Chronic pain from joint and spine injuries is very common. You see it every day when you go to the store or walk around your neighborhood. Almost everyone you see who limps, leans forward on their shopping cart, wears a knee or ankle brace, or parks in a handicapped parking space most likely suffers from chronic pain.
When I see someone challenged by chronic pain, I envision which connective tissues failed to heal properly when the initial injury occurred. Most chronic pain is the result of either an acute or prolonged stress on the tissues that did not fully heal over a period of time. The injured area becomes, and remains, sensitized and feels painful for months to years, or indefinitely if the healing cascade is incomplete. The mechanisms of the body that produce healing work for several months after the initial tissue injury, but then typically fade away so that continued healing needs a “kick start”. Without a stimulus to keep the healing process going, the natural healing of your tissues will diminish and then stop, generally over about a year.
Science has proven that the healing process of injured connective tissues can be reinitiated using localized injections of growth factors. This is the essence of Prolotherapy, otherwise known as Regenerative Medicine. The key is to recognize which tissues are incompletely healed, and then place growth factors where the body needs a “kick start”. This requires a thorough evaluation by an experienced Regenerative Medicine specialist that knows how to diagnose and treat chronic joint and connective tissue pain. Most chronically painful musculoskeletal conditions have specific causes that can be treated, especially if the area that needs treatment is recognized and treated before there is too much additional damage from years of stress, weight-bearing, and further injury.
The current best-studied tools for Regenerative Medicine are Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC), which contain high concentrations of growth factors and stem cells which can be placed precisely where the healing needs to be turned on. These stimulate the healing cascade that the tissues need to complete the repair process that had stalled out before.