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Myths and Facts About Regenerative Medicine

Myths and Facts About Regenerative Medicine

Practically every medical field these days is excited by the prospect of regenerative medicine, whether it’s to resolve an achy knee or fight back the signs of aging. 

If you’re, understandably, still a little bit in the dark about this burgeoning approach to health and healing, the team here at Valliant Life Medical wants to shed some light on regenerative medicine.

Here, we discuss a few of the myths and facts surrounding regenerative medicine to help you better understand how the practice may play a valuable role in your health and wellness.

Growing a new tail

When a lizard loses its tail, it grows a new one in very little time thanks to the animal’s powerful regenerative capabilities. By turning on a certain gene sequence, a wide range of cells jump into action to recreate the missing appendage.

Humans, too, have regenerative abilities, but not on the same level as our lizard friends. For example, when you cut yourself, your body’s regenerative powers work to stop the bleeding and then set off a wound-healing cascade that regrows cells in the area to heal the breach in your tissues.

The brass ring of science is to bridge the gap between humans and lizards to unlock the genetic recipe for healing tissues and organs and restoring function lost due to aging, disease, damage, or defects.

While we haven’t discovered how to regrow an appendage like the lizard's tail, we've had some significant successes in other areas, including musculoskeletal and nerve health.

Regenerative medicine — stem cells and more

The strongest regenerative resources in the human body are stem cells, which are undifferentiated cells that have the unique ability to become other cells and then multiply as that type of cell.

 

Stem cells, however, don’t work alone, and there are other regenerative resources in the human body, including your platelets.

 

At our practice, we use a regenerative approach called platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, a technique in which we harvest and concentrate platelets from your blood and redirect them into damaged tissues.

When we inject PRP into your tissues, they release growth factors, other proteins, and inflammatory markers, all of which work together to heal the area. As well, the growth factors send out the call for other regenerative resources in your body, such as your stem cells.

So, indirectly, we’re working with your stem cells, but we’re also introducing other valuable regenerative resources.

PRP is promising, but not a miracle cure

The use of regenerative medicine is relatively new, and PRP therapy is being used in a wide range of areas, from restoring hair growth to relieving achy knees.

Here at Valiant Life Medical, we’ve had success using PRP therapy for:

While we’re happy to share some of our patients’ successes with you when you visit, our findings are backed up by ongoing studies. For example, one study of 60 patients with diabetes-related peripheral neuropathy found that, “...PRP injection is an effective therapy for alleviation of diabetic neuropathy pain and numbness and enhancement of peripheral nerve function.”

We do want to manage expectations, however, and point out that PRP therapy is not a magic bullet. While this form of regenerative medicine can aid in healing, there’s much that you still need to do to restore function and relieve pain, such as physical therapy and managing your chronic diseases.

In fact, we want to leave you with this idea — regenerative medicine is new and shows great promise. The resources we’ve harnessed so far can make a difference, but we are not in the realm of regenerating limbs or organs just yet.

If you have more questions about regenerative medicine and whether it can play a role in your health, please contact our office in Fort Worth, Texas, to set up an appointment.

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