienced for up to 3 months and this will at least afford you some relief from the ongoing pain. If this is not strong enough, there is the potential for opioid drugs but of course, these will only be prescribed where absolutely necessary as there are concerns as to their addictive nature. As an alternative, electrical nerve stimulators could be used but this is a treatment that would be discussed with you if the pain is very severe.

 

Stem Cells as a Potential Solution

As there is no definitive cure for postherpetic neuralgia, it’s wise to consider all options. Stem cells have been used in treatments for a great many years, but these treatments have really come to the fore in recent years.  For postherpetic neuralgia, this is timely as it is traditionally very difficult to treat as it is akin to neuropathic pain. Stem cells, as primitive cells can develop into the cells needed to help regeneration. As we grow older, it is difficult to attract sufficient stem cells to the body parts that needs it, and this is why the cells are injected directly into the area that needs it and they have the potential to actually replace those damaged nerve cells. The results are highly encouraging.

 

Regenerative Healing for Ankle Arthritis with Stem Cell Therapy

Rheumatoid arthritis painPeople often don’t think about arthritis affecting the ankle joints but, if you have experienced it, you will know that it is extremely painful. As a weight-bearing joint, it makes sense that movement will be restricted. The joint will become stiff, swollen and, pain may be intense. Arthritis of any joint is unpleasant, to say the least, but when it affects the weight-bearing joints, it impacts life greatly. Diagnosis is paramount as there are many different types of arthritis. Two of the most common arthritic conditions are detailed below:

  • Osteoarthritis – often known as the wear and tear arthritis as it breaks down cartilage and this causes the bones to grate against each other. It is an unpleasant sensation and leads to stiffness and a loss of movement. Although in the foot region, it is the big toe most commonly affected, it can also affect the ankle joint.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – this is an auto-immune disease where the immune system attacks the synovium, which is the membrane that lines the joints. This leads to pain, inflammation, and damage to the joint. It’s a debilitating disease and ankle arthritis is common.

 

The Effect on Life

Arthritis has a far-reaching effect. Although the level of pain will vary, the stiffness of the joints, reduced mobility and a loss of independence is enough to make anyone feel fearful. Feelings of isolation, emotional turmoil and even depression could occur. Anyone who is awaiting a diagnosis or treatment, for an arthritic condition is likely to need a great deal of support. In the main, through treatment and pain management, arthritis is controllable and with regenerative treatments such as stem cells, there’s a great deal of hope that the degenerative aspect will slow or reduced.

 

Self-help

Prevention is always a better option than cure and if you are just experiencing ankle arthritis joint pain, consider changing footwear so that they offer more support. Some shoes, high-heels or those that do not protect the heel can cause the foot to roll inwards which will not help the ankle at all. Try to find shoes with built-in shock absorption. Keep your ankles as flexible as is possible. Rotate the ankle joints and bend and flex the feet. Be gentle while you are doing this. The idea is to sustain as much flexibility as is possible.

Medication

It’s important to treat pain and the goal will be to slow down bone loss, reduce inflammation and prevent damage to the joint. Medication prescribed will vary of course depending on the type of arthritis that is diagnosed.

  • Non-steroidal drugs to reduce inflammation. These are useful for pain management
  • Corticosteroids – these act quickly and work to control inflammation.
  • Analgesics – these are purely for pain relief
  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) – these modify the disease and work at a much slower rate than the other medications.
  • Osteoporosis medication – will slow down the loss of bone and can help build new bone.

 

Treatment

There are many options for treatment, but this will depend on the individual and the severity of the symptoms. If an early diagnosis is given, arthroscopic surgery removes unwanted tissue and outgrowths from the bone. In some (rare) situations, joint replacement surgery may be necessary. For many people, there’s a more viable option, that of stem cell therapy. It’s an efficient streamlined process that uses the person’s own cells and these are injected into the joint.

There are many benefits to using stem cells as they produce anti-inflammatory agents which can greatly help the joint. They also help lubricate the joint through the secretion of hyaluronic acid and can help repair and regenerate the ankle too So, for anyone worrying about ankle arthritis, seek medical advice but remain open to the potential for stem cell therapy.

R3 Stem Cell Founder Appears on Longstanding Radio Show Stepping In

For over 20 years, Nurse Jackie Tucker has been the host of Stepping In on KSCO in Santa Cruz CA. She discusses current healthcare topics with respected members of the healthcare community nationwide.

When R3 Stem Cell Founder and CEO David Greene, MD, MBA was asked to participate with Jackie on a recent show, he immediately said yes. “This is information people really want to hear, and Jackie’s got a great audience. She’s very professional and her reputation is stellar, so it took me about a nanosecond to say yes!”

Jackie asked questions about PRP and stem cell therapy, including applicability to several conditions. Amniotic stem cell therapy was discussed, along with opportunities for stem cell therapy to treat arthritis, tendonitis, burns, COPD, kidney failure and Alzheimer’s. The show lasted almost an hour.

To hear the entire show, simply click below!

Innovative Therapy for Pain on Inside of Elbow

Inflammation of the tendon (tendonitis) is the most common cause of golfers and tennis elbow (pain on inside of elbow and outside of the elbow, respectively). The reason why golfers and tennis elbow occur is due to repetitive movements where the tendons around the elbow persistently rub over the bony aspects of the joint. This occurs when performing activities such as swinging a golf club or tennis racquet, or when performing normal activities such as shaking hands, opening a door, or lifting up objects.

Pain on inside of elbow - Elbow TendonitisSigns and symptoms of elbow tendonitis    

Elbow tendonitis can be an extremely painful condition that can cause disability in patients to the point where they cannot perform their normal daily activities.

Affected individuals will complain of severe pain over the inside or outside aspects of the elbow, depending on which tendons are affected, and this can be associated with tenderness and swelling of the joint. There may also be limited mobility of the elbow with a decreased range of motion. Pain in the joint may also refer up and/or down the arm, with pain being experienced in the shoulder and/or wrist joints, respectively.

Management of elbow tendonitis

Elbow tendonitis can heal by itself with supportive measures such as resting the limb of the affected joint, applying cold compresses to the tender area, and by using an elbow support or strap. Resting the wrist joint is actually part of the protocol of golfer’s and tennis elbow treatments because when this joint is rested, the muscle and tendons in the forearm rest and can recover over a shorter period of time. Anti-inflammatory medications are used to help offer pain relief by reducing the inflammatory response in the tendons of the affected elbow.

If these conservative golfer and tennis elbow treatments are not effective, then physical therapy and even surgery may be indicated. Before surgery is warranted though, innovative therapies can be initiated.

Platelet-rich plasma and stem cell therapy

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), derived from the patient’s own blood, is a safe and effective therapy in the treatment of elbow tendonitis. The PRP is administered to the patient via an injection and this promotes tissue repair in the damaged tendon. This process involves the platelet cells stimulating the release of growth factor and stem cells from the body which is essential for tissue repair and natural healing.

Stem cells derived from the bone marrow were used in a previous study that demonstrated the usefulness of surgery followed by stem cell administration for managing severe and persistent cases of tennis elbow. The outcomes of the patients who were administered stem cells were an early return to daily activities following surgery, and a reduction in complications on their follow-up visits. Tendon repair was evident when the tissue was observed through ultrasound techniques.

Stem cells have also been derived from adipose (fat) tissue. These cells take longer to be harvested from adipose tissue, but they can be stored and used at a later stage. The stem cells collected from fat are, like PRPs, derived from the patient and does not involve the harvesting cells from embryos.

Stem Cell Therapy for Wound Healing

Nonhealing wounds due to venous leg ulcers or diabetic neuropathy can lead to systemic infection or osteomyelitis, which can result in the need for amputation. Fortunately, treatment with amniotic membrane has been shown to work significantly better than traditional treatments. While the membrane itself has no stem cells in it, there are significant amounts of growth factors. A lot of wound physicians will inject amniotic fluid around the sides of the wound as well to assist with wound closure too!

 

FAQs on Stem Cell Procedures for Elbow Tendonitis

Stem cell procedures are an excellent method to treat elbow tendonitis thanks to the natural repair and regeneration. Be it tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow, tendonitis is traced to chronic inflammation of an elbow tendon. Stem cell therapy can relieve pain in the short term and restore the damaged tendon in the long term.

What are stem cells?

Stem cells differ from all other cells in our body due to their ability to become most other cells. These cells replicate into cells found in the part of the elbow painbody where these are injected.

What is the source of stem cells used to treat elbow tendonitis?

Stem cells are sourced from the bone marrow, fat cells, or from amniotic fluid.

Fat and bone marrow are harvested from the patient him or herself. Amniotic fluid is harvested from a consenting mother after a scheduled c-section.

How does stem cell therapy treat elbow tendonitis?

Elbow tendonitis encompasses two types of injuries – tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) and golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) – both have their origin in tendinitis or degeneration of musculature leading to chronic inflammation of elbow tendons. Tennis elbow occurs in the outer tendons, while golfer’s elbow affects the inner tendons.

Stem cells injected into the area of the injured tendon help to repair and regenerate the damage by converting into tendon cells, while also promoting new blood vessel formation.

How successful is stem cell therapy to treat elbow tendonitis?

Stem cell procedures for elbow tendonitis are popular with both golfers and tennis players.

  • A study carried out by the Jefferson-based Rothman Institute showed 61% of those treated with stem cell therapy for tennis elbow had significant improvement in pain and tenderness compared to 50% in the non-stem cell group over a period of 24 weeks.
  • A study attributed to researchers from South Florida attests the fact that stem cell procedures for elbow tendonitis brings down pain considerably and improves disability.
  • A Stanford University study published in 2006 claims 93% improvement in chronic elbow tendonitis when stem cell procedures are used.
  • A 2012 study reported 66% percent more pain relief from stem cell therapy compared to corticosteroid injections.

What are the advantages of stem cell therapy for elbow tendonitis compared to other treatments?tennis elbow

  • Healing by the human body itself
  • Non-invasive and no need for surgery
  • Complete and fast recovery
  • Outpatient procedure
  • Nonsteroidal

How are stem cells to treat elbow tendonitis harvested?

Stem cells used to treat elbow tendonitis are harvested from the bone marrow or one’s fat (adipose). The procedure takes about half an hour.

Amniotic fluid is obtained from consenting  mothers after a scheduled c-section. The fluid is then processed at an FDA regulated lab and cryogenically frozen until it’s time for the procedure. There are no rejection issues as the fluid is immunologically privileged.

How is the stem cell therapy for elbow tendonitis performed?

The skin above the tendon causing pain is numbed and stem cells are injected into the area. Often times, the needle is also used to “poke holes” in the bone too so bleeding is stimulated for repair. These stem cells start to multiply themselves soon after being injected. These new cells replace the old and damaged cells and anchor the repair job. The process goes on for months.maxresdefault

What are post-procedure cautions to be followed?

You may have to use an elbow sling for a day. Activity should be limited for approximately 48 hours, then resumed as tolerated.

What are the side effects of stem cell procedures for elbow tendonitis?

Complications are unusual and may include infection, bleeding or soreness.

Do I need more than one stem cell procedures for elbow tendonitis?

Patients usually need one stem cell procedure to treat elbow tendonitis. However, at times a second procedure may be necessary for optimal relief.

 

References

Singh A, Gangwar DS, Singh S. Bone marrow injection: A novel treatment for tennis elbow. Journal of Natural Science, Biology, and Medicine. 2014;5(2):389-391.

Lui PPY. Stem cell technology for tendon regeneration: current status, challenges, and future research directions. Stem Cells and Cloning : Advances and Applications. 2015;8:163-174.

Carvalho A de M, Badial PR, Álvarez LEC, et al. Equine tendonitis therapy using mesenchymal stem cells and platelet concentrates: a randomized controlled trial. Stem Cell Research & Therapy. 2013;4(4):85.

Ho JO, Sawadkar P, Mudera V. A review on the use of cell therapy in the treatment of tendon disease and injuries. Journal of Tissue Engineering. 2014;5:2041731414549678.

Young M. Stem Cell Applications in Tendon Disorders: A Clinical Perspective. Stem Cells International. 2012;2012:637836.

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