It’s an exciting time to have knee pain—or shoulder pain, or hip pain for that matter. Well, maybe not exciting, but there are now more appealing options for joint pain sufferers than ever before. There is, however, excitement at the Joseph Health Group. They’re positioned at the forefront of a breakthrough surgical alternative called Regenerative Medicine.
Spend a few minutes with practitioners Amanda Gaweleck (FNP-BC, and Clinical Director) and Dr. Dan Joseph, D.C. and you might think they’ve embarked on an agricultural endeavor. There’s much talk about planting seed, fertile soil and growth. But there’s not an ear of corn in sight; instead it’s the duo’s favored metaphor for the work they are doing in Regenerative Medicine to heal damaged joints.
Just like agriculture, the goal of Regenerative Medicine is to use the best seeds, healthy soil, and enriching fertilizers to create a hardy crop. When it comes to applying Regenerative Medicine to injured joints, the “soil” is the tissue in the patient’s troublesome joint, and the “seed” is one of the potent allograft (donated) products they employ. For the experts at Joseph Health Group, temporary relief for patients is good, but they seek a more long-term solution that may work better.
The Regenerative Medicine they practice is an emerging alternative used to treat conditions like osteoarthritis—especially in the knees, hips, and shoulders. Traditional approaches turn to invasive joint surgery and multiple cortisone injections to manage discomfort and symptoms of injury. These standard approaches sometimes provide fast respite from symptoms like joint pain and inflammation, but they often entail repeated maintenance, side effects and even surgical procedures.
The goal of Regenerative Medicine is to provide relief and often does so with just a single treatment. The solution that is infused into the joint gives the body the resources it needs to repair joint damage, resulting in long-term pain relief. Amanda, the Clinical Director for this specialty, explains that at 9 to 12 months, the full benefit of the treatment may be realized and she adds, “The regenerated tissue is now your tissue and it lasts as long as you do.” There are no medications and no follow-up treatments. The new, healthy tissue works by turning back the clock on the body’s aging cells and greatly reducing pain.
You may be asking what’s behind the outstanding results seen by the Regenerative Medicine team at The Joseph Health Group. That would be the potent allograft treatments. This non-surgical procedure is on the cutting edge of emerging science. Allograft products, the “seeds” for tissue regeneration, contain growth factors (like hormones and vitamins), cytokines (substances that prime cells to receive the graft), exosomes (cells that direct the repair effort), and medicinal signaling cells. This combination provides the elements needed for the joint to regenerate the tissue that once allowed for pain-free movement.
Although their use in emerging treatments showed promise, Regenerative Medicine treatments were the source of great controversy in the 90s. Today, Regenerative Medicine is harvested safely from willing donors in the form of bone marrow and perinatal tissue. While recipients of these donated allografts are commonly 65 or older, donors are typically 30 or under. Because cellular health and turnover slows after 30, younger people are the best candidates for healthy donors.
The treatment is a potent tool for treating weakened tissues, but it is far from the only tool in the Regenerative Medicine practitioner’s tool shed. Among some of the new methods at their disposal, Joseph Health Group also uses Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and cold laser therapy to activate and enhance the body’s natural healing capabilities. Dr. Joseph and Amanda have been especially excited about the emerging use of IV nutrition. In the agriculture metaphor, IV nutrition would be the fertilizer that is sown into the soil, making it rich and ripe for the “seed.” Since proper nutrition is linked to overall health, implementing IV nutrition can prime damaged tissue, allowing the Regenerative Medicine treatment to take root and enhance their effects. Simply put, this means less pain for the patient.
Similar to their philosophy concerning tissue preparation, Joseph Health Group also insists on using the safest and most effective allografts available. Dr. Joseph explains, “we could use any lab or distributor in the country, but we chose our lab for its efficacy. Its FDA regulation (safety rating) is very high, and we know it is the best option for our patients.”
Dr. Joseph is clearly proud to be at the helm of this practice, which was one of the first clinics in the area to offer regular patients access to the emerging field of Regenerative Medicine. “It used to be available only to elite athletes who had to travel to Europe to receive treatment. Now, because of the results seen, it is more universally adopted.” Researchers at Harvard, Stanford, and Mayo Clinic have indicated that someday, maybe even soon, Regenerative Medicine will not only be more widely available, but easier and useful for repairing more than just joints.
As health care professionals, both Dr. Joseph and Clinical Director Amanda Gaweleck are excited by possible advances in the field, but they remain pragmatic in their advice to patients. These new treatments are personalized, may be long lasting, and may become more effective as time goes on, but not every person is a good candidate for these procedures. Dr. Joseph offers, “If we determine you’re not a good candidate, we will make the referral to those best equipped,” including recommending more traditional approaches. Although the potential of Regenerative Medicine is miraculous, there are no magic bullets in medicine— it’s good science and careful preparation that has revolutionized the treatment of chronic joint pain.
Dinner and Lunch Workshops
October 22, 2019
at 12:30pm & 5:30pm
at Lariat Steakhouse
October 16, 2019
at 5:30pm at Tony Roma’s
Seating is limited. Those wishing to
attend must RSVP to 309-693-3694.
The team at Joseph Health Group offers you unparalleled therapeutic options with Regenerative Medicine treatments, platelet rich plasma injections, and laser therapy. Their offices are located at 5001 N. University Street in Peoria. To see if you are a candidate for their advanced treatments, call 309-693-2225, visit josephhealthgroup.com, or attend one of their community workshops. To learn more about the exciting advancements in Regenerative Medicine, visit clinicaltrials.gov.