The underlying principle of the theory of evolution states that a species should improve in function and survivability with each graduated step. If it is a sound theory, its principal tenants and results should be observable elsewhere, like medicine for example. If humanity is truly evolving, the medicine we practice should be evolving right along with us.
One could make the case that Western medicine has made some tremendous strides in the last few decades. But the case could also be made that those strides have really not made medicine better across the board. We have gotten better at treating symptoms, but we have not necessarily gotten any better at promoting actual healing. At least until now.
Regenerative medicine is an exciting and emerging field of the healthcare sciences that offers real promise of substantial evolution within the field of medicine. The whole idea behind it is to treat underlying causes of injury and illness by promoting natural healing instead of simply dealing with symptoms. When regenerative medicine becomes the norm – and it eventually will – Western medicine will be able to confidently say that the evolution of medical science has taken humanity to the next level.
Persistent Modalities Tough to Change
Much of what we do in modern medicine is designed around addressing symptoms. Of course, that is not true in every case. Cancer treatments are generally intended to eradicate cancer; setting bones is an actual healing process rather than a symptom masking one. But aside from such cases, the tendency in medicine is to prescribe a drug or perform a procedure merely to address symptoms.
The only way to break free from such persistent modalities is to branch into new ways of seeing things. Regenerative medicine certainly qualifies. Take PRP therapy treatment for osteoarthritis as an example. Platelet-rich plasma therapy is now being used by greater numbers of clinicians who have found it very helpful as an alternative to both surgery and pharmaceutical pain treatment.
Persistent modalities of the past insist that doctors look at osteoarthritis in the knee as a condition that cannot be corrected without full knee replacement. Anything short of that is merely dealing with the symptoms the condition presents. But is that thinking accurate?
The concepts of regenerative medicine suggest a new way of looking at osteoarthritis. Consider that PRP has been used in concert with surgical procedures since the late 1980s to encourage post-surgical cell growth. The same growth factors that help in post-surgical scenarios can also be used to avoid surgery altogether, in some cases.
Regenerative Medicine Where Appropriate
None of the proponents of regenerative medicine claim it is a solution for every illness, disease, and injury. But it certainly should be considered where appropriate. In areas such as orthopedics and pain management, both stem cell and PRP therapies have proven themselves worthy of consideration. It’s time to stop relegating them to the heap of medical quackery.
If Western medicine is ever to evolve from mere symptom management to actual healing, the medical establishment has to be open to new ways of seeing things. There is hope, as evidenced by the growing number of doctors being trained by companies like Apex Biologix. The Utah-based company has already worked with hundreds of doctors and clinics to establish regenerative medicine therapies.
As more doctors embrace PRP and stem cell therapies, regenerative medicine will begin to take its place within the mainstream of Western medicine. And when it does, greater attention will be paid to healing as a better alternative to symptom management. That’s just what we need to complete the next step of medical evolution.