By Sheila Julson
Dr. Eliesha Evans, a board-certified functional medicine physician and owner of Regen Med Pain Relief Clinics – New Berlin, specializing in regenerative medicine. However, Evans emphasizes that regenerative injectables are not a stand-alone therapy, but instead part of a broader approach that involves addressing complicated medical issues and dysfunctional movement patterns. Natural Awakenings recently spoke with Evans to learn how to get the most out of these evidence-based, cutting edge new regenerative treatments.
What inspired you to change the focus of your chiropractic practice toward regenerative medicine?
It started when I was attending a board certification program in functional medicine at Cleveland Clinic. It became obvious to me that we had many more options to restore and regenerate people’s health than ever before. When I graduated from that program, I started to implement an integrated regenerative medicine practice by hiring a medical doctor, a nurse practitioner, and acquiring the support services needed to mirror the integrated functional medicine program at Cleveland Clinic.
Basically, what patients need to know is that the treatment programs for people to stop the degenerative process in their joints is finally here. The most important thing to know for patients seeking regenerative medicine injections; is that a successful intervention rarely starts with the injections! Too many clinics start and stop with the injections, completely by passing the functional problem which created the problem in the first place.
Many times, the reason joints are degenerating is because the forces going through them are abnormal. These abnormal movement patterns often are a result of injuries over time which have festered resulting in muscle weaknesses, and/or limb length discrepancies from surgical interventions. These structural issues must be treated before implementing regenerative injectables—otherwise you’re just wasting time and money. At Regen Med Pain Relief Clinics we have all of the cutting edge evidenced based therapies to restore normal joint function, so that the regenerative injectable, no matter what it may be, has a fighting chance by being injected into a joint system that’s firing correctly, symmetrically.
What are some steps you take at Regen Med Pain Relief Clinics prior to or in conjunction with regenerative therapy?
First, we all take a “whole person” approach to treating our patients. Our doctors give our patients the opportunity to tell them all about their health history which serves as a guide for the examination process. Our examinations include but are not limited to; posture evaluation, orthopedic exam of spine and extremities, functional neurologic exam, and video gait evaluation. Additionally, we look at any medications that may be also causing pain, or if there’s a “piling on phenomenon”—a bad hip causing a limp, and therefore referring pain into the knee. Sometimes there are a multitude of issues that must be resolved. Our doctors look at the entire kinetic chain to make sure we’re restoring function to the whole mechanism.
Once the doctors have identified any and all the problems which need to be resolved, a treatment plan is formulated to include any number of regenerative treatments in the clinic. The most unique of our therapies are the Robotic Multi-Lock Class 4 Lasers we have been acquiring since 2010. The robotic component is extremely important, because when you’re delivering class 4 laser therapy, you have to make sure that you’re delivering the laser light at the correct rate for maximum effectiveness. It’s such an integral part of regenerating the tissue; it’s bringing oxygen to the cells so the cells can heal.
I also have three unique side lateral decompression Back on Track machines, one of the newest types of decompression for the lower back. It helps to release pinched nerves and reduce scoliosis. We also have Knee on Track, which is a very unique traction therapy to open up the knee joint. We have an electrical therapy machine called Hako-Med, a German engineered machine that helps to heal nerves. It’s good for patients with neuropathy. By correcting gait abnormalities, using Hako-Med, the Back on Track, class 4 lasers and regenerative injectables, many people after years of suffering with neuropathy are returning to normal living.
This is the most exciting time to be a doctor because we’ve got so many more options for our patients to really, truly turn the trajectory of their health around, feel better and to thrive again.
Are most people good candidates for regenerative medicine?
Absolutely, because there are no side effects. Now, that doesn’t mean we recommend it for everyone. The mesenchymal stem cells are used to regenerate cartilage, the ACGF is used to regenerate nerves, PRP accelerates healing of other injured soft tissues. So if they need that, yes most people are excellent candidates for these regenerative injectables.
Do you hear any misconceptions about regenerative medicine?
People still think injectables takes tissue from aborted fetuses, and that’s absolutely not the case. The tissue comes from Wharton’s jelly, from healthy, live babies born via C-section. Research has found that Wharton’s jelly is amazing because it is pluripotent, meaning that it can become whatever you inject it next to. It can morph into cartilage tissue if you inject it into a knee.
Also, a tissue transplant is much more effective than taking stem cells from the person who is already sick. Their immune system is obviously not doing a great job of healing their injury or degenerated joint. Additionally, by extracting the MSC’s from the hip or the fat of the patient, the physician has just created an injury site that the immune system will have to heal thereby distracting the body from the injection site. It can be less expensive, but it is more invasive thereby making it also less effective. The patient needs to be able to make an informed decision about the limits of this now outdated procedure.
People also ask why this type of regenerative medicine is Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved. But people have to understand that the FDA approves drugs and approves medical devices. Right now, the FDA’s position on regenerative medicine is that it’s regulating it by overseeing what’s going on at the tissue transplant labs with random visits to confirm that the labs are adhering to all procedural and safety guidelines required by the FDA.
Regen Med Pain Relief Clinics is located at 15720 W. National Ave., New Berlin. For more information, call 262-785-5515 or visit RegenMedPainRelief.com.