The benefits of physical rehabilitation are well documented for a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions. Practitioners who practice this type of therapy are highly skilled in assessing the body’s movement patterns, strength, and range of motion to determine what needs to be addressed. Acute injuries, chronic pain, and post-surgical rehabilitation are some of the most common reasons one may seek out physical rehabilitation.
Because physical rehabilitation has been shown to help a wide range of ailments, it’s no surprise how effective it has been when combined with stem cell therapy. Physical rehabilitation is vital to the healing process for connective tissue due to its ability to promote proper tissue growth, correct abnormal motor patterns/muscle memory that comes from compensation, and promote increased blood flow to/around tissues that have poor vascular supply.
Physical Rehabilitation Provides the “Blue Print” for Alignment of Tissue Fibers
The most common goal of stem cell therapy, as it pertains to what is currently allowed by the FDA, is to heal and regenerate damaged connective tissue (ligaments, tendons, cartilage, etc.). While it has been shown to be very effective at doing so on its own, these types of procedures have an even higher success rate when combined with physical therapy. One of the main reasons for this is what is referred to as Wolfe’s Law and Davis’ Law. When tissues of the body are subjected to stress, they will adapt by aligning their fibers based on the types of force they experience. For example, the skin on the bottom of your heel is thicker and stronger than the skin on the top of your foot because of the stress applied to it. The bones in your legs and feet are stronger/denser than the ones in your arms and hands because they are typically subjected to more stress. The fibers in cartilage, tendons, and ligaments will naturally align themselves based on the direction of the forces to which they are exposed. Unfortunately, when scar tissue forms after an injury, the fibers attempt to heal quickly in a criss-cross, hashmark pattern if not properly exposed to normal stress during the healing process. Ultimately this results in long term problems with strength, range of motion, and abnormal joint function. These side effects often lead to other health problems and early onset or acceleration of arthritis. Proper physical rehabilitation ensures the fibers will heal properly while being exposed to healthy ranges of motion and forces applied to them.
Short Term Solutions Have Potential for Long Term Complications
While stem cell therapy directly treats the injury or loss of connective tissue, its effectiveness is closely related to the nervous system through motor patterns and muscle memory, making the addition of physical rehabilitation that much more important. It is not uncommon for chronic problems like arthritis to be present long before the patient is aware of anything due to the body’s ability to adapt and compensate. This can be decreased or altered range of motion, a limp, using one limb more than the other, leaning, or simply the unnatural tightening/weakening of certain muscles around the affected area. While these changes don’t typically create short term discomfort, they can potentially create serious complications down the road. With the help of physical rehabilitation, the compensations can be reversed and allow the natural movement patterns to return. With normal motor patterns restored, the chances of long term success are significantly improved. A good analogy for this would be a car out of alignment. The tires are like cartilage suffering from abnormal wear. If you replace the tires and do not correct the alignment, the tires are likely to wear out prematurely again compared to also getting a proper alignment.
Healthy Motion Results in Increased Blood Flow and Healing
In stem cell therapy, one of the common questions we get asked is related to the use of the patient’s stem cells. If you take your stem cells and put them back in, why can’t your body just heal itself in the first place? It’s an excellent question, and the answer comes from the lack of blood flow to connective tissue like ligaments, tendons, and cartilage in joints. Without effective blood flow to and from tissue, the cells cannot repair themselves properly. They simply do not have access to significant amounts of nutrients, growth factors, and stem cells because of poor or nonexistent blood supply. Under normal conditions, these cells do not require as much as other parts of the body like a muscle or your skin. They receive enough “supplies” simply by moving and allowing fluid to pass between tissues through diffusion and osmosis. However, when injured, their energy and nutrient demand increases while the movement to the affected area typically decreases as the body tries to guard the damaged tissue. The lack of nutrients coming in and the inability to remove cellular wastes creates a toxic environment that ultimately leads to chronic pain and accelerated joint degeneration. Stem cell therapy does an excellent job of supplying those tissues with growth factors, stem cells, and other nutrients needed to heal. Still, without proper joint movement, the lack of proper blood/fluid supply reduces the chances of long term success. By adding physical rehabilitation, the blood flow to the surrounding area is maximized while also “pumping” the joint to allow the delivery of needed nutrients and removal of cellular waste. Restoring proper joint movement not only helps the patient become more active but also slows down the progression of arthritis.
Joint Rehabilitation is an Integral Part of NeoGenix’s 5 Step Treatment Process to Become Pain-Free
Through years of working with stem cell therapy and physical rehabilitation, its easy to see how both forms of treatment can help a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions. However, in our experience, the combination of the two treatments has been even more effective for the long term success of our patients. It made sense from a physiology standpoint to combine the two types of therapy, but what we found was an even better response than expected. This overwhelmingly positive response to this combination of treatment is why Dr. Altizer insisted joint rehabilitation be part of the NeoGenix 5 Step Treatment Process to Become Pain-Free. We are in direct contact with the offices providing joint rehabilitation for our patients and have the highest confidence in their ability to provide the necessary treatment for your specific condition. Please visit https://www.neogenixstemcells.com/stem-cell-treatment-options/joint-rehabilitation-providers/ for a list of our preferred joint rehabilitation providers.