Q: What is a "Rehabilitation Physician"
A: Rehabilitation physicians are medical doctors who have completed training in the medical specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R).
Specifically, rehabilitation physicians:
Diagnose and treat pain
Restore maximum function lost through injury, illness or disabling conditions
Treat the whole person, not just the problem area
Lead a team of medical professionals
Provide non-surgical treatments
Explain your medical problems and treatment/prevention plan
The job of a rehabilitation physician is to treat any disability resulting from disease or injury, from sore shoulders to spinal cord injuries. The focus is on the development of a comprehensive program for putting the pieces of a person's life back together after injury or disease – without surgery. Rehabilitation physicians take the time needed to accurately pinpoint the source of an ailment. They then design a treatment plan that can be carried out by the patients themselves or with the help of the rehabilitation physician’s medical team. This medical team might include other physicians and health professionals, such as neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, and physical therapists.
By providing an appropriate treatment plan, rehabilitation physicians help patients stay as active as possible at any age. Their broad medical expertise allows them to treat disabling conditions throughout a person’s lifetime.
Q: What is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.)?
If you're like most people, you've been going to physicians ever since you were born, but you're unaware that some or all of them could have been osteopathic physicians, also known as DOs. You may not even be aware that there are two types of complete physicians in the United States—DOs and MDs.
The fact is that both DOs and MDs are fully qualified physicians licensed to prescribe medication and perform surgery. DOs and MDs are alike in many ways. DOs and MDs both practice in accredited and licensed health care facilities. Together, DOs and MDs enhance the state of health care available in the U.S.
DOs practice a "whole person" approach to medicine. Instead of just treating you for specific symptoms or illnesses, they regard your body as an integrated whole. Osteopathic physicians focus on preventive health care. DOs receive extra training in the musculoskeletal system—your body's interconnected system of nerves, muscles and bones that makes up two-thirds of your body mass. This training provides osteopathic physicians with a better understanding of how an illness or injury in one part of your body can affect other parts. Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) is incorporated into the training and practice of osteopathic physicians. With OMT, osteopathic physicians use their hands to diagnose illness and injury and to encourage your body's natural tendency toward good health. By combining all other available medical options with OMT, DOs offer their patients the most comprehensive care available in medicine today.
Q: What is Regenerative Medicine?
A: Regenerative medicine is the "process of replacing or regenerating human cells, tissues or organs to restore or establish normal function". This field holds the promise of regenerating damaged tissues and organs in the body by replacing damaged tissue and/or by stimulating the body's own repair mechanisms to heal previously irreparable tissues or organs.
- (Regenerative Medicine, 2008, 3(1), 1–5 )
Q: What is Platelet-Rich-Plasma?
A: Platelet rich plasma therapy (or PRP injections) is a new treatment that relieves pain by promoting long lasting healing of musculoskeletal conditions. This rapidly emerging technique is showing exciting potential with osteoarthritis of the knee, shoulder, hip and spine, rotator cuff tears, chronic plantar fasciitis, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, pelvic pain and instability, back and neck injuries, tennis elbow, ankle sprains, tendonitis, and ligament sprains.How do PRP injections help?
The body’s first response to soft tissue injury is to deliver platelet cells. Packed with growth and healing factors, platelets initiate repair and attract the critical assistance of stem cells. Platelet Rich Plasma therapy’s natural healing process intensifies the body’s efforts by delivering a higher concentration of platelets.
To create platelet rich plasma therapy, a small sample of your blood is drawn (similar to a lab test sample) and placed in a centrifuge that spins the blood at high speeds, separating the platelets from the other components. The concentrated PRP injection is then delivered into and around the point of injury, jump-starting and significantly strengthening the body’s natural healing signal. Because your own blood is used, there is no risk of a transmissible infection and a very low risk of allergic reaction.
How long does it take? The Platelet Rich Plasma therapy takes approximately one to two hours, including preparation and recovery time. Performed safely in a medical office, PRP injections relieve pain without the risks of surgery, general anesthesia, or hospital stays and without a prolonged recovery. In fact, most people return to their jobs or usual activities right after the procedure.
How often should PRP injections be given? Up to three PRP injections may be given within a six-month time frame, usually performed two to three weeks apart. You may, however, gain considerable to complete relief after the first or second injection.
What are the expected results? Because the goal of platelet rich plasma therapy is to resolve pain through healing, it could prove to have lasting results. Initial improvement may be seen within a few weeks, gradually increasing as the healing progresses. Research studies and clinical practice have shown Platelet Rich Plasma therapy to be very effective at relieving pain and returning patients to their normal lives. Both ultrasound and MRI images have shown definitive tissue repair after PRP therapy, confirming the healing process. The need for surgery can also be greatly reduced by treating injured tissues before the damage progresses and the condition is irreversible.
Q: What is Prolotherapy?
A: Prolotherapy also know as regenerative injection therapy, sclerotherapy, (proliferative therapy), ligament reconstruction therapy, and fibro-osseous injection therapy, is a recognized orthopedic procedure that stimulates the body's nature healing processes to strengthen joints weakened by traumatic or over-use injury. Joints when ligaments or tendon attachments are stretched, torn, or fragmented, become hypermobile and painful. Traditional approaches with surgery and anti-inflammatory drugs often fail to stabilized the joint and relieve this pain permanently. Prolotherapy, with its unique ability to directly address the cause of the instability, can repair the weakened sites and produce new fibrous tissues, resulting in permanent stabilization of the joint.
How does prolotherapy work? With a precise injection of a mild irritant solution directly on the site of the torn or stretched ligament or tendon, Prolotherapy creates a mild, controlled injury that stimulates the body's natural healing mechanisms to lay down new tissue on the weakened area. The mild inflammatory response that is created by the injection encourages growth of new ligament or tendon fibers, resulting in a tightening of the weakened structure.
What is in the solution that is injected? The prolotherapy injections contain anesthetic agents and natural substances which stimulate the healing response. The primary agent is glucose, but each treating physician tailors the selection of substances according to the patients' needs.