The Problem - Traditional Treatment

Musculoskeletal problems and injuries make up a huge part of our health care cost in the United States.  $800 billion is spent each year on treating musculoskeletal conditions, making up 5.7% of the gross domestic product.  

Cost of musculoskeletal care approaches $800 billion or 5.7% of the GDP


THE GOOD.

Some of the traditional treatment methods have significant merit without having negative side effects.  Resting, local measures such as heat and ice, physical therapy and various splints or aides are all helpful and potentially effective. 

Rest, ice, heat, and bracing are certainly helpful.  They can reduce the localized pain, be comforting, and have no negative side effects.  The patient can also do these things on their own, when and where they wish.


Knee Icing Game Ready

Local measures such as heat, ice, splinting can be effective


Physical therapy is also a very helpful treatment.  This allows the injured area to gain mobility and be strengthened.  The therapist can instruct the patient in a home exercise program as well.  This treatment is quite effective in helping prevent further injury and aide in recovery.

physical therapy3

Physical therapy is an effective treatment modality.




THE BAD.

Unfortunately, some of the other treatments that are offered can have some significant negative consequences.  

nsaids

NSAIDS cause complications.

The use of long term medications such as narcotic pain medication and the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) have many far reaching negative side effects.  It is often thought that the NSAIDS are relatively safe, but this is far from the truth.  Both prescription and over-the-counter NSAIDS have very far-reaching side effects.  Some of these many side effects include ulcers, internal bleeding, heart attack, stroke, as well as kidney and liver problems.  NSAIDS are implicated in a large number of hospitalizations and deaths in the elderly population.  Many of the NSAIDS have been pulled of the market because of safety issues (Vioxx and Bextra).  These medications can often be quite expensive as well.

Corticosteroid injections are performed very commonly for a multitude of musculoskeletal problems.  Some of these include medications like Depo-Medrol, Kenalog, and Celestone.  These medications do reduce inflammation; however, they are associated with some signficant problems and complications (in the doses typically used for injections). Patients can experience a “flare reaction”, soft tissue damage to ligaments and tendons can also occur.  If the injection is performed in a joint there can be cartilage deterioration, decreased cartilage cell viability, and softening of the joint cartilage.  

Corticosteroids

Corticosteroid injections can cause problems.

The problem with corticosteroids is that they actually inhibit or prevent the healing process from occurring.  Even though they may help for a short period of time to reduce inflammation and pain, they produce effects that are completely contrary to what the patient needs and wants.  The corticosteroids can produce additional damage to the tendons, ligaments, and joints, and make the problem progress and get worse.  

Overall these medications produce effects in the body that are completely unnatural and can cause more damage.  They block the biological pathways that are necessary for proper healing of damaged tissue.  Steroids even inhibit the migration and differentiation of stem cells, as well as being toxic to them.  Therefore, it appears that these medications may not be the best answer for the treatment of these problems.  In fact, a new study has shown that these types of medication cause definite accelaration of arthritis and make joint replacement more likely - this is exactly the opposite of what you want to be doing to your body!

Surgery may be necessary in some situations, but should only be performed with the proper indications.  There are significant risks to surgery, it is invasive, and is irreversible.  Surgery requires an extended recovery period and there are certainly associated complications.  Everything should be done that is reasonable and possible before embarking on a surgical option.

Wouldn’t it be great if there could be a natural way to help the body heal an injury that did not have these types of side-effects or risks associated with it?

THERE IS!



The body needs to express itself.  Traditional medicine has suppressed the body’s healing ability.






©         Regenerative Medicine and Joint Preservation Center of Santa Rosa    2017