What’s the one thing that knee pain and opioid addiction in America have in common? They’re both on the rise and expected to skyrocket in the coming decade. The Opioid crisis has been increasing and expanding for decades, and the over prescribing of opioids to treat chronic pain is contributing to the growing epidemic.

There has been a vast increase in the number of opioids prescribed by doctors in the US dating back to the early 1990s. The typical opioids prescribed to treat chronic pain include Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, and Vicodin.

Here are a few shocking and disturbing opioid statistics 

  • Over 760,000 people have died from a drug overdose since 1999. Opioids cause ⅔ of drug overdose-related deaths in the year 2018.
  • The medication Narcan also known as Naloxone was created to rapidly reverse an overdose caused by opioids. The number of Naloxone prescriptions had doubled in just one year, from 2017 to 2018.
  • An estimated 10.1 million cases of people 12 and older misused opioids in 2019. 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers, and 745,000 used heroin.

Not only does the vast prescriptions of opioids contribute to the worldwide epidemic, but it also masks the problem by just treating the symptoms.

However, the root cause of the pain is never addressed; thus, the problem is never solved, and patients are never truly healed from their pain and discomfort. This type of treatment only prolongs the condition and never actually treats the root cause of the knee pain, which is joint degeneration.

Opioids have only been shown to help assist in short-term chronic pain relief and are often prescribed to patients recovering from minor surgeries or injuries. But what happens when short-term pain turns into long-term chronic pain? Patients who use opioids for extended periods of time will often develop a higher tolerance for the drug, and need to increase their dosage.

When taking opioids to treat chronic pain, it is imperative to be aware of the many risks that come along with taking such medications. The risks associated with opioid use are increasingly severe for older patients. Risks include but are not limited to:

  • Cardiac complications: Certain opioids have an increased risk factor for heart failure or heart attack
  • Breathing disorders: an increased dosage of opioids have the risk of causing slow, shallow breathing, which is increasingly risky when sleeping. 
  • Mental confusion and sedation: Opioids cause mental clouding and increased patient sleepiness. This is directly linked to an increased risk of falls that cause additional injuries to some patients. 
  • Gastrointestinal Upset: Nausea and constipation are risks that patients must be aware of when taking such medications.

So, what should we do to spread awareness of the growing epidemic? We can start by educating ourselves, our families, and our peers about alternative medical options to treat conditions like osteoarthritis of the knee.

When treating knee pain caused by conditions like osteoarthritis, there are many alternative methods aside from opioid treatment such as regenerative medicine

Regenerative Medicine has shown incredible results in reducing debilitating joint pain caused by many life-changing joint diseases, including knee osteoarthritis. 

 

How is Regenerative Medicine Used to Treat Knee Pain Caused by Osteoarthritis?

Contrary to the growing number of patients being prescribed opioids to treat osteoarthritis, there is an increasing number of patients seeking alternative treatment to proactively treat the root cause of the issue with regenerative Medicine. 

Unlike traditional Medicine which encourages patients to mask the pain with invasive surgeries and pharmaceutical drugs, regenerative medicine not only repairs the joints, but simultaneously prevents future degeneration of the joints. 

Proactively restoring joint tissue and fluids is crucial to adequately heal chronic pain caused by osteoarthritis of the knee. Patients who seek regenerative treatment within the early stages of knee pain tend to experience significant results with healing damaged and arthritic joints.

The two most common and effective forms of regenerative medicine treatment are Stem Cell Therapy and Hyaluronic Acid Injection Therapy treatments. Let’s explore these two treatment options:

Stem Cell Therapy Injections

Stem cell therapy is a proactive and preventative treatment option for treating arthritis. This safe treatment option offers fast and long-lasting relief of pain and inflammation with little to no recovery time. Stem cell therapy treatment is highly effective and nonintrusive and has shown great success in treating symptoms caused by arthritis, such as pain and inflammation. 

At Greenwood Regenerative Medicine, our medical professionals use Human Umbilical Cord Stem Cells since they are the most effective stem cells to treat osteoarthritis. Stem cells are prescreened and donated to a regulated FDA- registered Lab. Then they are cryogenically frozen to preserve them until a licensed professional administers them to our patients using diagnostic ultrasound technology to ensure ultimate precision and guidance.

 

Hyaluronic Acid Therapy Injections

Hyaluronic Acid Injections (HA) are another form of regenerative Medicine used in addition to stem cell therapy treatment. Hyaluronic Acid is a naturally occurring substance that is highly concentrated in the synovial fluid in our skin and eyes. There is a heightened concentration of HA in the joints in our knees since the knee joints bear the most weight in the human body.

Hyaluronic Acid lubricates and cushions the joints in the knees, which act as a scaffold protein, allowing the stem cells to have a mesh-like substance to cling on to during treatment. 

Our professionals have found that HA treatment in conjunction with stem cell therapy has an incredible impact on the efficacy of stem cell therapy when it is used to treat pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis of the knee.

 

Wondering if Regenerative Medicine Therapy is the right option for you?

The medical professionals at Greenwood Regenerative Medicine are passionate about providing risk-free, proactive, preventative care for patients dealing with pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis. That’s why we offer risk-free screening to all prospective patients to see if regenerative therapy treatment is appropriate for them. 

For a free consultation, complete the form below or give us a call today, and we will determine if Regenerative Medicine is right for you.