The Downfall Of Traditional Joint Pain Treatments

Prior to the discovery of regenerative medicine, joint pain treatments consisted mainly of steroid injections and, in severe cases, joint replacement surgery. Whether the joint had suffered misuse, overuse, prior injury, inflammation, or degeneration, this was the standard of care. Now that there are alternative options to joint treatment and regeneration, these traditional approaches are being reevaluated for efficacy and safety. Patients and doctors alike are recognizing the significance of minimally invasive techniques in healing the body.

Corticosteroid Injections Do More Harm Than Good

Corticosteroid injections are widely used as an immediate way to reduce pain and inflammation. They are commonly used on professional athletes who suffer an injury but are held at high stakes to keep performing. They have notoriously been used for osteoarthritis and other degenerative joint conditions. However, corticosteroids are not a solution – they are a mask. 

study found that corticosteroid injections may do more harm than good. While they can offer immediate relief, they are harmful in the long-term. Patients who receive corticosteroid injections for joint pain and osteoarthritis are also at risk for complications, including cartilage loss, stress fractures, bone deterioration, and joint destruction.

Moreover, when injected in the hips and knees, it can accelerate the progression of osteoarthritis and speed up the need for joint replacement surgeries. In a study of over 16,000, patients who underwent knee or hip replacement have also received corticosteroid injections in the prior two years. 

Joint Replacement Surgery May Not Be The Answer

Joint replacement surgery advertises great outcomes. After all, replacing a painful joint with an artificial one may seem like the perfect solution, and unfortunately, patients are often left believing that surgery is their only option for long-term relief. However, the majority of these patients are uninformed of their options. Studies comparing surgical and nonsurgical treatments for arthritis show that both groups improve, regardless of modality. Regenerative treatments are shown to significantly reduce pain and improve joint function and quality of life. 

Nonetheless, over a million Americans undergo knee and hip replacements each year. Driven blindly by their chronic pain, many of them overlook the extreme risks they are putting their bodies through. Surgical patients developed four times as many complications than nonsurgical patients, including infections, blood clots, and knee stiffness that requires another procedure to fix. The dark side of surgery cannot be overlooked – 1 in every 100 to 200 patients who undergo a knee replacement die within 90 days of surgery due to life-threatening complications.

The Promise of Regenerative Medicine in Joint Pain Treatments

Joint pain treatments don’t always require an invasive, extreme approach. Regenerative medicine holds the promise of healing the injured area with a minimally-invasive technique that uses components from the patient’s own body. Stem cell therapyplatelet-rich plasma (PRP), and prolotherapy are becoming the new standard for joint treatment. Stem cells, platelets, and growth factors are extracted from the patient’s body and their concentration is increased before injected into the injured area.  

There is a reason there is so much hype around stem cells – they are multipotent, meaning they have the ability to become any type of cell in the body (bone, cartilage, muscle, vascular, endothelial, fat, progenitor, and more). This outstanding biological molecule has the ability to regenerate any part of the body. In addition, stem cell therapy is augmented when combined with white blood cells, which carry out the immune response, and growth factors, which accelerate the rebuilding of tissues. 

Since mesenchymal (stem) cells are autologous, meaning they are taken from the patient, there is no risk of rejection. This process is quite different than when compared to a bone marrow treatment, which contains some mesenchymal cells, but also contains hematopoietic cells that generate our blood cells, but do not generate tissue.

Depending on the severity of the condition, Kinetic Regenerative Therapy may be recommended. KRT is a proactive combination approach using prolotherapy, stem cells, and PRP. With KRT, Dr. Greenberg will not just address the damaged joint, but will biomechanically evaluate everything connected to that joint to provide a comprehensive repair. KRT is an excellent alternative to pain management and surgery, as it creates a roadmap for joint regeneration that solves the root of the problem rather than just the symptoms. 

Joint Pain Treatments: The Bottom Line

No matter the severity or chronicity of the pain, regenerative medicine holds the promise of relieving pain, improving function, and restoring quality of life. A Comprehensive Kinetic Diagnosis can identify the root cause of the pain by evaluating the kinetic chain of movement of the joints in the body. For example, if you experience knee pain, Dr. Greenberg will evaluate the movement and function of the back, hips, knee, and ankle to rule out other conditions that may be contributing to the pain.  We also find that most patients have a tilted pelvis which also contributes to faulty biomechanics – and our treatment will immediately correct it.  

If you have been recommended corticosteroid injections and/or surgery, schedule a consultation with Greenberg Regenerative Medicine today. Our holistic, integrative approach heals patients using natural, regenerative compounds, helping them achieve life-long stability and relief, combined with board and hospital certified care you can trust.

Lower Back Pain Treatments

If you suffer from lower back pain, you are not alone – over 3 million Americans feel your pain. While some cases are acute and go away on their own in a few weeks, others can be chronic and don’t seem to respond well to traditional lower back pain treatments. After exhausting epidurals, steroids, chiropractic care, physical therapy, acupuncture and medication, some people are left thinking that surgery is their only option for relief. 

At Greenberg Regenerative Medicine, we understand the frustration of living with chronic pain. But we’re here to tell you that surgery often isn’t the answer. That’s why we offer regenerative treatments and alternative therapies to alleviate your pain and get you back to your normal activities.

If you experience acute back pain, there are things you can try at home to relieve the pain. Acupressure can be administered by a trained acupuncturist or self-administered at home. A study has found positive results using acupressure on lower back pain; those who performed relaxing acupressure felt their pain had improved after six weeks. 

What Is Acupressure and How Can It Help Lower Back Pain?

Acupressure is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that has been used for centuries to improve chronic pain. It is similar to acupuncture but instead of needles, pressure is applied with a finger or device to specific points on the body. This can be done by a specialist or even self-administered at home. However, it’s best to visit a specialist to learn the basics; they can teach you the proper way to administer this therapy at home.

Is Acupressure Effective?

study examined the effects of acupressure on chronic lower back pain compared to usual care, which consists of painkillers and physical therapy. The study measured fatigue, pain, sleep quality, and reported disability. Back pain was reduced by 36% in the acupressure groups. The acupressure groups also experienced an improvement in fatigue. Compared to usual care, acupressure showed positive improvement in pain. 

Although acupressure has shown positive results in alleviating acute back pain, severe or chronic pain unresponsive to conservative treatments will likely require a comprehensive treatment approach. Dr. Greenberg offers regenerative therapies, including stem cell therapyplatelet-rich plasma, and prolotherapy, which are great non-surgical options for pain relief and healing joint damage. Acupressure can be used in conjunction with these lower back pain treatments to decrease fatigue, improve sleep quality, and promote relaxation. It is also a great way to relax the body, which can improve your wellbeing. 

What Can Cause Lower Back Pain?

The lumbar spine supports the weight of the upper body, which is why it is a common site of pain. Any part of its anatomy – the vertebrae, intervertebral disc, ligament, tendon, or muscle – can be tweaked or injured, leading to pain. The vast majority of lower back pain is mechanical in nature, meaning it is related to the degeneration of the spine (natural wear and tear). 

Acute Low Back Pain

Sprains, strains, and spasms cause the majority of acute lower back pain. Sprains occur when you microscopically tear a ligament, while strains occur when you tear a tendon or muscle. Certain movements can also trigger spasms in the back muscles. These injuries can occur when lifting something improperly, lifting something that is too heavy, or overstretching.  Sometimes, a sudden movement may trigger a shift in the pelvis, resulting in a tilt. 

Chronic Low Back Pain

Chronic cases of lower back pain are caused by an existing condition of the spine, intervertebral discs, or surrounding nerves that have not healed over time. The most common cause of chronic low back pain is degenerative disc disease, which refers to the progressive wear and tear on the vertebral column that can degenerate the cushiony pads over time. Intervertebral discs can also become too compressed, causing them to herniate. In cases of spondylolisthesis, a vertebra may slip out of place and push on nearby structures such as the disc.

If a disc becomes slipped or compressed, it can pinch surrounding nerves. This can lead to radiculopathy, a condition caused by compression, inflammation, or injury to the spinal nerve root. It usually causes pain, numbness, or tingling (pins and needles) sensation that can travel to other areas of the body that are connected to that nerve (arms or legs). Sciatica is a type of radiculopathy in which the sciatic nerve is compressed. The sciatic is a large nerve that runs from the buttocks down the back of the leg. If it becomes compressed, it causes shock-like or burning low back pain throughout this area. 

There are other factors that can contribute to your low back pain.  Have you ever heard someone say they have one leg that is shorter than the other? According to studies, between 90-95% of Americans have functional leg length discrepancy. This condition cannot be seen to the naked eye – most people don’t even know they have it. Rather, it causes a slight pelvic tilt that leads to problems with gait (the manner in which you walk). It can cause pain in the low back, hips, knees, ankles, and feet. 

What Are My Lower Back Pain Treatment Options?

The best approach to lower back pain is a comprehensive evaluation of the structures of the back, neck, shoulders, hips, and legs. All of these joints work together to create the movement of the spine, and any one of them may be contributing to the pain. 

This evaluation is referred to as a Comprehensive Kinetic Diagnosis and is done to augment X-Rays. It enables the doctor to not only see the structures in the back but also evaluate how the body creates movement that may be contributing to the pain. 

Although some doctors may say that surgery is your only treatment option, there are alternative regenerative lower back pain treatments that can relieve your pain and heal the condition. These include stem cell therapy, platelet-rich plasma, and prolotherapy. If you have visited other doctors that either can’t seem to help you or are recommending risky surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Greenberg for a safe, holistic approach to chronic pain relief.  Dr. Greenberg also invented the treatment to reverse a pelvic tilt immediately, which often provides instant relief.  

Life without chronic pain is possible, and the answer isn’t surgery and/or painkillers. Don’t give up hope – your body has the power to heal itself. Dr. Greenberg is a leading expert in regenerative and holistic treatment options designed to help you return to your normal activities.

Call Greenberg Regenerative Medicine today at (833) 295-8230 to book a consultation or schedule it online. Take the first step towards a pain-free life, today.