Arthritis is a collection of painful conditions that affect the joints, and traditional treatments may help you manage the pain somewhat, but they can’t restore tissue or halt the progression of joint deterioration. Read on to learn about a few revolutionary new arthritis treatments that can improve your function and restore your quality of life.
Types of arthritis
Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, occurs when the cartilage at your joints degrades due to normal wear-and-tear. When this cushioning cartilage wears away, bone rubs against bone and those bones no longer glide smoothly. This causes pain and stiffness, especially as the condition causes bony spurs to form around the joint and other connective tissues become weak.
In the past, management of osteoarthritis involved medications, gentle movement, and other lifestyle adjustments. You might find a little relief from these treatments, but the degradation of your joints would continue as the disease progressed.
Rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory issue in the lining of the joints, can also cause pain and swelling that eventually causes dysfunction and poor quality of life. Medications and lifestyle changes may ease rheumatoid symptoms, but they won’t heal the condition.
What is regenerative medicine?
Both major types of arthritis can benefit from revolutionary medical treatments that fall under the umbrella of regenerative medicine. This branch of medicine focuses on ways to replace, repair, or regenerate damaged human tissue naturally.
Regenerative medicine uses your body’s own capacity for healing. Your stem cells, platelets, and amniotic fluids, which are all rich in growth factors, can be injected into arthritic joints to ease inflammation and prompt the development of new, healthier cells.
Regenerative medicine offers long-term pain relief and faster healing and recovery when compared to surgical interventions. The procedures are quick, simple, and require no blood loss or risk of infection. Joints such as the elbows, knees, and shoulders respond best to regenerative treatments.
Stem cell therapy
Your stem cells have the capacity to develop into any type of cell, depending on your body’s needs. When harvested from your own fat, these cells are purified and injected, along with a compound that encourages them to turn into new cartilage, into arthritic joints.
Stem cells are a quality treatment for people with early joint damage, but also for men and women who have advanced osteoarthritis and have little cartilage remaining.
Stem cell therapy may be effective against rheumatoid arthritis, because these specialized cells alter the way the body’s immune system works and adjust the inflammatory response. This reduces the pain and swelling characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy
Platelets are components of your blood that contain healing growth factors. When these growth factors target an injured, arthritic joint, they prompt fast healing. A sample of your own blood is used to create the platelet-rich plasma. Your doctor spins down the blood in a centrifuge to form the platelet-rich compound and injects it into your arthritic joints.
Inflamed, arthritic joints can often benefit from amniotic injections, which contain many lipids, multipotent cells, hyaluronic acid, and cytokines that foster fetal growth. When these injections are administered to arthritic joints, your body creates new tissue, pain is reduced, and inflammation subsides.
You might think of amniotic injections as an alternative to corticosteroid injections, which do relieve pain temporarily but contribute to further cartilage degradation in the long-term. Regenerative amniotic injections are a safer, more permanent therapy for arthritic joints.
Explore the potential of regenerative medicine for your arthritis pain and dysfunction at Coastal Empire Orthopedics in Savannah, Georgia. Call the office or book online for a consultation and to learn more.