We must disrupt the way we currently manage our patients’ pain. We currently diagnose a source of pain, but do very little to actually heal injury. If you go to your physician with knee pain, for instance, a very common problem, your issue would most likely be navigated the following way.
• Prescription for Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
• Prescription for Narcotic medication.
• Multiple Steroid Injections
• Possible Surgery
Although this process is considered “gold-standard,” it is far from golden for our patients.
• NSAID use can cause stomach ulcers, bleeding, & kidney damage
• Narcotics can cause sedation, addiction, respiratory depression, & death.
• Steroids can accelerate cartilage damage in your joints, increasing your chances of needing surgery.
• Surgery has significant medical risks, not to mention it is expensive to our patients and healthcare system.
What should we do? How can we improve our approach to pain and musculoskeletal injury?
We must define our mission. For instance, at Texas Cell Institute, our mission is clear. We strive to:
• Decrease & Eliminate the Need for Narcotics for Non-Healing Injuries
• Heal Musculoskeletal Pain at the Cellular Level
• Preserve Arthritic Joints for long term health
• Promote Overall Health & Wellness
Texas Cell Institute is a center for Regenerative Medicine. Whereas traditional medicine attempts to mask pain with potentially harmful drugs, regenerative medicine uses the body’s own powerful cells and growth factors to definitively heal damaged and injured areas. Take the example of the patient who comes in with knee pain. The regenerative approach would be to
• Understand the Injury & Precisely Define the Pain Generator
• Educate the Patient on How to Improve Health at the Cellular Level
• Diet, Exercise, Hydration, Smoking, Stress, Sleet, etc.
• Deliver your body’s own Biological Growth Factors and stem cells precisely at the area of injury
• Focused Rehabilitation and Strengthening program
The regenerative approach does not merely mask pain, it allows your body to heal injury. It allows you to avoid long-term medications & narcotics. It allows you to avoid invasive surgery and chronic pain. It allows you to preserve your body’s innate anatomy and symmetry for long-term health and function.
This is why professional athletes like Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Hines Ward, Steph Curry and others have taken this approach when it comes to their own injuries. At Texas Cell Institute, we have treated professional athletes to help them avoid prescription narcotics, which may cause sedation and disallow the athlete to compete at his sport at the highest level. We have treated professional athletes to help them avoid surgery, which would have ended their season and possibly their career. We have treated professional fighters to help them train and prepare for combat in the ring.
Athletes aren’t the only humans that must preserve their bodies. We all must do it. We must commit ourselves as a medical community, as physicians, nurses, hospital systems, insurance companies, pharmaceutical & device companies, and most of all patients, to the practice of regenerative medicine.
It is not the most lucrative or scalable, but it is the most sustainable for long-term health and function for our patients. We can’t avoid getting injuries, but with the help of our bodies’ own powerful cells and growth factors, we can promote a longer, healthier and more satisfying life.