We often hear the biggest players in medical research talk about the future of medicine. The ‘future of medicine’ phrase can be used to describe everything from on-demand primary care to using digital technology to enhance telemedicine. This article is designed to encourage you to think along different lines: the future of medicine being found in the search for the least invasive option for treating a full range of illnesses, diseases, injuries.
Advances in medical science have certainly brought Western medicine a long way over the last several hundred years. And yet, many of the procedures and methodologies we use are terribly invasive. From ingesting prescription medications to undergoing surgery, Western medicine relies a lot on human means of correcting what we believe to be physiological and biological breakdowns. Should we be relying more on nature?
Relying on nature to heal sickness and disease is what regenerative medicine is all about. The two most common examples of regenerative medicine are stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. Both therapies are gaining wider acceptance in orthopedics, wound recovery, and aesthetic medicine.
Learning from Eastern Medicine
The concept of regenerative medicine is one of encouraging the body to do what it is naturally designed to do. Rather than immediately introducing foreign substances and procedures in an attempt to heal, regenerative medicine prefers to let the body do what it can do first. The regenerative medicine concept is not all that different from the foundational principles of Eastern medicine.
Those of us in the West would do well to learn from Eastern medicine that which can be learned. To some extent, we are already beginning to see some of that in the arena of regenerative medicine. We’re starting to learn what practitioners of Eastern medicine have believed for millennia: the body naturally possesses incredible healing potential that just needs to be encouraged. Those natural healing abilities do not need to be replaced by invasive procedures as often as we tend to think.
Are we learning from Eastern medicine? Perhaps. The desire to find the least invasive option for certain kinds of treatments certainly looks a lot like the Eastern medicine philosophy. Whether we are not, finding the least invasive option is best for patients.
A Less Invasive Future
At Utah-based Apex Biologix, doctors learn how to utilize stem cell and PRP therapies for pain management, injury and wound recovery, and aesthetic purposes. They discover new ways of offering the hope of healing to patients without invasive surgery and prescription medications with side effects that can often be as devastating as the condition being treated. In so doing, they are helping to build a less invasive future for healthcare.
The search for the least invasive option is proving itself to be a very good thing for patients. For example, consider the patient who has been struggling with chronic pain due to osteoarthritis of the knee. The pain is sometimes completely debilitating. That patient could undergo surgery, knowing that doing so presents the risk of infection without any guarantees of efficacy, or elect to try a stem cell treatment first. Which option seems more reasonable?
Apex Biologix reminds doctors that patients typically have a reluctance to go under the knife. That reluctance is entirely valid and with very good reason. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to search for a less invasive option instead of immediately directing patients toward surgery.
The future of medicine means different things to different people. But to proponents of regenerative medicine, the future is one of less invasive treatments helping people enjoy better health.