Regenerative medicine relieves pain by tapping into your body’s natural ability to heal. Thanks to advanced technology, we can harvest the cells responsible for healing and inject them at the site of damaged tissues. From there, the cells jump into action, stimulating healing, regenerating new tissues, and easing your pain.
Behnam Khaleghi, MD, and our team at Pacific Rheumatology specialize in regenerative medicine for several conditions including arthritis. We share more about two types of regenerative medicine therapies: platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and exosomes.
Platelet-rich plasma stimulates healing
Your blood contains white and red blood cells, plasma (the fluid part), and platelets. Platelets are best known for their ability to clump together and stop bleeding. But they have another job that’s vital for healing.
Platelets carry specialized proteins called growth factors. Any time you suffer an injury or develop a disease, platelets travel to the damaged tissues and release their growth factors. The growth factors then activate the healing process.
Growth factors communicate with the surrounding cells and trigger a wide range of healing activities. For example, they speed up healing, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the growth of new blood vessels. They also recruit your body’s natural stem cells to the area, and the stem cells regenerate all the new tissues needed to repair and heal your body.
PRP injections enhance natural healing
We create PRP in the office from a sample of your blood. After processing it in a centrifuge, we end up with plasma that contains a higher-than-normal concentration of platelets. When we inject the platelets, they complement your body’s natural platelets and boost the healing response.
PRP is especially beneficial if you have a slow-healing injury or wound, a problem that can occur for a variety of reasons. Some tissues, like the cartilage in your knee and ligaments and tendons, are notoriously slow-healing because they have a poor blood supply. You may have a severe injury that overwhelms your body’s healing ability, or your age could slow down the normal healing response.
Exosomes add to regenerative medicine treatments
Exosomes, one of our newest regenerative treatment options, are tiny sacs released by many cells in your body, including stem cells. These sacs contain vital biochemicals such as DNA, RNA, and proteins. The biochemicals released from exosomes enter other cells and stimulate specific activities.
Thanks to today’s technology, experts get cells to release their exosomes in a controlled lab environment. Then we can inject the carefully processed exosomes as part of your regenerative medicine treatment.
Regenerative medicine for rheumatologic conditions
Regenerative medicine supports healing for most musculoskeletal problems, from inflammatory conditions to ruptured ligaments and tendons. In rheumatology, we often recommend PRP and/or exosomes for:
Mild to moderate osteoarthritis
PRP decreases joint pain and improves movement. This treatment may also help repair tissues damaged by arthritis.
We may recommend regenerative medicine therapies for people with lupus and scleroderma. For example, some autoimmune diseases are associated with non-healing leg ulcers. PRP may promote healing of these dangerous wounds.
Tendons in your shoulders, knees, and elbows often become inflamed and irritated. PRP injections help reduce the inflammation and pain of tendonitis.
If you’re considering regenerative medicine, remember that the expertise of your physician makes a difference. To be effective, your injections must contain a minimum number of platelets or exosomes.
Here at Pacific Rheumatology, with offices in Tustin and Laguna Hills, California, Dr. Khaleghi has extensive experience in regenerative medicine and keeps up with the latest advances. To learn more, call us or book an appointment online today.