Special Announcement - Now Screening for FDA Approved Stem Cell Study
Dr. Mitchell Sheinkop has completed training and is credentialed for an FDA-approved stem cell clinical trial for knee arthritis. Our clinic is now screening patients for this trial. Contact us at 312-475-1893 for details. Click here to learn more.

Can Activity Bolster Cartilage?

It may even delay arthritis and influence cartilage healing. Could running actually be good for your knees, hips, and back? Cartilage, which doesn’t have a blood supply of its own, is generally thought to not have the ability to repair itself once damaged. Yet, in real life, while some some runners will develop knee arthritis, as a cohort, runners are statistically less likely to experience arthritis of the knee, hip or back than non-runners. In recent studies, animals that ran had thicker, healthier cartilage than those that were sedentary, suggesting that the active animals’ cartilage had changed in response to running. Perhaps in humans, cartilage in runners likewise might adapt to repetitive loading cycles. Taking it a step further, you might presume that the cartilage will grow thicker and remodel just as muscle does when we exercise.

Looking at the possible pathways that cartilage uses to remodel and heal in adults with activity, might the explanation be biologics found in your bone marrow, adipose tissue, and plasma? Assume that you have addressed your joint and back pain with the usual and customary measures of Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Medications; weight reduction; Physical Therapy; as well as braces, orthotics and supports; and you still are experiencing symptoms and functional impairment. Next you have tried injections with hyaluronic acid or cortisone with diminishing return; in the latter case with potential damage to your cartilage. The underlying source for joint and back pain are molecules resulting from inflammation in those joints. These molecules are enzymatic proteins that generate pain and destroy the cartilage cells and tissues in the joint or disc space. 

Activities That Can Help

Our bodies do produce defense mechanisms against destructive enzymes; but in order to be effective, these proteins and molecules must get into the joint or disc space in high concentrations. Cyclic loading by activities such as running or cycling is a mechanical mechanism by which your body’s growth factors, stem cells and the like are able to effect cartilage in a joint or intervertebral disc; think of it as a sponge like action of absorption. Another means of delivering the Growth Factor Protein and Stem Cell is via injection following my harvesting your platelets, plasma, circulating blood, adipose tissue or bone marrow; concentrating and filtering; and then injection into the arthritic joint or failing intervertebral disc. The injection of biologics may provide the necessary concentration of molecules to bind and remove destructive enzymes from you joints as well as initiate a healing process.

To learn more about Orthobiologics, visit my website at www.sheinkopmd.com.  You may schedule an appointment by calling (312) 475-1893

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