Monday, October 23, 2017

Is PRP Effective for Treating Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow (also known as lateral epicondylitis) is a painful condition caused by repetitive movements of the arm or wrist, such as swinging a tennis racket or painting a wall. This causes the tendons to develop small tears, leading to inflammation and causing you pain.

Unfortunately, the nature of this injury means it can stick around for months. Injured tendons tend to heal very slowly, because they don’t receive as much oxygen as other parts of the body. Oxygen is transported through blood, so areas like the skin, which has plenty of blood vessels, receive enough oxygen for fast healing. Tendons, by contrast, don’t contain many blood vessels. As a result, they heal especially slowly—meaning tennis elbow can take anywhere from six months to one year to heal.

Many patients affected by tennis elbow have found that platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy has helped speed up their recovery time. This treatment is safe, minimally-invasive, and can provide lasting relief from pain.

How can PRP treat tennis elbow?

PRP provides oxygen to the body’s tendons by injecting blood platelets into the site of the injury. Platelets are small blood vessels that play an important role in the body’s natural healing process, so introducing them into the site of an injury can help stimulate and speed up recovery. It also promotes healing by supplying oxygen, through blood vessels, to the injured tendon. In other words, PRP takes blood platelets from another part of the patient’s body and transfers them to the injured area—in this case, directly to the damaged tendon in the elbow.

Since it relies on stimulating the body’s natural healing process, PRP doesn’t usually bring immediate pain relief. But over time, PRP can significantly lessen pain and increase physical function. For many patients, it also speeds up the healing process, bringing at least partial recovery after about six months—as opposed to the one-year recovery time that most patients experience.

For short-term tendon injuries, treatment is often not necessary. In the first few weeks, painkillers, rest, and some gentle exercises are usually the most effective treatments for tennis elbow. If the pain persists and the tendon appears to be degenerating, then PRP may be a viable treatment option.

PRP treatment has proven effective for many patients with tennis elbow and other joint and tendon injuries. If you would like to learn more about our alternative, cutting-edge techniques like PRP, contact us at 201-288-7246 today.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Research Suggests Stem Cell Therapy Could Relieve Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

Stem cell therapy can be highly effective for treating a wide range of spine and joint conditions, including degenerative diseases and sports injuries. But new research from Japan suggests it may also help patients living with Parkinson’s disease to manage some of their main symptoms, including shaking and loss of movement control.

With stem cell therapy, patients with Parkinson’s may be able to control their movements enough to play tennis. After successfully testing the treatment on monkeys, researchers are preparing for the first trial with human patients.

 Parkinson’s damages brain cells, which causes the brain to lose dopamine, a chemical that helps control bodily movements. In Parkinson’s patients, this leads to shaking, stiffness, slowness, dizziness, and involuntary movement. Patients find it difficult to perform basic movements, and often find they lose their balance.

Researchers were curious if stem cell therapy could help to regenerate the brain cells damaged by the disease. Using tissue from adult humans, the researchers extracted stem cells—undifferentiated cells capable of adapting to become any kind of specialized cell—and used them to manufacture new brain cells in monkeys. At the same time, the monkeys were being carefully monitored for adverse side effects.

 According to the report published in the journal Nature, the monkeys experienced a 40-55% improvement in motor skills with the introduction of the new brain cells. They also regained their balance and movement control, suggesting that this treatment could effectively relieve the main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

While stem cell therapy may be able to improve a patient’s physical capability and reduce the need for medication, it is not a cure for the disease itself. Parkinson’s also causes cognitive problems, including memory loss, which will require further study to treat.

However, this new research is a promising step forward for Parkinson’s treatment. Now that the treatment has been pronounced safe, researchers are preparing to test it on humans for the first time. If these tests yield positive results, it may be used to help patients manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Stem cell therapy has proven effective for treating a wide range of degenerative diseases, sports injuries, and back and joint pain. The treatment is safe, minimally-invasive, and has a short recovery time. To find out if stem cell therapy is right for you, contact us today.

Tips for Managing Back and Joint Pain This Fall

Now that fall is here, it’s time to dig the cozy sweaters out of the wardrobe, start raking leaves, and prepare for the weather to get cooler. You may be planning some long hikes to enjoy the leaves turning golden, gearing up for football season, or just looking forward to catching up on housework now that the kids are back at school. Whatever your plans, the last thing you need is back and joint pain sabotaging the season for you.

Common fall activities like yard work, hiking, lifting, carrying, bending, and reaching can often trigger pain in the back, knees, and shoulders. If you already experience pain in your back or joints, the season can leave you feeling sore.

Luckily, with a little extra caution, you can minimize your pain and enjoy everything fall has to offer. Here are some simple tips for managing your back and joint pain this fall.

Warm up

Before doing any physical activity like hiking, raking, or housework, be sure to warm up. Depending on which joints you’ll be putting strain on, you may want to stretch your arms and legs, bend your knees, and roll your shoulders back and forth. Put some movement into your joints and try to loosen them up a bit. Doing this for a few minutes before you start can save you from hours of discomfort later.

Don’t carry too much

Whether you’re carrying a basket of laundry up the stairs or a bag of leaves to the compost barrel, be careful not to carry too much weight. You may be tempted to save time by carrying everything in one trip, but think about your back and try not to overdo it. If you’re dead set on bringing home the biggest pumpkin in the whole patch, get someone to help you lift it into a wheelbarrow and wheel it to your car.

Lift properly

Speaking of lifting a heavy pumpkin, remember to protect your back by lifting with your knees. Stand close to the object you want to lift and bend your knees, keeping your back straight. Lift using your legs and arms—never with your back. Avoid jerking or twisting while you’re lifting, and keep the object close to you when you’re carrying it. Don’t bend at the waist to put it down—bend your knees, and lower the object with slow, controlled movements.

 Of course, if something is just too heavy for you or you already have a sore back, it never hurts to ask someone to help you lift it!

Take regular breaks

Strenuous work like raking leaves, washing the windows in your house, or reaching up to pick apples, can quickly wear you out. To combat this, stop and take a short break from time to time, or whenever you feel you need one.

Know when to stop

If your joints are telling you to stop, you might want to listen. If you feel a sharp pain in your back, it’s best to stop for the day and come back to the task later, instead of trying to power through and making your pain worse. You’ve still got a lot of fall left to enjoy, so don’t put yourself on the sidelines when the season has barely begun!

If joint pain is getting in the way of your plans for fall, you may want to consider an alternative, non-surgical treatment option. Stem Cell Therapy uses the body’s regenerative abilities to bring healing to injured or worn-down joints. Contact us today to find out if stem cell therapy can help treat your joint pain this fall.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Runner’s Knee: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Runner’s Knee: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

If your knees are sore and swollen, particularly if you live an active lifestyle, you might have developed a condition called runner’s knee. This condition affects many people, and can make it painful to walk and bend the knee.

What causes runner’s knee?
As its name suggests, runner’s knee is common among runners—but that doesn’t mean they’re the only people who can develop this condition. Runner’s knee can develop when the joint becomes irritated by repeated exercises like running, biking, walking, and bending, or when the knee sustains an injury from a blow or a fall.

Problems with the feet can also lead to runner’s knee. Feet that are hypermobile (meaning the joints move too much), flat, or have fallen arches may cause the condition. Similarly, malalignment in the bones and tight or weak quadricep muscles put pressure on the knees and may cause them to turn in or out, leading to runner’s knee.

What are the symptoms of runner’s knee?
People with runner’s knee may experience pain in front of, behind, and around the kneecap. This pain usually accompanies walking, going up or down stairs and hills, squatting, running, kneeling, or doing any other action that requires the knee to bend. Some people also experience swelling, tenderness, and a popping, cracking, or grinding sensation in and around the knee joint.

If you think you may have runner’s knee, speak to your doctor. Ignoring the condition can cause it to become worse.

Treating runner’s knee
The first step in treating runner’s knee is allowing the knee to rest. If you run, cut back on the distance and strenuousness of your workout. While you can’t avoid bending your knee altogether, stay away from any activities that require you to bend your knees often, such as squats.

Try putting ice on your knee every three to four hours for 20 to 30 minutes at a time, until the pain subsides. You may want to wrap your knee for extra support, and put your leg up on a pillow when you sit or lie down.

Medicines like ibuprofen and naproxen may help reduce the swelling and pain. If you’re on other medication, speak to your doctor before taking any drugs for your knee pain. Gentle stretches for the quadricep muscles may also help, and consider getting orthotics or arch support to help reposition your feet and ease pressure off of your knees.

Runner’s knee often stems from other issues like muscular imbalance, joint dislocation, or a fracture. At Stem Cell Therapy, we specialize in using alternative, safe, and minimally-invasive treatments to restore the body to health and relieve pain in the joints. Contact us today to find out if stem cell therapy can help with your runner’s knee.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Getting a Better Night’s Sleep with Back Pain

Getting a Better Night’s Sleep with Back Pain

If you live with back pain, getting a good night’s sleep might seem like a thing dreams are made of. You might find yourself tossing and turning for hours, struggling to get comfortable—and when you do finally doze off, you’re jolted awake by a twinge. Sadly, the more sleep you lose, the more sensitive to pain your body becomes, meaning your sleeplessness may actually cause your back pain to worsen over time.

Your body needs sleep to heal, making it more important than ever to get a solid eight hours of rest when you’re in pain. But don’t despair—it is within reach! Here are some simple tips for getting a better night’s sleep with back pain.

Change your sleeping position
When it comes to back pain, the position you sleep in can make a huge difference. Sleeping on your stomach, for instance, flattens your spine and twists your neck, both of which will only make things worse. So which position should you sleep in?

In fact, there’s no single position that’s best. Remaining in one position for too long actually increases back pain, so the best plan is to switch it up throughout the night. Try lying in a fetal position on your side, with a pillow tucked between your legs. If you prefer to sleep on your back, put a pillow beneath your knees. Or if you find sleeping on your stomach is more comfortable for you, place a pillow under the lower part of your abdomen and pelvis to minimize the strain on your back.

Sleep on a medium-firm mattress, and use one pillow
The type of mattress you sleep on is also important. If you’re able to, shop for a new mattress that feels comfortable to you—in most cases, a medium-firm mattress will do the trick. If your current mattress feels too firm, you can also try adding an egg crate mattress pad.

Sleeping on a stack of pillows puts more pressure on your neck, so try sleeping with just one. Many people with back pain find that a contoured pillow helps ease the strain on their neck.

Try to relax
You may be able to reduce nightly back pain by doing daily exercises or stretches designed to help you relax. Stress is often a big contributor to pain, so if you can, eliminate stressful situations from your day, and unwind before going to bed by doing things like reading a book or taking a relaxing bath.

Consider stem cell therapy
If you’re looking for a long-term solution to your nightly back pain, consider stem cell therapy. This regenerative treatment aims to relieve back pain by taking stem cells from the patient’s own body and injecting them directly into the site of injury to promote healing. Many people have found stem cell therapy effective for reducing their back and spinal pain, increasing their quality of life and helping them to get a better night’s sleep for good.

At Stem Cell Therapy, we specialize in safe, natural regenerative therapies. Contact us today to find out if stem cell therapy is right for you. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Is PRP Effective for Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder is a condition that makes the shoulder joint stiff and painful. It may be caused by injury or immobility, particularly if you’re unable to move your arm for a long time, such as after a fracture, surgery, or while recovering from a stroke. You also have a greater risk of developing the condition if you have diabetes, with as many as one in five diabetes patients experiencing frozen shoulder at some point in their lives.

The condition develops when the capsule (connective tissue) in the shoulder joint to become tight and thick. This can make it difficult to move the shoulder and can be very painful, especially at night. At first, the symptoms may seem minor or barely noticeable, but they typically intensify over time. While frozen shoulder generally resolves itself within one to three years, the condition often requires medical treatment and/or physical therapy.

One treatment that has prozen effective for many patients living with frozen shoulder is called Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what PRP treatment involves, and explore how it can help patients with frozen shoulder.

What is PRP?
PRP is a form of therapy used to rejuvenate the cells and encourage the body to heal itself. During the procedure, the therapist draws blood from the patient and puts it through a centrifuge in order to obtain Platelet Rich Plasma. This is a component of blood and contains a wealth of natural growth factors. When injected into the site of injury, it can stimulate the healing of damaged cells.

The therapist will usually repeat the procedure at intervals for a certain length of time to maximise the effects. They may also instruct the patient to perform certain stretching exercises after each treatment to improve flexibility in the joint.

Combatting the effects of frozen shoulder with PRP
A study published in 2016 showed that PRP is one of the most effective forms of treatment for frozen shoulder.

While many treatments for frozen shoulder have side effects, PRP has a low risk of adverse reactions. This is because the treatment uses blood extracted from the patient’s own body. As a form of therapy for frozen shoulder, it can reduce pain, restore limb function, and improve the shoulder’s range of motion more effectively than most other forms of treatment.

At Stem Cell Therapy, we use PRP to treat frozen shoulder and similar conditions. Our minimally-invasive methods employ the body’s natural healing processes to bring about restoration and rejuvenation. Get in touch today to find out if PRP can be effective for you.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Ankle Pain? Your Summer Shoes Might be Causing It

When the sun comes out, so do the flip-flops, sandals, and bare feet. But as great as it feels to let your toes see the sun for a change, many summer shoes fail to provide the support your feet and ankles need. In fact, if you’ve been experiencing ankle pain along with the warmer weather, there’s a good chance that your summer shoes are the culprits.

The right footwear can help stave off pain or prevent existing problems from worsening. Here are a few shoes to leave at home this summer for healthier, stronger ankles.

Flip-flops: your ankles’ nemesis
Flip-flops are fine for short distances, like walking to the pool and back. They’re also better for your feet than wearing no shoes at all. But walking in them for longer distances can have a bit impact on your ankles.

For one thing, flip-flops offer virtually no support and very little cushioning. This puts unnecessary strain on your ankles, and can lead to plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis—two conditions that make walking very painful.

Flip-flops also have a nasty habit of slipping out from under your feet, making it easier to sprain or even break your ankle. If you’re prone to falls, it’s best to avoid them altogether.

If you do want to wear flip-flops this summer, look for a pair with cushioning and thick soles. Wear them sparingly, and swap them out for shoes that provide better support when you know you’ll be walking far.

The truth about sandals
You might think sandals would be easier on your feet than flip-flops. In some cases, they are—but the type of sandal you choose can make all the difference. Unfortunately, sandals with flat, thin bottoms and very few straps holding them in place can be just as bad as flip-flops.

When choosing sandals, always opt for a pair with multiple straps (preferably adjustable ones) for maximum support. Ideally, your sandals will have heel and ankle straps, as well as straps across the front of your feet. They should also have arch support and a thick sole so your feet will have more cushioning.

The hidden cost of wearing flats
While flats stabilize your feet better than flip-flops do, they still don’t provide much support, especially for the arches.

As with flip-flops, wearing flats occasionally over short distances is unlikely to do any lasting damage to your ankles. Just don’t plan to go hiking in them!

Why heels are not your friends
High heels and wedges might be fashionable, but these styles rarely offer much in the way of stability. Your risk of falling or twisting your ankle is much greater, and you’re forced to put all your weight on the balls of your feet, leading to pain.

Wearing shoes with lower, wider heels helps to balance the weight of your feet and prevent problems down the road. You may also want to choose heels with rubber soles, which provide extra stability. But in general, heels should be worn in moderation.

Looking after your ankles and feet
Whatever style of shoes you prefer, always make sure they fit comfortably, and try to avoid uneven ground like gravel pathways when out for a walk. Consider investing in a pair of athletic sneakers or heel inserts to give you the support you need.

Don’t let ankle pain plague your summer. Stem Cell Therapy provides cutting-edge regenerative medicine that can help your body heal itself. With our safe and minimally-invasive treatments, many patients have experienced long-lasting relief from pain. Contact us today to find out if Stem Cell Therapy is right for you.