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What is Post Concussion Syndrome?

Fans are on the edge of their seats as their favorite running back rushes to the end zone. The announcer yells, “Touchdown!” and the crowd erupts as six points are added to the scoreboard. During the next play, that same player is tackled and his helmet collides with the defender’s. The play concedes and the player is thrown onto the ground. He is taken back to the locker room for examination, and it is soon reported that he is out for the rest of the season with a concussion. In 2019, 224 concussions were reported within the NFL, and cases remain steady among high school college players- making it a common issue faced among athletes. 

Post Concussion Syndrome Symptoms

Weeks later, as the player prepares to return to practice, he begins to experience constant headaches, dizziness, and has trouble sleeping through the night. After a comprehensive physical examination and CAT scan, the patient is diagnosed with Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS). Defined as lingering trauma following a head injury, PCD can last anywhere from a few weeks to months. For those with recurring head injuries, Post Concussion Syndrome, the symptoms can also include headaches, fogginess, fatigue, the inability to focus, and amnesia. Oftentimes, especially common among athletes, the patient will forget how many times they’ve been hit or have had a concussion due to the trauma. In severe cases, Post Concussion Syndrome can even cause episodes of rage, depression, and forgetfulness.

Post Concussion Syndrome, however, is not only limited to athletic-related injuries. Having been hit by a drunk driver at 18 years old, Dr. Greenberg subsequently suffered from a severe concussion as well as symptoms of Post Concussion Syndrome for 10 years. Recalling his experience, Dr. Greenberg says, “It felt like someone was drilling through my head with a jackhammer. It would wake me out of my sleep. It was excruciating.” Luckily, after a long battle with these painful symptoms, Dr. Greenberg was able to pinpoint the hotspot of the pain and figured out the best way to treat Post Concussion Syndrome. 

Treatment for Post Concussion Syndrome: The Greenberg Method 

Dr. Greenberg empathizes with his patients from his experience and understands how to properly treat the condition and their lasting effects. While Post Concussion Syndrome is often remediated with medications such as pain relievers or antidepressants, the Greenberg Method takes a much different approach. Starting with a thorough assessment and patient evaluation, Dr. Greenberg will gain an understanding of how the condition is affecting your entire body, rather than just focusing on the head and neck. From there, he can assess, create a recovery plan, and properly treat the upper cervical spine with Prolotherapy, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), or Stem Cell Therapy. The chosen treatment procedure will depend on the patient’s unique condition, as Dr. Greenberg understands that no two cases are the same.

Do you think you may be suffering from Post Concussion Syndrome? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Greenberg to determine which treatment plan is best-suited for your recovery process.

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From pantry to medicine cabinet; The benefits of using honey as a healing method.

It’s true what they say: What’s Old is New Again. Mankind’s earliest civilizations used natural honey as a medicine to help treat sickness and heal wounds. Now, modern scientists are discovering that the earliest doctors were right to use honey; new research shows that it is a healthy and effective alternative to some over-the-counter treatments and prescriptions. Follow along to learn of some of the benefits honey has to offer, such as treating colds, asthma, and even cancer!

Upper Respiratory Healing

It’s still very common today to use honey as a treatment for a sore throat or for one of many home remedies coupled with over-the-counter drugs or prescriptions to treat a cold. But, when a meta-analysis was conducted- analyzing 14 random clinical trials comparing the use of honey to treat anything from Upper Respiratory Tract Infections to common prescription medications, OTC medicine, and placebos- honey was the most effective at treating symptoms; especially cough frequency and severity. 

This is one of many uses for honey in the field of medicine. Many studies have found that honey has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory purposes as well. Honey also has the added benefit of being cheap and widely available; plus, it has little to no side effects. 

Honey vs. Antibiotics

This is exciting news for doctors and scientists. Not only is there the potential for better treatments for patients, but it also relieves some doctors’ concern regarding the over-prescription of antibiotics. Since antibiotics are so commonly prescribed for a variety of modern illnesses, diseases are developing an increased exposure to antibiotics, giving them the ability to adapt to treatment. Future diseases treated with antibiotics could become resistant to antibiotics; meaning less effective treatments for patients. 

With new studies showing honey can be an effective treatment for common colds, doctors now have an opportunity to prescribe antibiotics less frequently, making antibiotics more effective against disease in the future.

Honey Beyond the Common Cold

With all of its amazing benefits, honey has the potential for use in medicines much stronger than OTC drugs. As mentioned before, honey has anti-inflammatory properties. Scientists found that when turned into a mist, honey can treat the “acute effects” of asthma, like an inhaler does.  When sterilized with gamma irradiation, honey can be used to treat open wounds and partial-thickness burns, as it is able to activate antibacterial and antiviral properties.

In fact, research is being done to study honey’s ability to fight diseases as severe as cancer. Honey has the ability to fight cancer, as it can interfere with multi-cell signaling pathways. Additionally, this homeopathic remedy may be able to prevent cell proliferation in certain types of cancers such as cervical, endometrial, liver, colorectal, prostate, renal, bladder, lung, bone, and oral, as well as in cancer cells of melanoma, adenocarcinoma, and leukemia.

Similar to honey, vitamin C (in IV high-dosages) has antiviral properties.  Research from the NIH shows that vitamin C helps with the production of interferons. Vitamin C also helps fight cancer by causing death of the cancer cell, just like honey, but vitamin C does so by causing the formation of hydrogen peroxide around cancer cells.

While honey will not entirely replace modern medicine, it remains a great alternative with a multitude of health benefits. Modern science envisions a great potential in the usage of honey in the current day. At the very least, it’s worth it to keep a jar around as an at-home remedy for the flu season. Subscribe to our newsletter for more articles like this one!

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Shoulder and Knee Injuries Caused by Surfing Don’t Always Need Surgery

It’s a beautiful summer day at the beach with clear skies and great waves. The water is scattered with eager surfers, patiently paddling to catch a perfect ride. Adrenaline increases as a large wave approaches, each surfer trying to gain adequate balance to stand on their rocky board and glide along the wave. This common summer activity brings pleasure and joy to many; however, like in any sport, injuries can occur.

Although surfing is a relatively safe sport, research states that athletes are at risk for various injuries during participation, commonly in the knee or shoulder. However, surgery is not always required. 

A study published on November 5th, 2019 in the journal Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach about research done at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) looked at recreational surfers and the specific types of orthopedic injuries they were experiencing. The study also looked at what frequent surgeries were required, if any at all. 

Harry “Tate” Gerditzer, an MD and radiologist at HSS, and his team concluded that only 17 percent of patients who acquire any type of injury from surfing actually need surgery. 

Gerditzer and his colleagues discovered this data by analyzing the medical records of patients who came into HSS with surfing injuries between January 2009 and August 2018. This data helped determine not only the specific type of injury a patient had, but whether or not surgery was necessary. 

Peter Fabricant, MD, study author and pediatric orthopedic surgeon at HSS, commented on the diagnoses of surfing injuries: “The majority of upper extremity injuries occurred at the shoulder with anterior shoulder dislocation being the most common diagnosis. Of the presenting knee injuries, a torn medial collateral ligament was most frequent.” 

Outside of shoulder and knee injuries, surfers can experience damage in areas such as the foot and ankle, spine, and elbow, and even rib fractures, muscle strains, or muscle lacerations. 

Greditzer also mentioned, “…It’s important to keep in mind that our study looked at recreational surfers. We did not include professional surfers, so the patients in our study were not able to generate as much speed, get barreled, or launch into the air like a professional or amateur can, where the potential for injury is much higher.” 

While getting any type of injury is never fun, there are numerous ways to enhance injury recovery and prevent future injuries from occurring: 

Vitamins and Minerals The common idea of consuming daily vitamins and minerals is one most people are familiar with. While vitamins are good for every day health and wellness, they can be used to help recover from injuries or help prevent them in the future. Those vitamins include, but are not limited to vitamins A, B, C, and D, along with calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. 

In addition, vitamins A, B, C, and D should be taken each day for around two to four weeks post-injury to optimize results. 

A Healthy and Well Balanced Diet Never underestimate what a healthy and well-balanced diet can do for your body. Having fruits, vegetables and lean proteins in a regular diet is extremely important for everyone, not just athletes. Additionally, having a proper protein intake helps accelerate injury recovery while minimizing the loss of strength and muscle mass in injured areas. 

Hydration Hydration is key! Water and electrolytes are essential to help the body function properly. Failing to hydrate the body can lead to muscle cramping, injury, and possibly heat illness. Making sure to hydrate daily is extremely important for everyone, especially for athletes. It is crucial that athletes replace the water & electrolytes lost through sweat, which is vital to maintain health and prevent injury. 

Yoga and Stretching Yoga is a great way to help relieve muscle and joint pain while also benefiting the body’s build in muscle strength. 

Flexibility is a sure fire way to help reduce risk of injury. Stretching before and after activities helps the body obtain a greater range of motion, and therefore, further prevents bodily damage.

At Greenberg Regenerative Medicine, we do more than just treat injuries and pain. Oftentimes, our patients come to us after several unsuccessful treatments from other clinicians. Our approach works because our approach is different. We focus on finding lasting relief through regenerative means. Our treatments include stem cell therapy, prolotherapy and PRP therapy. 

To discover the right treatment for you, book a consultation with Greenberg Regenerative Medicine today by calling (833) 440-HEAL today! 

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Yoga For Joint Health

Whether you have arthritisbursitis, or an acute injury, joint pain can make everyday activities uncomfortable. Yoga is a great way to relax the body and relieve joint pain. It is a gentle and low-impact method of exercise that usually consists of long-hold stretches, mindful poses, and meditation. In a national survey, 82 percent of participants stated that yoga improved their overall health and made them feel better. 

Yoga’s effect on joint and overall health:

Yoga for beginners

Yoga includes deep stretches and mindful poses. When practiced correctly, the body should feel pressure, but no major discomfort. When a yoga pose becomes painful, it means it may be too strenuous and should not be held so deeply. With practice and experience, more difficult yoga poses will become attainable. 

A professional yogi can give the best advice regarding proper form. If you are new to yoga, consider attending a yoga class in your area. Many local yoga studios offer weekly classes for beginners. These classes can be helpful in teaching newcomers how to include yoga in their regular exercise routine. There are also many online resources, like YouTube videos, that can guide beginners through their yoga journey.

Older individuals are more prone to sprains and strains from practicing yoga incorrectly. Performing this exercise while guided by a qualified instructor can help prevent injury and overexertion. 

Iyengar yoga is generally very accommodating for people with a limited range of movement in one or more joints. For this reason, it can be a great choice for those with arthritis or other joint issues. This type of yoga utilizes assistive props like ropes and foam blocks to aid in difficult poses. For example, if someone cannot bend over to touch their toes, they can put a foam block by their feet and reach for that instead. If you have a limited range of movement, contact your local yoga studio and inquire about the availability of assistive props during classes.

If you are experiencing joint pain, consider practicing yoga. It may also help to see a medical professional to help relieve your joint pain. Visit Greenberg Regenerative Medicine to see how our noninvasive treatments can help relieve your joint pain. From stem cell therapy to platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to prolotherapy, Dr. Greenberg has the right treatment for your joints. Call (833) 440-HEAL today!

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Slowing Down Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that can cause pain, stiffness, and sometimes even disability. While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are several ways to delay its onset and prevent further damage.

Engage in light exercise:

Light exercise can help strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints and delay the progression of osteoarthritis. Stretching and low-impact aerobic exercises can improve health with minimal stress placed on the joints. Yoga and tai-chi are relaxing and can improve range of motion. Swimming, walking, and cycling are all great aerobic exercises that protect the joints while building the muscles around them. 

Increase your intake of vitamin E:

study by Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine found several ways that Vitamin E can slow down osteoarthritis. For one, it protects the bones by aiding in the maintenance of skeletal muscle. Vitamin E also regulates the metabolism of nucleic acid, which delays the progression of osteoarthritis. To increase your vitamin E intake, you can take a vitamin E supplement or consume foods with high levels of vitamin E like wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, peanut butter, salmon, and avocado. We recommend only taking natural vitamin E supplements, which come as mixed tocopherols. 

Maintain a healthy weight:

If you are overweight, losing weight can help slow down osteoarthritis. The more we weigh, the more stress we place on our joints every day. Every pound you lose takes about 4 pounds per square inch of pressure off of the knee joints. Maintaining a healthy weight will lower the stress placed on joints and minimize the effects of osteoarthritis. We recommend a Mediterranean diet and avoid high-inflammatory foods like sugar and processed foods. 

Take a glucosamine sulfate supplement:

Glucosamine sulfate is a naturally occurring sugar found in the tissues surrounding the joints. In a study conducted by Rheumatology International, glucosamine sulfate was found to dramatically decrease the symptoms and degree of osteoarthritis in the lower limbs. The recommended dosage is 1,500 mg a day. Consult with your doctor before beginning to take glucosamine sulfate. Because most glucosamine sulfate is derived from shellfish, be particularly cautious if you are allergic, and check the packaging before purchasing. 

If you have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, you don’t have to live in pain. Visit Greenberg Regenerative Medicine to see how our noninvasive stem cell or PRP therapies can help relieve your symptoms. Call (833) 440-HEAL today!

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Common Causes Of Lower Back Pain

Over 80% of adults have reported experiencing lower back pain at some point in their life. Back pain that lasts less than 6 weeks is considered acute, while pain that lasts longer than 12 weeks is chronic. Injury, aging and underlying diseases are all common causes of lower back pain.

At Greenberg Regenerative Medicine, we understand the day-to-day struggle when living with back pain. Our goal is to find the source of your pain and offer a personalized treatment plan designed for you. Our non-surgical and regenerative therapies are designed to help relieve your back pain. 

Anatomy of the lower back

Lower back pain is one of the most common forms of musculoskeletal pain. Understanding the anatomy of the spine can help you better understand the causes of lower back pain.

The lower back is composed of 5 vertebrae in the lumbar spine. It also contains 4 muscle groups; extensors, flexors, lateral flexors, and rotators. The lower back is flexible to allow for the constant twisting and turning we do throughout the day. The muscle groups and the lumbar spine work together to maintain balance and support the weight of the upper body. This puts daily stress on the lumbar spine and contributes to natural wear and tear over time.

Causes of Lower Back Pain

Injury to the lower back

Any injury to the back, whether traumatic or caused by overuse, can lead to lower back pain as can high-impact sports like football. A sports injury, motor vehicle accident or bad fall can all result in sprains, strains or fractures in the lower back.  

Sprain: A back sprain relates to a torn ligament caused by overexertion or injury. Lifting something that is too heavy or falling may also lead to a sprain. 

Strain: A strain occurs when a tendon or muscle is torn. This can happen from overstretching and overexertion. 

Fracture: A back fracture occurs when one or more spinal vertebra breaks. A broken back can be the result of severe injury or an underlying condition like osteoporosis.

Intervertebral discs: Intervertebral discs are the discs between the vertebrae of your spine. They provide cushioning and support to your vertebrae. As we age, these discs naturally become worn down. This process is normal, but it may become uncomfortable and lead to pain. 

Age-related causes of lower back pain

Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is the thinning of bone density that makes it easier for bones to break. It occurs with age and is more common among women. Osteoporosis can lead to compression fractures in the spine and back pain.

Herniated discs: Usually a result of disc degeneration, a herniated disc is an intervertebral disk that is bulging out of the spine. When the herniated disc presses against nerves, it causes radiating pain called radiculopathy. Radiculopathy refers to a set of conditions that affect the nerves. It can result in weakness, numbness, or difficulty controlling affected muscles. 

Diseases linked to lower back pain

Spinal stenosis: Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal column. Spinal stenosis may also cause radiculopathy. This can compress nerves and put pressure on the spinal cord.

Arthritis: Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation and pain in the lower back. Spondylitis is another term for osteoarthritis of the spine.

Other causes of lower back pain:

Sacroiliac joint pain: Sacroiliitis is the inflammation of the sacroiliac joints, which sit between the lower spine and pelvis. It can lead to pain in the lower back and buttocks that radiates down into the legs. 

Sciatica: Sciatica is back pain caused by an injury to the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down each leg. People typically experience sciatica due to a pinched or compressed nerve. 

Piriformis: The piriformis is a small muscle located within the buttock. It extends from the sciatic nerve to the femur and helps the thigh rotate from side to side. A piriformis muscle spasm places pressure on the sciatic nerve and may result in sciatica. 

Pelvic tilt: Individuals with an abnormal pelvic tilt may be prone to back pain. Pelvic tilt contributes to posture, so if it is abnormal, then posture will be affected. Incorrect posture can lead to excess pressure on certain parts of the spine, leading to persistent back pain. 

Since there are so many common causes of lower back pain, it can be difficult to properly diagnose the exact cause of an individual’s symptoms. It requires a skilled clinician, like Dr. Greenberg, to pinpoint the exact cause of back pain based on careful and precise examination. 

If you are experiencing lower back pain, Greenberg Regenerative Medicine can help you find relief without surgery. Dr. Greenberg is an expert in regenerative and integrative treatments that can get you back to pain-free living.

At Greenberg Regenerative Medicine, our treatments go beyond masking the pain with unnecessary opioids and steroids. Oftentimes, our patients come to us after several unsuccessful treatments from other clinicians. Our approach works because our approach is different. We do more than treat pain; we focus on finding lasting relief through regenerative means. Our treatments include stem cell therapyprolotherapy and PRP therapy

To discover the right treatment for you, book a consultation with Greenberg Regenerative Medicine today by calling (833) 440-HEAL.

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Protecting The Spine This Winter

As the weather gets colder, everyone starts preparing their home for the winter. During this time of year, the focus is on raking leaves, taking down outdoor decorations, storing machinery, cleaning up the garden, and other things around the yard. Activities such as these alone can be dangerous, causing thousands of people to end up in emergency rooms each year. However, once the snow starts accumulating, things get a bit stickier.

Snow Shoveling Injuries Are Very Common

Snow shoveling lands over 11,000 people in the hospital each year. Aside from hospitalizations, shoveling can cause sprains, strains, and overuse injuries which are commonly overlooked and can cause problems later down the road.

Shovels used to move snow are poorly designed. They often lack handgrips, are too short for most users, and are made out of material that is too heavy. This causes users to bend forward too much and place strain on the back when lifting. In addition, the shovels become even heavier with the added snow. If you do your own shoveling, consider buying a shovel made from plastic or lightweight aluminum. Make sure it’s long enough to reach the ground when your back is fully upright. 

The mechanism used to shovel snow is also not ideal. Users tend to lean down, shovel the snow, and lift themselves up by their backs while simultaneously twisting their spines to toss the snow over their shoulders. This unnatural movement is an easy way to tweak the back and can result in strained muscles, sprained ligaments, or herniated discs

Practice Safe Snow Shoveling 

At the end of the day, the snow has got to go. To prevent injury and protect our backs, we should practice safe shoveling. We recommend practicing yoga or stretching to strengthen the spine and prepare it for the season. It’s never too early to start warming up the body. In fact, we should be stretching year-round.

Before you start shoveling, warm up the body with some light exercise and stretch out the main muscle groups, including the back. Make sure you’re wearing slip-resistant shoes when shoveling. A helpful tip is to spray nonstick cooking spray on the shovel to help the snow slide off easier. 

The National Safety Council recommends not shoveling after eating or while smoking. Instead of lifting with your back, lift with your legs and keep your back flat. Rather than tossing the snow over your shoulder, which places strain on the back, turn the body towards the area you wish to dump it in. In fact, it’s better to push the snow rather than lifting it. If you’re going to lift it, use a shovel with a small head or only partially fill the shovel.

People with busy schedules tend to try to shovel the snow too quickly, working themselves to exhaustion and increasing their risk for injury. When shoveling snow, it’s important to take it slow and take frequent breaks. If you have an existing injury or only have a short time to devote to snow cleanup, abstain from shoveling this winter season. Consider getting a snowblower or hiring someone to help you clear your driveway. Your health is of the utmost importance.

If you have an injury that makes it difficult for you to do activities such as shovel snow, the last thing you should do is push through it. Take a break from the yard work and schedule a consultation with Dr. Greenberg. Our regenerative medicine clinic uses noninvasive therapies to heal injured joints, targeting the root of the problem rather than just its symptoms.

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What Is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?

You’ve probably heard of musical artist Sia and actor Jameela Jamil go public with their diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) this past year. Not only does this empower those suffering from the condition all over the world but also presents us with a great opportunity to learn more about the disease and raise awareness.

Not a Single Condition, Rather a Group of Conditions

EDS is a rare genetic condition, with fewer than 200,000 cases discovered in the U.S. each year. It’s not a singular condition but a group of disorders that affect the connective tissues of the body. The Ehlers-Danlos syndromes are currently classified into 13 subtypes.

The two most common subtypes of EDS are classic type and vascular type. The former is characterized by overly flexible joints that dislocate easily, skin that bruises and stretches easily, and chronic joint pain. The latter is characterized by distinctive facial features (thin nose, thin upper lip, small earlobes, and prominent almond-shaped eyes), thin translucent skin that bruises easily, and underlying blood vessels that are visible through the skin. 

Vascular EDS can have life-threatening complications; it weakens the heart’s aorta and other arteries, increasing the risk of fatal blood vessel ruptures. It also weakens the walls of the uterus, large intestines, and other organs, which can also rupture.

How Does EDS Affect Connective Tissue? 

Each type of EDS is characterized by a distinct problem in the person’s connective tissue. The body uses connective tissue to provide strength and elasticity. Normal connective tissue consists of proteins that allow it to be stretched and returned safely to its starting point. EDS is the result of a genetic mutation that affects the body’s production of collagen, the protein responsible for the strength and stability of connective tissue. As a result, EDS causes connective tissues to be weaker. This makes skin and joints more elastic and flexible, allowing them to be stretched past their normal limits. In some types, it makes the connective tissue of blood vessels and organs weakened, making them more prone to rupture. 

Traditional Treatments for EDS

Treatments are focused on relieving symptoms and improving quality of life. Traditional therapies include physical therapy, rest, orthotics, splints and braces, heat therapy, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), pain medications, nerve blocks, and counseling. Although there is not yet any gene treatment for EDS, we can make significant improvements to the connective tissues and joints of our EDS patients with regenerative medicine. 

Regenerative Medicine for EDS

Regenerative therapies have shown promising results in relieving the symptoms of EDS without the use of drugs and surgery. People with EDS have a genetic predisposition to break down tissue, as opposed to rebuilding it, which is why regenerative medicine plays a big role in treating this condition. Prolotherapy has been used in EDS patients to induce inflammation in painful areas. This may seem counterintuitive, but as it mimics a mild injury it makes the body send immune cells and healing factors to the area to repair and rebuild degenerated tissues.

Dr. Greenberg has had extensive experience treating individuals with EDS and has lectured at an Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome conference. Typically, he will treat EDS patients with a combination of PRP and Prolotherapy. If the patient shows signs of joint destruction (i.e. arthritis and degenerative processes) and lots of dislocations, then stem cell therapy is added to the treatment plan.

The goal of regenerative therapies for EDS patients is to prevent and avoid dislocations, subluxations, and joint degeneration. It is a much better alternative to traditional therapies and keeps patients from surgery. Individuals with EDS tend to be recommended fusion surgery to stabilize joints that dislocate easily. However, regenerative medicine has been shown to be a natural fix by reducing dislocations, building up ligaments, and fixing loose joints.  

Oftentimes, EDS patients will need almost all the joints in their bodies treated. Patients usually feel relief within the first few months of treatment. Regenerative therapies increase collagen production right in the joint, solving the root of the EDS problem. In fact, once the joints become stronger they have been shown to produce the same amount of collagen moving forward. Regenerative medicine has the capacity to change the way the cells work, fixing the underlying problem. The collagen production induced by these therapies occurs over time and serves as a long-term solution. 

Dr. Greenberg has treated many EDS patients throughout his career and has treated them successfully with regenerative medicine. If you or a loved one are struggling with EDS that is worsening, schedule a consultation today for an integrative approach. 

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Joint Pain In Cold Weather

You’ve probably heard someone say that their joint pain worsens in the cold weather. There might actually be some truth to that. In fact, it’s not just cold days that have been linked to joint pain, but humid and windy ones too. 

The Aches & Pains of Winter

If you experience worsening pain in the cold season, you are not alone. In fact, those who have endured previous injuries, live with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, or have migraines or neuropathic pain are 20% more likely to experience cold weather joint pain. In a study of 200 rheumatology patients, 74% experienced weather sensitivity.

Another study, called Cloudy with a Chance of Pain, determined that the most important factor in pain levels was humidity, followed by wind speed. There were significant relationships between pain and humidity, barometric pressure, and wind speed, even when controlling for mood and physical activity. Higher humidity, lower pressure, and stronger winds lead to more pain.

Why Do Joints Hurt in Cold Weather? 

There are several factors that contribute to this phenomenon. Before it even gets cold, barometric pressure changes. The weight of the atmosphere decreases which causes your tissues to slightly expand. As the temperature gets low, the synovial fluid that lubricates the joints thickens, leading to more stiffness. 

If you suffered a prior injury, cold weather can make the nerves hypersensitive due to scarring, inflammation, or adhesions. In addition, people tend to move and exercise less in the cold weather, and long periods of inactivity are detrimental to joint health. 

Some researchers hypothesized that mood acts as a mediating factor, in that weather influences mood and mood can influence pain. However, the relationship between weather and joint pain stood even when accounting for mood, ruling out this explanation. 

Can Anything Help My Winter Pain? 

While it may seem out of your control, there are things you can do to ease the weather’s effect on your pain. Make sure you stay warm when going outside, especially the feet and chest. Heat your home and/or use heated blankets. 

If you experience joint swelling or stiffness, wearing compression braces can help keep fluid buildup out (wear well-fitting gloves if it affects your hands). Make sure to stretch every day; inactivity is the worst thing you can do in this situation.

Last but not least, don’t let the cold weather get you down! Don’t let the bad weather dampen your mood, as this will only exacerbate your perception of the pain. Stay engaged and take care of your body. Springtime will be just around the corner. 

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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.