Stem Cell Therapy

I recently had someone ask me if the treatments where stem cells are used re-grow cartilage in a joint really work. I have been doing a lot of research about this topic and even attended one of their educational workshops. Using The Stem Institute of America’s protocol, they use amniotic stem cell tissue obtained from a tissue bank that has been irradiated to kill pathogens, frozen for storage, and then thawed and pulverized into a powder. Once reconstituted at the doctor’s office, it is injected into a patient’s joint by a nurse practitioner. It is a blind injection, meaning, there is no guided imagery to insure proper placement of the needle. The premise is that over the next few months, your body will repair and regrow cartilage, ligaments and tissues, reducing inflammation and pain.

The problem is that according to the FDA, these cells are not actually alive. In fact, the FDA has mailed warning letters to manufacturers of amniotic derived products due to their misleading  marketing techniques. According the Interventional Orthopedics Foundation, a non profit foundation focused on Regenerative Orthopedic Medicine, independent lab tests confirm the absence of live functioning stem cells in amniotic tissue. So, this isn’t actually stem cells they are using. The only way you can get stem cell therapy is with cells that have been harvested from your own body as in bone marrow or adipose tissue.

One injection costs $5000 unless you sign up that day,  and then you get a $500 discount, to make it $4500 per injection. What if you need more than 1  injection? And, on top of that, it is not covered by insurance.

There is no real evidence that amniotic stem cells help do anything. There are “case studies” but there are no large clinical trials to  suggest that these injections work.

On the other hand, there are a number of studies on low level laser therapy (LLLT or cold laser therapy) . LLLT has been used for over 35 years in Europe, Asia,  Australia and Canada and was FDA approved for use in the United States in 2002. LLLT has been shown to be effective in a variety of musculo-skeletal conditions. In a review of 18 studies,  patients with Rheumatoid arthritis reported an 80% success in relieving pain. A study of 40 patients who suffered from Osteoarthritis of the knee, showed a significant reduction in pain in 82% of the patients. Cold laser therapy: reduces pain by causing the production of natural pain killer endorphins; suppresses inflammatory enzymes that create swelling, redness, pain and heat;   stimulates the release of healing enzymes; reduces pain and inflammation, stimulates nerve regeneration, and increases cellular energy by 150% which speeds and improves the healing process.

We have been using Cold Laser therapy for 8 years with great success. We have used cold laser therapy on patients who suffer from shoulder pain, knee pain, hip pain, plantar fasciitis, arthritis and many other painful conditions. Many of my patients see dramatic results after 4 treatments. Even though Cold Laser therapy is not covered by insurance, the charge is nominal compared to these injections.

I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis 3 months ago. I wanted to know if you can help me

I certainly can help you! Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the long band of fibers (fascia) that run from your toes to your heels. It helps support the arch and absorbs shock. Plantar fasciitis is caused by repeated micro tears in the plantar fascia which cause the inflammation and Pain! Injuries to the foot, repetitive pounding from running or other weight bearing exercises and standing
on hard surfaces for a long period can strain the fascia. Over pronation is also a common cause of plantar fasciitis. When a foot over pronates, it means the arches have dropped, sometimes so severe, it leads to a flat foot. A flat foot does not absorb shock that well. You can tell if you over pronate by looking at the heels of  your shoes. Do the heels wear out unevenly? Is one of
your legs shorter than the other? Do your feet “toe out” when you’re walking? The first thing I would do when you come to my office is do a weight bearing 3 D digital scan of your feet. This will show us where the imbalances are in your feet when you are standing. Feet are the foundation for your entire body. When your body is out of balance because your feet are not level, it will shift
your entire body out of alignment and you can feel pain throughout your body. For example, if your right foot rolls in, or over pronates more than your left foot, your left hip will be higher than the right, creating a curvature in your lumbar spine which can lead to degeneration in the discs and Pain. Over pronating also causes the knee to internally rotate which over time can cause arthritis
in your knee. I use cold laser therapy to reduce the pain and inflammation and to promote healing in the tissue. I can also fit you with custom functional orthotics to bring your feet back in to balance. They absorb over 80% of the shock that would other wise be absorbed by the fascia. They are not a rigid orthotic. They are very comfortable and my patients love them! Gina, of Farmington: “I came to Dr. Gibson with debilitating foot pain in both feet. After 8 sessions of Cold Laser Therapy on both feet and the new inserts that Dr. Gibson fitted me for, my pain
level has gone from a 10+ to barely existing. I couldn’t be more pleased with my results… the overpronation that had become habit for me was crippling me. Now, I sleep through the night without excruciating pain and cramping in my feet and I’m able to walk immediately when I get up. Thank you again Dr. Gibson!!” Call 479-587-0227 to make an appointment.

Cold Laser Therapy for Knee Pain

Are you suffering from knee pain and want to avoid painful shots or joint replacement surgery?  Our FDA cleared Low level Laser Therapy (LLLT) or Cold laser Therapy, which can dramatically reduce musculoskeletal pain and inflammation as well as promote tissue repair, which will help you avoid shots or surgery.

LLLT has been used for over 35 years in Europe, Asia, Australia and Canada and was approved for use in the US in 2002. LLLT has been shown to be effective in a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. In Rheumatoid Arthritis, LLLT can benefit acute and chronic joint pain. In a review of 18 studies, patients reported an 80% success rate in relieving pain. Another study noted a pain attenuation of up to 90%. A study of 40 patients who suffered from Osteoarthritis of the Knee, showed a significant reduction in pain in 82% of the patients. In a report of 1000 treatments with LLLT for a variety of chronic pain syndromes, an overall reduction in pain levels of 70% was established.

 Cold Laser Therapy has been shown to:

* Reduce pain by causing the production of natural pain killer endorphins.

* Reduce inflammation by suppressing inflammatory enzymes that create swelling, redness, pain and heat.

* Enhance lymphatic drainage, which increases circulation and speeds healing.

* Stimulate the release of healing enzymes.

* Release tight muscles that create chronic pain, joint problems, and decreased mobility.

* Increase collagen and produces new capillaries.

*Reduce pain and inflammation, stimulates nerve regeneration and increases the immune response.

*Re-energize injured cell membranes and increases mitochondrial energy by 150%, which speeds and improves the healing process!

*Increase cellular health and energy by increasing production of ATP in cells.

Give us a call and set up a consultation appointment to learn more about this amazing therapy.

A Chiropractic Approach to Knee Pain

Knee pain is one of the most common orthopedic ailments treated by chiropractic physicians. This isn’t too surprising when you stop to think about it. After all, the knee absorbs an enormous amount of stress and is designed to bend in only one direction. At the same time, though, many of the movements we make (particularly in sports) force the knee to bend slightly in other directions while still requiring it to support the full weight of the body in motion above it. If the biomechanics are off or the joint and surrounding muscles aren’t strong enough, this is a recipe for potential knee pain and injury.

But athletics don’t account for as much of today’s knee pain as you might suspect. The larger culprits are obesity and sedentary lifestyles.  You may not realize it, but this combination isn’t just bad for cardiovascular and metabolic health. It’s also bad for musculoskeletal health!  All that extra weight adds to the daily wear and tear on the body’s frame—bones, muscles and joints. But especially the knees!  We suspect this is one of the key reasons we’re seeing a dramatic increase in some types of knee surgery as well as full knee replacements among patients who are still relatively young.

  • In cases involving torn knee cartilage, many patients undergo a minimally-invasive surgery called a “partial meniscectomy” that trims and removes the torn pieces so that they don’t interfere with the knee’s function. About 700,000 people undergo this procedure in the US every year at an estimated cost of roughly $4 billion.
  • Over the past decade, there has been a major increase in the rate of total knee replacements (also called “knee arthroplasties”), with rates expected to rise by as much as 670% by 2030, amounting to a staggering 3.48 million procedures.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that it doesn’t have to come to this. The chiropractic approach to knee pain starts with prevention and favors early, conservative treatments that don’t involve the risks associated with surgery and drugs.

Wear the proper shoes for your needs and use custom orthotics if appropriate.  If your feet are overpronated (roll to the inside) or supinated (roll to the outside), or if you have fallen arches, it can affect your biomechanics when you stand, walk or run.  Over time, this can lead to compensation higher in the body that produces uneven wear and tear on your knees and increases the risk of injury.  The same thing is true for your hips and back.

Your chiropractor can analyze the structure of your foot as well as your posture and gait (the way you move when you walk and run) to assess your biomechanics.  If necessary, he or she may recommend custom orthotics as well as exercises or changes to your biomechanics in order to relieve pain, prevent future problems and (if you’re an athlete) improve performance.

Be smart about how you exercise and listen to your body.  This can be a particular problem for “weekend warriors.”  Many middle age adults (more men than women) overestimate the physical condition they’re in.  They often can’t or don’t exercise regularly during the week but still want to go all-out in weekend competition.  This can contribute to an overloading of the muscles, tendons and ligaments in knees that aren’t strong enough to handle the sudden surge in physical demands.  It’s not surprising that acute knee injuries and/or an accumulation of micro-tears are frequently the result.

Lose weight if you need to—and the sooner the better.  Any high-impact activities are extra hard on the knees if you’re overweight, but exercise is clearly critical to burning more calories and reversing the situation.  What can you do?  The answer is to focus on lower-impact activities that burn lots of calories while saving your joints until you achieve a more normal weight.  Swimming, rowing and cycling are all good candidates.

It’s important to recognize and get ahead of this issue early, since being overweight or obese can lead to chronic joint problems, which can reduce your ability to be active.  This in turn increases the risk that you’ll gain even more weight in the future.  One of the best ways to reduce unnecessary wear-and-tear on your knees, hips and back and to avoid the vicious cycle of weight gain, musculoskeletal pain and inactivity is to lose extra pounds EARLY!

Increase your strength and flexibility.  Concentrate on strengthening and stretching the hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors and the vastus medialis oblique (VMO) muscles, since these provide the greatest support to the knees and ensure that the patella tracks properly.  Women are especially prone to improper patellar tracking, which places more stress on the ligaments of the knee.  This creates a popping or grinding sound when you bend the knee, often accompanied by pain.  Yoga and Pilates are good ways to keep the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the leg and knee strong and flexible.

Get regular chiropractic treatment.  A well-trained and experienced chiropractic physician will be able to perform a variety of specialized adjustment, manipulation and mobilization techniques that can relieve pain and improve function in the knees.  In certain cases, manual therapies such as chiropractic care may offer just as much benefit to knee injury patients as arthroscopic surgery.  A group of researchers who recently published their findings in the Canadian Medical Association Journal looked specifically at the effectiveness of a common procedure called “arthroscopic meniscal debridement” for age-related meniscus tears in middle-aged patients and concluded that more conservative (non-surgical) treatment should actually be the preferred first-line option.

Know your options.  All of this is NOT to say that surgery isn’t sometimes necessary or helpful to relieve pain and help people lead an active, healthy lifestyle.  Knee replacement surgery offers new mobility to patients whose joints have been compromised and has allowed millions of people to be active once again, when previously they would have had to be confined to a wheelchair.

However, we believe that patients should explore more conservative options before deciding on surgery.  Chiropractic care and other manual therapies have many advantages over treatments that involve surgery and drugs.  This has been pretty well established when it comes to relieving chronic back and neck pain and restoring mobility.  Now there’s new evidence that this may apply to a common knee injury as well.  For instance, a recent study conducted in Finland found that patients who underwent a partial meniscectomy to address problems related to torn knee cartilage were actually no better off than patients in a control group who received a “simulated” surgical treatment (the surgical equivalent of a placebo).  And another recent study demonstrated that physical therapy was just as effective as knee surgery for patients with both a meniscal tear and osteoarthritis.

So—in our view—the best thing you can do is to take good care of your knees NOW, before the need for surgery arises.  Remember—the things you do today can prevent serious problems tomorrow.  Call or visit our office today to learn more!

Knee Pain Relief?

“ I am 71 years old and have suffered from knee pain for the last 10 years. My doctor diagnosed me with severe arthritis and is recommending knee replacement surgery. Is there anything you can do to help me? I would really like to avoid surgery if I can.”

Answer: Yes, I can help you! We offer Cold Laser Therapy or LLT (Low Level Laser Therapy) which can have a profound effect on arthritis pain. Cold Laser Therapy has been tested for 40 years, had over 2000 papers published on it, and has been shown to decrease inflammation and stiffness, relieve pain, and promote tissue repair. The first cold laser received FDA clearance in the U.S. in 2002 and in the last few years has cleared Cold Laser Therapy for treatment of a variety of medical conditions including: carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain, shoulder pain, low back pain, joint pain, muscle pain and acceleration of wound healing. We have used cold laser therapy on all of those conditions with great success!

“I had a torn meniscus disk in my right knee and had surgery to repair it in June, 2012. I continued to have pain and not trust my knee to support me. After going back to the doctor 7 months after the surgery, I was told, ‘it takes time to heal.’ After a year and still no relief, I had Dr. D. Jean Gibson perform Cold Laser Therapy on my right knee. After just one visit, it was awesome…not near the pain. I went in for a second session of the Cold Laser Therapy, no pain at all now. It was quick and painless. All I can say is, That is an awesome treatment. If I ever have pain elsewhere, I will definitely try the Cold Laser Therapy! Thank you Dr. Jean!”

– Shonet of Bella Vista, AR.

We have been using Cold Laser Therapy since 2010 and have seen dramatic results. Even though Cold Laser Therapy is not covered by insurance, we offer discount packages at reasonable prices!

Go to www.TheGibsonCenter.com to read more testimonials.

Call 479-587-0227 to make an appointment

What is “Water on the Knee”?

Water on the knee is known in medical terms as “knee effusion”. Quite simply, it is an accumulation of fluid around the knee joint, making it appear swollen. This reduces the flexibility of the knee and makes movement or even support of the body by the joint rather painful.

Overuse of the knee joint—using it to perform a type or amount of activity it’s not accustomed to—can place undue strain on the joint, leading to this condition. If you have not exercised in years and experience a sudden increase in physical activity, this could result in water on the knee. When changing your level of activity, do so gradually. This gives your body a chance to become acclimated to increased use.

Injury is another cause of knee effusion. Torn ligaments, broken bones or damage to the meniscus (knee cartilage) can lead to this reaction in the joint. Other conditions such as infection, arthritis, bursitis, gout and other diseases can also lead to this kind of fluid buildup.

Being overweight can add greater stress on knee joints and thus lead to water on the knee. This can prove to be rather problematic, especially if the overweight person wants to exercise in order to reduce his or her weight. Water on the knee can put plans for exercising on hold until the joint is healed.

The first line of defense is to rest the joint. Working the knee joint while in this state can lead to further damage and more swelling. Use pillows or other objects to raise the knee joint above the level of the heart. To reduce the swelling, apply ice packs. Never leave ice on the body for more than 15–20 minutes at a time. Repeat the application if necessary but allow half an hour or more between icings.

There are many sports that place a great deal of stress on the knees and should be limited or avoided if you’ve already had water on the knee unless a healthcare professional has helped you eliminate the underlying cause and strengthen the affected joint . These sports include soccer, football, hockey, rugby, squash, basketball, tennis, volleyball and downhill skiing.  Essentially, any sport that requires strong, quick lateral movement…

Low-impact exercise can help strengthen the joint once the underlying cause of water on the knee has been eliminated. The key focus should be on gradual strengthening of the body and the joint. Give your body a chance to get used to any change of activity before ramping up the energy on any exercise program.

Avoid any sudden jolt to the knees. When starting out, you might avoid running and opt for other types of exercise. Try short knee bends (not the deep kind). Walking and swimming can also prove beneficial. If you take up cycling, consider staying on flat terrain to start with, and stick with a high seat and low gear.