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July 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As new medical frontiers are forged, their place in sports medicine will be assured if athletes can recover or heal faster. This concept has not been lost in the dawn of Regenerative Medicine. This new age has emerged in which regenerative stem cell treatments are being applied to blindness, spinal cord injuries and congestive heart failure. It is no wonder that elite athletes such as
Peyton Manning turned to stem cells when his neck wasn't healing.
So what is it that makes the allure of stem cells attractive to high caliber athletes? According to Dr.
Dennis Lox, a Sports Medicine and Regenerative specialist, in the
Tampa Bay, Florida area, stem cells have unique capabilities for injured athletes. First the stem cells are very effective at alleviating inflammatory responses seen in chronic injuries. By blocking and altering the mechanisms in which inflammation occurs, some chronic injuries may heal. Dr. Lox then comments that, the stem cells are also at the same time regenerative cells that may heal by releasing factors that allow healing to occur, or trophic effects. Lastly, the stem cells may allow regeneration of injured tissue. All these mechanisms, Dr. Lox stresses, cannot be achieved by cortisone injections, or commonly prescribed anti-inflammatory medications.
The unique way in which regenerative therapies such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and stem cells, exert effects on injured tissues will always be seen positively as athletes search for better and quicker healing treatments. Also, athletes need to be concerned with career longevity. The possible fountain of youth that repairing injured muscles and joints may hold with stem cell therapy makes it an attractive option. No adverse effects have been reported in clinical trials using stem cells for knee arthritis. The same cannot be said for knee surgery. The upside to minimizing further joint injury by avoiding surgery, may deter accelerated arthritis development. Dr. Lox notes a player's career may be lengthened by early repair of knee injury, and preventing arthritis development. These are two goals of regenerative medicine, and in some athletes mind two reasons to consider stem cell therapy.