The pace of innovation in regenerative medicine keeps getting faster. At clinics across America, the race is on to give patients suffering from pain what they deserve: non-invasive, low-risk and effective options for relief and recovery. Here are seven trends in healing to look for in 2023.
- Patient-centric wound healing: Wound care is one of the most complex and least understood areas of medicine, says Dr. Matthew Regulski, who practices at Ocean County Foot & Ankle Associates and the Wound Care Institute of Ocean County in New Jersey. This medical field is evolving to place patient concerns at the front and center. “I use the adage, you don’t look at the hole in the patient,” he says. “You have to look at the whole patient because you have to treat the whole patient.” His patient-centric approach often involves building a team of specialists to handle care and in many cases using FDA-approved SoftWaveTRT. This patented technology reaches an injured area at the cellular level to successfully turn on the body’s natural healing process.
- Safe alternatives to addictive opioids: The standard practice after surgery in almost every clinic in the US is to prescribe opioids for pain relief. Dr. John David Mullins, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon practicing at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, has a different approach. Dr. Mullins began testing SoftWaveTRT in 2016 and says it often has a therapeutic effect with no downside. “SoftWaveTRT is a superior way to make tissue want to heal,” he says. While he continues to prescribe opioids on a limited basis, Dr. Mullins now also offers patients SoftWaveTRT after surgery. As more doctors emulate this method of pain relief, it could help ease our nation’s deadly opioid crisis while delivering improved patient outcomes.
- Sexual health innovation: More than 30 million men in the USA suffer from erectile dysfunction. For many of these Americans, treating ED is an urgent matter. The medical industry has responded with a wide variety of treatments. SoftWaveTRT is used at Flow Rehab in Seattle and a growing number of other clinics treating ED. Because SoftWaveTRT is designed to restore blood flow, it can help men naturally get and maintain erections, without the need for medication or invasive procedures. During the procedure, a hand-held wand delivers low-intensity vibrations along the penile shaft. The treatment is usually less than 30 minutes in the office, and depending on the situation multiple treatments may be recommended.
- Reversing paralysis: Scientists are exploring the ways in which the brain and spinal cord can be retrained to work together. With gradual refinements, especially in recent years, patients who are paralyzed can stand and move with assistance, regain sensation in their lower extremities, and improve bladder control and sexual activity. Leading the way in this research to reverse paralysis is Dr. Reggie Edgerton, head of the Edgerton Neuromuscular Research Laboratory in Los Angeles. He began working with Ignacio Montoya, who was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident in 2012. By using non-surgical therapies like electrical stimulation of the spinal cord and SoftWaveTRT, Edgerton, Montoya their team at UCLA have achieved improvements in function, which were previously thought impossible.
- New ways of understanding pain: American scientists David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian won the 2021 Nobel Prize for Medicine. They discovered receptors in the skin that sense temperature and touch and could pave the way for new painkillers as scientists build on their findings. Their game-changing findings show how humans convert the physical impact from heat or touch into nerve impulses that allow us to “perceive and adapt to the world around us,” the Nobel Assembly at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute says. Their work, carried out independently, has helped show how humans convert the physical impact from heat or touch into nerve impulses that allow us to “perceive and adapt to the world around us,” the Nobel Assembly at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute said. “This knowledge is being used to develop treatments for a wide range of disease conditions, including chronic pain.”
- Sports training and injury recovery: While training for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, US Olympic track coach Rose Monday treated her runners with SoftWaveTRT. She called SoftWaveTRT her team’s “secret weapon” because it helped them recover from injuries and push themselves to run faster, with less pain. But the secret is out—at least among sports coaches and trainers who are looking for a slight edge versus elite competition. During the grueling National League East pennant race, the Atlanta Braves treated key players with SoftWaveTRT. This therapy helped team members recover from nagging injuries and return faster to the field as the Braves won the 2022 NL East pennant.
- Gene therapy advancements: The US FDA in 2022 approved two Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR-T) T-cell therapies for blood cancers, according to the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine. Now, six CAR-Ts are available to patients in the US and Europe. Ten years after the discovery of CRISPR gene editing technology, the FDA recently approved the first CRISPR therapy — for sickle cell disease. Once overlooked, sickle cell is the most targeted rare disease in ongoing regenerative medicine clinical trials, and significant progress is underway. Also in 2023, scientists will take advantage of a new version of gene editing, called base editing, which entered the clinic for the first time in 2022. Base editing will treat familial hypercholesterolemia, which is a common cause of heart disease.