Pain Awareness Month is observed in September of every year. Pain professionals and activists around the country work together to raise awareness about problems connected to pain during this month. Pain directly impacts millions of people in the United States1.
There are many types of pain for patients, but most pain conditions fall under two principal categories: acute and chronic pain. Acute pain is pain that lasts for a specific time and has a specific cause. Acute pain is generally associated with some type of tissue damage, inflammation, or disease process. Acute pain has a relatively brief duration, usually a few days or weeks2.
Chronic pain is long-lasting, and its cause may be difficult to determine, thereby making it harder to treat. Chronic pain is often described as pain lasting longer than 3 to 6 months and there are over 25 million U.S. adults that live with daily pain. Nearly 40 million adults have severe pain and individuals with severe pain have worse health, used more health care, and had more disability than those with less severe pain3.
Traditional medical treatments include steroid injections, typically administered as a cortisone shot. Designed to ease inflammation, cortisone injections can help to ease chronic knee, hip, and shoulder pain caused by arthritis, injury, or progressive degeneration.
Evolving regenerative treatments are quickly becoming a powerful standard of care because of the limitations of traditional pain management techniques. Traditional treatments are typically anti-inflammatory focused and are known to wear off after only a few months. The use of regenerative cells from your own body stimulates and accelerates your body’s natural ability to repair and reduce pain.
There are two main regenerative treatments. The first is stem cell therapy, where stem cells are harvested from your own body and have the ability to naturally promote healing and regeneration. The second regenerative treatment is platelet-rich plasma, which uses a small amount of your own concentrated platelets to reduce pain and restore function, as well as promote healing and tissue regeneration.
Both traditional and cellular therapy treatments continue to demonstrate many positive benefits for patients. As cellular therapies become more utilized in pain management, it will be due in large part because of their ability to stimulate tissue repair and induce immunosuppressive activity by preventing the immune system from damaging healthy cells and tissues4.