Collagen: A Champion Shot at Healing

A Champion Shot at Healing

Collagen levels decrease with age and while we typically think of lost collagen as a reason for the wrinkles on our face, a decrease in collagen is also responsible for slow muscle recovery and joint pain. The good news is that collagen has an inherent biocompatibility which makes it an ideal material for regenerative medicine. (1

Regenerative medicine goes beyond fixing injuries and dysfunction to actually promoting healing in the body by restoring tissue quality and function. It is important to understand that the family of molecules that comprise collagen acts like the scaffolding that stabilizes bodily tissue and serves a number of bodily functions. This collagen matrix can actually be reinforced through advances in modern medicine there are a number of biomaterials which show promising outcomes.

The biomaterials used in regenerative medicine range most commonly include gelatinous collagen that can be manipulated to form supportive structures around weak tissue and help create healing by restoring the tissue’s native function after injury or due to the natural decline of the body’s collagen over time. The future of connective tissue therapy is promising, as an increasing number of scientists and clinicians are interested in alternative options for healing the body and helping patients relieve joint pain.

New Neuropathy Treatment, Minus the Medicine Bottle

New Neuropathy Treatment

Nerve damage can be caused by a wide range of health factors and is reported to be poorly managed and considered chronic.  It is reported that up to 10% of adults have pain with neuropathic characteristics. A quarter of people with diabetes and 35% of people with HIV have neuropathic pain.1

People with neuropathic pain can experience shooting, burning sensations at any time. The body sends pain signals as if an event or injury has occurred when in many cases it hasn’t, or the injury event has long since passed. While the injury may have healed, the nerve damage has not. This can be incredibly frustrating and impact the quality of life for patients.

One of the most important approaches when treating neuropathic pain is to evaluate any underlying diseases or health conditions that might be responsible for the pain. For patients who understand that anti-depressant medications, anticonvulsants, and steroids don’t heal the issue, there is still hope using various lifestyle treatments and techniques that are proven to ease muscles.

One such treatment is a mouthful – extracorporeal shockwave therapy. This modality is used for a huge number of conditions including plantar fasciitis, tendinopathy, bursitis, and chronic stress on medium to large tendons areas. The intervention stimulates the body’s own healing process through high energy pulses that result in a shockwave. When the shockwave is focused directly on affected areas the positive effects are many! From increased circulation to dissolution of calcium deposits to new bone production and diminished pain, shockwave therapy is highly recommended as a solution for true healing.

Enhanced Inflammation Linked to Biotin Deficiency

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Biotin is one of the nine water-soluble vitamins the body needs for optimal health. Water-soluble vitamins are stored in the water of your body, the bloodstream, and anything not needed by the body is eliminated via urine. Certain health conditions, dietary restrictions, or lifestyle circumstances may even limit the body’s ability to get certain vitamins and as a result the body functions poorly.  Since these water-soluble vitamins don’t last long in the body, they need to be replenished frequently. A great way to replenish vitamins in the body is through IV hydration or vitamin therapy.

The collection of B vitamins that includes biotin, or B7, promotes proper functioning of the body through formation of red blood cells.  Cell growth is important for overall health, but biotin also influences blood sugar levels, cognitive function, cholesterol levels and inflammation. Optimal biotin levels can improve conditions ranging from diabetes to nerve pain. While episodic and intention inflammation can promote cell regeneration and healing, ongoing inflammation linked to vitamin deficiencies has a negative impact on the body and could be positively influenced and improved through IV hydration vitamin therapy.

Knee Osteoarthritis Treatment: The Promise of PRP


The most common type of arthritis in the knee is osteoarthritis. Aging plays a major factor, as it is more prevalent in people 50 years of age and older, but it can also be hereditary or result from injury or being overweight. Simply put, knee osteoarthritis is the gradual wearing away of the natural cushioning (cartilage) in the knee joint. When the bones of the joints rub together it causes pain, swelling, dysfunction and stiffness. More than 27 million people in the U.S. have osteoarthritis, with the knee being one of the most affected areas.

Early detection for patients with knee osteoarthritis and prompt corrective treatment is important. Doctors will diagnose knee osteoarthritis based on patient history and various clinical factors. Conventional medical treatment for this condition has traditionally included injections of corticosteroids, prescribing devices such as braces and of course, knee surgery.

While many medical professionals agree that optimal body weight and changes in lifestyle choices can remedy knee pain symptoms, one of the most safe and effective treatments for correcting the root cause of knee osteoarthritis is injection of platelet-rich plasma (PRP). PRP has been used in surgeries to promote cell regeneration since 1987 but the research on using PRP to treat knee osteoarthritis didn’t begin until the year 2000.

An excerpt from the National Library of Medicine confirms that “in recent years, products
of regenerative medicine, such as platelet-rich plasma, autologous conditioned serum/autologous protein solution, and mesenchymal stem cells, have approached the treatment of knee osteoarthritis in a much different way. The goal is to reverse the inflammation and to transition the joint to an anabolic, rather than catabolic, state. This may allow the joint to
remodel itself and to ultimately heal, resulting in decreased pain, increased mobility, and potentially avoiding stressful surgery.”

There are several alternative therapies that can work together to correct the root cause of knee pain, many with the vital support of reputable medical science. Working collaboratively
with patients to create choices and outcomes is the future of both recovery and prevention.

When Traditional Treatments Fall Flat

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Unfortunately, many patients that visit us at Bend have already sought out conventional treatments with little to no reduction in pain. Traditional therapies can offer some amount of relief for patients, but many experience no reduction in symptoms. Bend offers patients a clear path forward without the drawbacks of traditional treatment options such as steroid injections or surgery.

When most people start to experience joint pain, they typically load up on anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen. Sadly, some of the most common over-the-counter medications can have significant side effects and provide little long term benefit.

  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, are a leading cause of drug-induced liver damage across the world.
  • Utilizing steroids, such as prednisone, to control inflammation is even more likely to cause negative side effects.

Even surgery offers no guarantee of pain relief [1] and return to function.  In fact one study concluded up to ⅓ of total knee replacements may be unnecessary.[2] Individuals are increasingly searching for non-surgical solutions and recognizing that the downtime for recovery and therapy after surgical intervention unacceptable.

Our goal at Bend is to provide patients with a return to the active and functional lifestyle they desire without the need for surgery, steroids, or long-term use of anti-inflammatory drugs. We have seen life-changing results utilizing our cutting-edge protocols while helping many patients avoid surgery and resolve their joint pain and dysfunction.



A2M: The Protein that Protects Against Arthritis Pain


A2M: The Protein that Protects Against Arthritis Pain

Arthritis is one of the most common health problems in the world today. Whether patients present with arthritic indicators due to injuries or aging, the pain can be downright debilitating when stemming from knees, lower back and in the wrist/hand area.

Many people managing joint pain due to arthritis are instructed to follow an anti-inflammatory diet. While sugar is a widely known cause of inflammation, even reducing consumption of dairy products and certain carbohydrates can relieve arthritis pain. But why? The key lies in the connection between what the body consumes and how it reacts. As an example, wheat contains gluten which is a protein that can aggravate arthritic joints. Dairy proteins can aid in digestion, but can produce a negative impact on inflamed joints.

Once the connection between the proteins in the body and their impact on inflammation has been made, it is far easier to understand one of the most promising treatments in the regenerative medicine space today – A2M. Alpha-2-Macroglobulin (A2M) is a natural inhibitor of inflammation and works as a natural shield which effectively protects cartilage from the proteins that can cause arthritis. A2M naturally occurs in very low concentrations which aren’t enough to neutralize the harmful compounds that are responsible for arthritis. A2M can be concentrated for medical use by utilizing advanced processing techniques.

A recent study lead by Dr. Li showed extremely encouraging results. By processing a small amount of a patient’s own blood, the plasma can be filtered down to an A2M concentrate which, when injected into an arthritic joint, can reduce cartilage erosion and the space between joints. During the study, Dr. Li’s team further observed that:

“Enhancing anti-inflammatory factors as a therapeutic means to reduce levels of inflammation may prevent joint damage and maintain joint function in inflammatory arthritis…Our results suggest that A2M can efficiently inhibit inflammation, attenuate cartilage damage and bone resorption.”

When used in conjunction with other regenerative therapies such as platelet rich plasma (PRP), A2M is proving to be an incredibly promising tool for those seeking relief from joint pain and those suffering with arthritis pain.

A Proactive Approach to Health

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At Bend, we like to take a proactive approach to our patient’s care. The goal of disease prevention and health optimization is to take action before you experience symptoms.  This not only aids injury prevention, but can enhance longevity.  Most people are familiar with this concept while fewer successfully apply this idea to their personal health regimen. You probably take your car in for a tune up regularly, but have never considered giving yourself the same type of care.

At Bend our, we offer individualized proactive treatment options in an effort to keep our patient’s healthy and happy. If you qualify, your medical provider will design a customized program to help keep you active and more resistant to injury. One of the main goals of our proactive therapy program is to combat  inflammation.  Inflammation is a leading cause of pain, soft tissue and joint injuries—including osteoarthritis.[1]  By addressing joint inflammation directly, we can be more successful not only slowing its progress, but also reversing degenerative changes that may have occurred and improving function.

At Bend, we know that every patient is unique and do not take a one-size-fits-all approach.  Of course, if you have a significant injury or problem area, know that you have several treatment options available.  Our medical providers will develop protocols depending upon your needs.