Due to a surge in sports participation and physical activity, more patients are presenting to physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians with sports injuries and overuse injuries, which can lead to degenerative changes within the body. With increased media coverage of innovative treatment techniques such as PRP and stem cells, patients have a greater interest in these procedures.
The advantage of a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician
Despite the intrigue accompanying regenerative techniques, the use of these treatments need to be used properly by a well trained physician who uses all of the tools in their belt to ensure the proper diagnosis. These tools include ultrasound, X-rays, MRI findings as well as a comprehensive history and physical. The advantage of having a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician (physiatrist) is that throughout our entire residency training, physiatrists are constantly performing extensive physical examinations and reviewing imaging, making our specialty one of the favorites when dealing with musculoskeletal and pain issues that have been previously undiagnosed.
It is of great importance that physicians frequently review the current literature to ensure the proper treatments for the patients and know the likely outcomes and safety of the procedures and treatments they use with their patients. Many commonly used treatments such as NSAIDs and corticosteroid injections have a role in providing short-term pain relief combined with an aggressive physical therapy program. There is evidence showing the limited use in conditions without an inflammatory component. There is an increasing amount of solid literature proving that regenerative treatments such as PRP and stem cell therapies may have a role in facilitating tissue healing and functional rehabilitation.
It is the role of your physical medicine and rehabilitation physician to guide a rehabilitation program based on the condition being treated (muscle tear, tendonitis, arthritis for example). The physiatrist’s understanding of functional anatomy, biomechanics, therapeutic modalities, and rehabilitation methods make them extremely competent to provide the kind of care that optimizes non-operative treatments to patients with various musculoskeletal conditions.
Regenerative Medicine: An exciting approach
Regenerative medicine is rapidly becoming an exciting and innovative way to approach various musculoskeletal and spine ailments. Hopefully, as more and more studies continue showing the benefits of regenerative treatments, insurance companies will begin to see the potential cost savings for the patients and health care system. This could be of great value given the overwhelming burden of health care costs. If you feel that regenerative medicine may be right for you, make an appointment with one of the physicians at Comprehensive Pain and Neurology Center.