What Is Regenerative Medicine?
Regenerative medicine. No one can quite agree on a full, precise definition of what it means and what kinds of procedures are included. But just about everyone agrees that it’s one of the most exciting developments in medicine today.
In the broadest sense of the term, regenerative medicine procedures are ones that stimulate the body’s own natural healing mechanisms (cellular growth, circulation, metabolism, etc.) to heal injured or sick tissues. This is especially exciting, because it means that regenerative medicine doesn’t just eliminate pain quickly, but it actually restores healthy tissue and fixes the problem.
Now when many doctors use the term “regenerative medicine,” they’re usually talking about injection-based therapies (often using stem cells) or even growing tissue-engineered organs outside the body and then transplanting them. However, these are not the only current technologies used to stimulate cellular regeneration and healing. In fact, we use two such treatments in our office to help patients recover from pain and injury—MLS laser therapy, and shockwave therapy.
We’ll start with the laser therapy. The MLS laser helps promote a healing response in injury and aching tissues by stimulating affected cells with light energy. (It sounds like science fiction, we know, but it really works!) This triggers the cells to begin a whole host of beneficial processes, including:
- Forming new capillaries to get more oxygen and nutrients to the injured area
- Increasing metabolism so the cells are able to use the oxygen and nutrients more efficiently
- Accelerating the tissue growth and repair processes
- Reducing pain
Shockwave therapy provides similar benefits for patients with soft tissue injuries and inflammatory conditions, albeit through a different mechanism. The device transmits guided pulses of mechanical energy (“shockwaves”) into damaged muscles, tendons, and the like. These waves “irritate” the injured tissues on a microscopic scale—not enough to really bother you, but enough for your body to kick its repair mechanisms into overdrive. As with laser therapy, this boosts circulation, stimulates metabolism, and provides the body with what it needs to heal itself.
Are you suffering constant pain in your feet or ankles? Do you need to get back on your feet fast? Have you tried everything, failed, and are now worried you might have to have surgery? If so, one of our regenerative medicine therapies might be just what you need. To learn more or to schedule an appointment with us in Wichita, please call (866) 222-5177 today.