As we age, chronic injuries, along with normal wear and tear on our joints, often lead to arthritis. The articular cartilage between the joints that cushions and protects begins to wear down, causing bones to rub against each other. The resulting friction leads to pain and swelling. This chronic inflammation results in arthritis and further degeneration of tissue.
Aging is a prime factor in osteoarthritis—life can cause wear and tear on our joints. Chronic and partially healed joint injuries play a major role in the advancement of arthritis. Genetics and lifestyle can also be a factor. Both men and women have the disease, but it’s more common in people who are overweight and in those with jobs that stress particular joints. Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint, but most often affects the hands and weight-bearing joints such as the knee, hip, and facet joints of the spine.
Women after menopause
Low hormone levels
Injury and Trauma
- Healthy Knee
- Arthritic Knee
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-lasting disease that can affect joints in any part of the body. It most commonly involves the hands, wrists, knees, and feet. In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system—the body's defense system against disease—mistakenly attacks itself and causes the joint lining to swell. The inflammation then spreads to the surrounding tissues and eventually damages cartilage and bone.
Traditional treatment for arthritis has focused primarily on treating the inflammation and pain associated with this condition. Although pain relievers can make you feel better, they do not change the course of the disease and can actually cause further damage. Cortisone, along with epidural steroid injections, will reduce inflammation, but in turn inhibit healing and further damage cartilage.
Inflammation is the body's natural way of healing, part of an EMT unit for the body. However, uncontrolled inflammation that lasts for a long time or recurs, as in arthritis, can lead to tissue damage and, commonly, joint replacement. As scientists learn more about how the body heals, medicine is able to offer alternatives to drugs that merely mask pain and procedures that cut and sew. Regenerative Orthopedics is radically changing the way musculoskeletal conditions are treated, helping bodies mend themselves to provide cures for people who have been living — until now — without treatment options.
- Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy, PRP, promotes and accelerates the natural healing process of soft tissue injuries and osteoarthritis by stimulating the release of adult stem cells that already exist in tissue. A concentrated solution of the patient’s blood platelets containing healing cells called alpha-granules and plasma is injected into damaged tissue resulting in new cell growth and increased blood flow.
- Stem Cell Therapy uses adult mesenchymal stem cells that are derived from the patient’s own tissue, particularly from the bone marrow or adipose tissue. Stem cells have the capacity to differentiate into various cell types, such as cartilage, tendon, muscle, and bones. When injected in a concentrated form into damaged tissue, these cells promote and accelerate the regeneration of tissue.
- Viscosupplementation with hyaluronic acid helps to replace and stimulate production of synovial fluid, the joint’s natural lubricant and shock absorber. Hyaluronic acid injections can help to relieve the pain of moderate osteoarthritis of the knee and other joints.
- Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine focuses on improving joint restriction and misalignment. It improves blood flow to nourish tissue and reduce inflammation, reducing joint pain. It also helps to reduce strain on surrounding body tissue that causes further pain and structural dysfunction.