by Dr. Reba Eagles, D.O.M.
Aging can be defined as degeneration that progresses faster than our repair mechanism can heal. While this can be thought of as the natural order of things, it doesn’t feel very natural when your symptoms are preventing you from living the life you want to live. When you can’t walk, shop, hike, care for your yard or play with your kids or grandkids because of joint pain, muscle weakness or an autoimmune condition, you aren’t living the life you would choose. If you have extreme fatigue, brain fog or a neurological disorder and are facing surgery or a life of prescription medications, regenerative therapy may be for you.
When you are thinking about trying stem cell therapy, it is important to know there are things you will need to do in order to optimize your level of recovery. Using a clinic that provides appropriate pre and post care is essential to achieving the best results possible. The first thing we do is a medical exam that often includes blood work in order to rule out any pre-existing condition that might impede the growth of new cells and tissues. There are conditions in which stem cell therapy would be contraindicated, so it is important to rule these out before setting up a care plan.
Stem cells work best in a healthy environment. The immune system is the repair mechanism, and as such responds to inflammation signals sent out from areas that require repair. When there are multiple signals, the immune system is required to go many places and there isn’t enough in any one area to maintain the whole body.
Seventy to eighty percent of our immune system lives in our intestines. When there is inflammation (from eating foods to which your body reacts), the immune system must work very hard to cool the inflammation and heal the gut lining. This leaves little repair mechanism to go other places.
Eating an anti-inflammatory diet is essential for several reasons. Not only will this reduce inflammation in your gut, but it will help to reduce inflammation in other areas of your body. When stem cells are injected directly into a joint, reducing overall inflammation prevents some of the stem cells from drifting to other areas with inflammation and so makes the injection more effective. Testing to determine your personal food sensitivities can enhance the anti-inflammatory effect.
One of the benefits of using regenerative medicine over surgical repair is there is no real down time. Total inactivity however, will cause the joint to stiffen up and lose range of motion so going about your regular daily activities is important. If you are treating a joint injury, impact and weight bearing exercises are contraindicated during the first few weeks after treatment. It’s like planting a new garden and then walking through it. A garden that has never been walked on will grow much taller than one that has been broken off. A few weeks after your procedure, we put together an exercise and rehab program for you based on your ability and designed to strengthen the muscles around the treated joint, so the highest level of recovery can be achieved.
Acupuncture works as a vasodilator, meaning it opens blood vessels and allows more blood to flow into the area treated. This ensures the stem cells have all the oxygen, nutrients and other aspects your immune system needs to regenerate the damaged cells. Weekly treatments initially, then follow-up treatments are included in the cost of care to maximize effectiveness and shorten recovery time.
Our clinic’s purpose is to get you as close to your health goals as possible, so you can live free of pain and chronic disease. We also want you to be educated so you have enough information to make the best decision for you, not your doctor.