Don't Medicate, Regenerate


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Regenerative Medicine

This is a term that means any medical procedure or lifestyle that enhances or creates the environment that allows the body to heal to its fullest extent. This often means simultaneously removing all impediments to the healing process resulting in the greatest chance that the body will heal any damaged area and restore as much normal function as possible.

Platelet-Rich Plasma

Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is created by drawing some blood from the arm and then spinning the vial of blood in a centrifuge in order to separate the blood into its constituents. Red blood cells and many white blood cells will be forced to the bottom of the tube while platelet-poor (lacking platelets) liquid will form the top layer. In between lies the “buffy coat” containing white blood cells and above that the platelet-rich plasma. 

Platelets are important because these cell fragments contain various nutrients and growth factors that help our healing cells do their job to heal the body. When the platelets full of growth factors are concentrated and re-injected (transplanted) to areas where they are needed, these extra-rich growth factors fuel healing cells to repair and/or create new blood vessels, nerve cells, cartilage cells, tendon cells, muscle cells, bone cells, or any other kind of cell that the body needs to fully heal any damaged tissue. 

Peripheral Neuropathy

While there are many problems PRP helps the body to heal, we at Whole Health Regenerative Medicine are focusing on peripheral neuropathy. This disorder may have many different causes, but the end result is that the sensitive nerves are badly disturbed then they begin to degenerate and die. This results in various symptoms including tingling into the hands and/or feet, sensation of pins and needles, or walking on tacks or shards of glass. Other symptoms can include numbness, the feeling of a rolled-up sock under the ball of the foot, muscle weakness, and loss of balance (from not being able to feel the feet).

Once the blood sample has been drawn and spun, the doctor retrieves the PRP fraction of the blood and then transplants these nutrient-rich platelets using a small needle into the muscle near the dying nerves. In time, the nerves will use these growth factors to heal, decreasing or eliminating the pain associated with the previously damaged nerve. Along with home therapies, PRP allows nerves to function normally, and decreased pain is the result. 

Other uses of PRP include chronic knee pain, shoulder pain, small joint arthritis in the hands and feet, muscle injuries, and even chronic back pain. 

Platelet Lysate

Platelet lysate, or PL, is platelet-rich plasma that has undergone 3 to 5 freeze-thaw cycles in order to break apart the cell fragments containing the growth factors and liberate these all at once. This is most useful in healing damaged nerves. If PRP is considered to be like time-released fertilizer, then PL can be thought of as instant-release fertilizer for sensitive nerves to use right away.

Insurance and PRP

While a search for PRP in PubMed will reveal scores of published, peer-reviewed research articles over decades detailing the safety and efficacy of using PRP to heal the body, unfortunately, most insurance companies still do not cover such procedures. One day I am confident that insurance companies will have no choice but to cover regenerative medicine procedures such as PRP since the research is overwhelming. Until then, Whole Health Regenerative Medicine has financing plans available so that nearly everyone can afford these advanced procedures.