The Top 3 Misconceptions About Physical Therapy After Regenerative Cell Treatments
June 2, 2021
1. If you move it, you will lose the cells/It needs rest
The biggest misconception around the injection of PRP or Stem Cells as it is related to physical therapy (PT) is that post injection PT shouldn’t happen. There is the common misconception that if you move the area that was injected you will somehow push the cells out and the money you spent will be wasted. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The most up to date research in the field consistently advocates for movement in the form of physical therapy post injection. By moving the area and stressing the tissue intelligently you are actually telling those injected cells what to do. The cells are placed in the area, and it is referred to as their “microenvironment”. If the microenvironment goes unaltered the cells will not serve their intended purpose. If the microenvironment is stimulated it will signal to those cells what tissue is needed and the cells will respond accordingly. In summary, physical therapy post-injection is a crucial component to getting the most out of your treatment.
2. Any PT post stem cell is good PT
Along the same lines as our first misconception is the falsehood that any PT after Stem Cell/PRP is good PT. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. The most affective physical therapy after a stem cell injection will be one that targets the tissue type that the injection was given for (ie. Bone, tendon, ligament, muscle, etc.). Each tissue type responds to stimulus differently and that needs to be understood by the physical therapist providing the treatment. Stress the tissue too much, too little, or incorrectly can be detrimental to the patient’s outcomes. Stressing the target tissue the correct ways and with the correct dosage is going to greatly improve the benefits of the injection. Finding a physical therapist that understands regenerative medicine and can balance the active and passive components of care properly is a must for optimal results.
3. The Boost of Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Training
This third point is less of a misconception and more of a secret weapon to boosting outcomes after a regenerative injection. Blood flow restriction training, when done properly, can greatly assist in the recovery and repair process following PRP/Stem cell injections. BFR training involves measuring the patient’s blood pressure and using an equation to determine a proper occlusion pressure for them to train under. Once this pressure is found, we are able to mimic training under a heavy load with high intensity under a very low load and intensity. Simply put, we can trick the body into thinking it is working harder than it truly is. This is important after PRP/stem cell because it influences the body chemistry in a way that can magnify the response. BFR training puts the body in “rebuild and repair” mode safely while those injected cells are trying to do just that. Simply put: if the PRP and stem cells are the construction workers, BFR training is the 2pm coffee that keeps them working hard through the end of the day.
Written by Dr. William “Bill” Kelley DPT, ATC, CSCS
Co-Owner and Director of Physical Therapy:
Aries Physical Therapy FTL
1115 E Sunrise Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
Aries Physical Therapy Boca
807 N Federal Hwy
Boca Raton, FL 33432
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