In the midst of the 2011 NFL season, it appeared as though Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning would never play again due to a bulging disk in his neck that prevented him from throwing the football. After two unsuccessful surgeries left him wondering about the future of his career, Manning traveled to Europe to receive stem cell treatment. Manning revived his playing career with the Denver Broncos in 2012.
As inspiring as Manning’s story is, the future Hall of Famer is not alone. A long list of pro athletes have turned to regenerative medicine procedures to get them back into playing shape. They include baseball’s Bartolo Colon and Garrett Richards, the NFL’s Chris Johnson, and international tennis pro Rafael Nadal.
Each of these pro athletes either turned to regenerative medicine following failed surgeries or simply rejected the surgical option from the get-go. Each one was treated with PRP and/or stem cell material taken from his own body and processed according to a very specific procedure. Each one experienced a remarkable recovery.
The ever-growing numbers of pro athletes seeking out regenerative medicine leads to the obvious question of why they are doing so. There could be a whole host of reasons, including the three listed below:
1. Nothing Else to Lose
There are those pro athletes who find themselves with nothing to lose after sustaining potentially career-ending injuries. Peyton Manning is but one example. It was clear during the summer of 2011 that Manning simply could not throw the ball as required by an NFL caliber quarterback. The Indianapolis Colts released him rather than take the risk of paying millions of dollars for a QB to sit on the sidelines, so by the time the season started, Manning had absolutely nothing to lose.
Baseball pitchers can find themselves in similar situations. Are you familiar with the well-known Tommy John surgery? Pitchers requiring the surgery know going into it that they may never pitch again. It is a calculated risk, and some pitchers believe they are better off looking at PRP or stem cell injections instead. They have nothing to lose either.
2. Avoiding Going under the Knife
Every surgical procedure comes with both complications and risks. For pro athletes, surgery also means spending considerable time in rehab overcoming the original injury and the damage done by surgery. It can be a long and arduous recovery process, depending on the injury sustained.
Company officials explain that the regenerative medicine procedures they teach are minimally invasive, allowing for faster recovery without the risks of surgery.
3. The Drive to Perform
Perhaps the most important reason pro athletes seek out regenerative medicine is the natural drive to perform they all possess. Unfortunately, injuries serious enough to require surgery almost always result in some level of diminished performance following recovery. Diminished performance is never a good thing for pro athletes
Advanced Regenerative Medicine Institute explains that when regenerative medicine procedures are successful, they usually do not result in diminished performance. Athletes who complete their recovery get back to the field faster and with more confidence in their ability to perform.
As time goes by, more pro athletes are choosing regenerative medicine procedures like PRP and stem cell therapies instead of traditional surgical procedures. They are choosing regenerative medicine over long-term use of painkillers, too. Regenerative medicine is working for them; there is no reason to believe that it does not work equally well for non-athletes.