The regenerative medicine market is booming right now. Its global valuation is expected to reach $48.97 billion USD by the year 2025.
Never heard of this type of medicine before? Not sure what it is or whether it’s a good option for you?
If you have questions about it, you’ve come to the right place. Explained below is everything you need to know.
What Is Regenerative Medicine?
Regenerative medicine’s primary focus is the replacement of damaged tissues and/or organs. Whether the damage is the result of trauma, disease, or a congenital issue, this type of medicine aims to get to the root of the issue rather than treating symptoms.
Practitioners who specialize in this medicine use a variety of modalities to treat patients, from tissue engineering and cellular therapies to special medical devices and even the formation of artificial organs.
At this point, this type of medicine is a fairly new field of practice. It’s growing at a rapid rate, though, as experts continue to develop new technology and find different ways to harness the body’s own natural healing and regenerative properties.
Types of Regenerative Medicine
There are four primary branches of regenerative medicine. They are as follows:
1. Artificial Organs and Medical Devices
Many researchers and practitioners have a special interest in the creation of artificial organs and medical devices.
These tools could help patients struggling with birth defects that affect organ function. For example, the creation of an artificial bladder grown from the patient’s own cells could be a revolutionary option for spina bifida patients who cannot control their bladders on their own.
2. Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
Many specialists have also focused on the creation of new tissues. For example, there’s been a significant focus on the development of healthy tissue that could replace diseased heart tissue in patients in need of heart transplants.
Instead of having to wait for a whole new heart (and run the risk of not receiving one in time), physicians could replace the damaged tissue and help the patient heal without undergoing a transplant.
3. Cellular Therapies
Cellular therapies involve the use of stem cells to regenerate damaged cells and tissues in the body. This helps to keep all the organs and systems of the functioning in the most optimal way.
Cellular therapies have the potential to help a variety of patients, including those dealing with damaged tissue from physical trauma or disease.
4. Clinical Practices
Many of these branches are still in the early, lab-only stages. However, there are clinical branches that have seen great success thus far.
For example, some physicians are using treatments like platelet-rich plasma (or PRP for short) therapy and prolotherapy to help heal sports injuries.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy involves removing blood from the body and spinning it in a centrifuge to separate the platelets and plasma from the rest of the blood. The plasma and platelets then get reinjected into the injury site to speed up the healing process.
Prolotherapy involves the injection of an irritant into an already-injured area. This exacerbates the body’s inflammatory response and causes it to divert resources to the injured site. As a result, the body starts to heal the damaged spot faster.
What Are Its Benefits?
This type of medicine offers a myriad of benefits. It has the potential to solve the problem of donor organ shortage, for example, and can help patients who were previously without options enjoy a higher quality of life.
In its clinical applications, regenerative medicine is already changing lives, too. Many people are experiencing significant healing as a result of these treatments.
Some specific benefits of using it to heal injuries and chronic pain include the following:
- Faster healing
- Reduced pain
- Increased function and range of motion
- Faster recovery
Regenerative treatments can also help to reduce one’s risk of developing future injuries. It increases the resilience of the tissues and makes them less susceptible to damage.
Is It Right for You?
There are lots of reasons why someone might want to try regenerative therapies. Is it a good fit for you, specifically, though?
The following people are, in general, the best candidates for this type of treatment:
- Those who have mild-to-moderate pain or injuries
- Those who are in generally good health
- Those who have not seen relief from other treatment options
- Those who are willing to participate in a multi-faceted recovery program
This last point is especially important. Regenerative therapies are very effective, but they work best when combined with other treatments, such as physical therapy. Without these complementary modalities, it’ll be harder to see significant improvements.
Tips for Finding a Regenerative Medicine Specialist
At this point, you might be interested in receiving more regenerative medicine information and trying to find a specialist near you who can help you out.
If you’re going to undergo any kind of regenerative therapy, you need to make sure you’re working with a qualified professional. Here are some good questions to ask to find such a person:
- What kind of training have you received?
- Where did you receive that training?
- How long have you been practicing this type of medicine?
- How many patients have you seen with injuries like mine?
- What kind of results can I expect?
- How long will it take for me to see results?
- Can you provide any references from past patients?
Use the answers to these questions to help guide your decision-making. Take your time during your search and exercise patience to find the best person for the job.
Learn More About Regenerative Medicine Today
Now that you know more about regenerative medicine, what do you think? Does it seem like something that could benefit you?
If you’re interested in using regenerative treatments to help you heal from an injury or reduce pain, be sure to keep the tips listed above in mind. They’ll help you find a specialist who’s a good fit for you and can provide you with the care you need.
For more health and medical-related information, visit the Health section of our site today. You’ll find all kinds of useful insights there that will help you make the best decisions when it comes to your healthcare.