Innovative and exciting new therapies are emerging from the ability to accentuate the natural healing mechanisms of the body. While these advances are still in their infancy, there is a promise of exciting new treatments for painful conditions in the future.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
Developed in the 1970’s, this therapy harnesses the healing properties of one’s own blood cells to stimulate soft tissue healing and relieve pain.
Platelets within the blood have significant regenerative properties that also draw upon the help of stem cells. This interventional therapy involves harvesting the patient’s own blood. Once the blood is collected it is spun in a centrifuge to yield a concentrated solution of platelets. This highly concentrated solution is then immediately injected into the treatment area. PRP essentially activates the body’s own healing and regenerating response.
PRP has applications in painful musculoskeletal conditions such as spinal, sacroiliac and knee osteoarthritis. The treatment is useful in areas of the body where blood supply is limited, which prevents the body from being able to heal itself. PRP injections can bypass the inhibited vascular access and target the direct site of pain.
Stem Cell Therapy
This branch of Regenerative Medicine aims to utilise the restorative potential of stem cells on diseased, dysfunctional or damaged tissues. Stem cells have the ability to transform into various tissues and can potentially change the course of the underlying condition in a number of painful syndromes. Research is rapidly advancing in this field, and the potential for promising treatment options for chronic pain patients is immense. Naturally, as safety and efficacy studies are ongoing, stem cell therapies for pain are not yet supported by a significant weight of evidence.
The following TED Talk by Alan Russell provides some interesting insights into the potential of Regenerative Medicine:
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. Northern Pain Centre can facilitate you obtaining a second opinion. Please discuss this with us.