Knee pain can be difficult to treat. Loyal readers of our blog will remember from our previous post WHY knee pain can be a challenge for healthcare providers. Most importantly, the readers will know HOW we get to the bottom of persistent knee pain. Now I want to tell you WHAT we do once we have discovered the source of your symptoms.
In order to tell you WHAT we do, it is just as important to understand what we DO NOT do. Old school thinking in orthopedics used to prescribe muscle relaxers or anti-inflammatory pills, followed by physical therapy. If that didn’t work, then surgery was the only remaining option. The clinicians at Wellward understand this mindset. Fortunately, we’ve found a better way.
Orthopedics is not always cut and dry. Just because physical therapy didn’t fix your problem doesn’t mean the only answer is surgery. Many painful conditions just need a push in the right direction for the body to heal. Healing is not black and white; there are 50 shades of grey. Surgery should be the LAST option after you have explored all avenues, not the first option proposed after you’ve only tried 1 thing!
We use our H.E.A.L. methodology to understand where the pain is coming from and the biomechanic around the joint preventing the body from repairing itself. We talked about the H. E. and A. part of the methodology during our previous BLOG, and now we’ll delve into the L portion.
– Hear the message the body conveys with pain
– Envision the life you want outside of pain
– Alleviate your pain
– Leverage your body’s ability to respond to an injury and FINALLY recover
Once we have established the pain source, Wellward can offer a variety of treatments that allow the body to heal without the damaging effects of surgery. At Wellward, we often utilize Orthobiologics (precise injections of your own organic growth factors to help tissues heal) as the way to bridge the gap between those who have not recovered with standard conservative care and yet do not need surgical interventions.
One such treatment is called Prolotherapy. Prolotherapy stands for proliferative therapy. This is a type of injection that can be targeted towards loose and injured ligaments. Prolotherapy has been helpful for a variety of orthopedic conditions and used for over 50 years. Studies have shown that it can be exceptionally helpful for the ligaments on the outside of your knee, like your medial collateral ligament (MCL) or the lateral collateral ligament (LCL). These ligaments along with the coronary ligaments of the knee can be what cause meniscus tears. These can all be repaired with Orthobiologics and if you’d like to know even more about how a loose ligament can cause damage to a knee, check out our 50 Shades of Pain episode where we go over this in detail.
Another treatment we utilize is called PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) which are growth factors contained in cells that run in your bloodstream. These growth factors send a signal to your own stem cells and direct them to a site of injury. If an injury has failed to heal and is now chronic pain, PRP will kick-start the body to restart the healing process by putting up neon signs directing where repair cells need to go. This treatment is helpful for more significant ligament injuries, certain types of meniscal injuries, knee capsule injuries, and even nerve injuries around the knee.
One of the most effective treatments for knee pain and arthritis are Stem Cell Treatments. At Wellward we use Stem Cells from your own body, because they have great evidence for effectiveness, and there is no risk of rejection. This is also beneficial for the patient because the cells are harvested and re-injected into the knee the same day, ensuring that the maximal amount of surviving cells are present in the treatment to help your recovery. This is used most often with patients who are facing a knee replacement due to degenerative cartilage, a severely injured meniscus, or ACL tears that still have some fibers intact.
For our patients looking to get the most out of their treatment, Wellward provides state-of-the-art tissue preparation using occlusion based exercise and acupuncture, and assists in the recovery with Class IV cold laser treatment after the injections have occurred. These options increase the amount of healing material in the injection, better prepares the body for healing, and decreases pain. Our outcomes from utilizing this proprietary process have exceeded all expectations–even our own!
Orthopedics have come a long way since the 20th century, but the old way of thinking still persists. If you or a loved one has been struggling with knee pain and have only been given the option of surgery, give Wellward a call today! 869-275-4878