Regenerative Rehabilitation: Combining Regenerative Biology and Physical Medicine

Learn about how combining regenerative biology & physical medicine can optimize effectiveness of cell therapy & tissue engineering technologies.

Regenerative Rehabilitation: Combining Regenerative Biology and Physical Medicine

Regenerative rehabilitation is the combination of regenerative biology and physical medicine approaches to optimize the effectiveness of cell therapy and tissue engineering technologies. This collection was coordinated by Associate Editor Dr. Fabrisia Ambrosio, and Dr. The synergy between biological and bioengineering advances is fundamental to developing novel and impactful translational therapies.

However, there is currently little opportunity for regenerative scientists to be exposed to methodologies commonly employed in the clinic by rehabilitation professionals, and most rehabilitation scientists and physicians are not exposed to the many advances in regenerative medicine. This disconnect has impeded the pace of progress on the ground. The Eighth Annual International Symposium on Regenerative Rehabilitation brought together core scientists, engineers, and rehabilitation physicians to present scientifically rigorous and cutting-edge research and clinical management, focusing on new and innovative approaches that combine discoveries in tissue engineering, medical devices, and cell therapies with rehabilitation protocols. Examples of regenerative rehabilitation include the incorporation of physical activity to promote stem cell engraftment into muscle tissue and the in vitro use of mechanical stimuli in cultured cells or tissues. At VTFC, we work closely with doctors at Virginia Spine Institute to customize a rehabilitation plan according to the details of a procedure. Your doctor and physical therapist will be in close communication to continually modify your approach to meet your recovery goals.

Your regenerative rehabilitation will begin with more manual therapy based on fundamental exercises and will progress to less manual therapy and higher-level functional exercises that relate to the activities and sport in which the patient wishes to participate. A comprehensive evaluation includes a detailed history of the patient's injuries, a thorough biomechanical examination of the injured area and additional anatomical areas that may influence the injured area, a proper explanation of the evaluation findings, and a discussion of the patient's treatment plan and expectations of his regenerative rehabilitation. Physical therapists play a key role in the rehabilitation of patients undergoing regenerative procedures, such as stem cell therapy and injections of platelet-rich plasma. The science of rehabilitation focuses on the use of mechanical and other stimuli to promote functional recovery. We propose that maximum functional benefits in the treatment of skeletal muscle injuries can best be achieved when regenerative medicine and rehabilitation approaches are applied simultaneously. Rehabilitation after a regenerative medicine procedure is important to ensure that treated structures heal optimally.

In addition, your physical therapist can provide you with information and advice to help you with your regenerative rehabilitation in the first 1 to 2 weeks after the procedure, before you officially begin your regenerative rehabilitation. Most clinically used rehabilitation approaches predominantly focus on minimizing the inflammatory response and pain immediately after injury. We believe that the science and technology of rehabilitation will be fundamental to the success of any regenerative therapy, so these two fields need to pay increasing attention to each other.