Regenerative medicine is an advanced branch of research in tissue engineering and molecular biology whereby the regeneration of human cells is achieved to restore normal function. The science dates back to the 1960s and is rapidly growing, offering benefits to many sufferers of a range of medical conditions.
For patients with chronic pain, many existing treatments are designed to help them cope with the pain without addressing the underlying damage or injury. New regenerative medicine therapies provide physicians with the ability to target the underlying problem and promote the body to heal itself.
Research in this area is developing new processes for treatment of pain conditions without an operative procedure, including arthritic pain and injuries to bodily tissues such as tendons, muscle, bone and spinal discs.
This new technology, although still in its infancy, offers fresh hope – especially for patients experiencing neck pain or lower back pain from degeneration of the discs in the vertebrae, or joint pain as a result of osteoarthritis in the knees, hips, or shoulders.
Currently, stem cell therapies use the patient’s own adult stem cells, which are extracted, purified, concentrated, and then injected into damaged tissue. This process is usually non-surgical and the patient requires very little recovery time, experiencing only mild bruising or soreness around the site of the injection with no reports of serious side-effects.
Regenerative medicine treatment protocols are relatively new and historically have very few studies documenting their effectiveness on different types of pain conditions. Improvements continue to be experienced and many believe regenerative medicine may emerge as the premier method of treating chronic pain in the future.
The benefits of using stem cell therapy or tissue engineering include:
- Faster recovery time
- Improvements in joint, ligaments, and tendon function
- No significant incisions or trauma to the area
- Very little pain or discomfort during the procedure
- No general anaesthesia required
- Renewal and repair within the joint
- Very low side-effect and allergy risk
Regenerative medicine in stem cell therapy is still in its infancy and not approved for all types of pain conditions. Your QPain specialist will help determine which treatment is right for your individual condition.
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“It’s vital to work with a physician who specialises in pain medicine to help identify the source of your pain and develop the best method of treatment.”
Dr Frank Thomas