Weightlifting Over Time and Joint Breakdown; A Regenerative Medicine Approach
Weight Lifting and Aging
They say time heals all wounds, but as we age, our joints do not heal and repair like they did when we were younger. This leads to joint breakdown and joint arthritis. However, sports injuries often accelerate the degenerative arthritis cascade of progression.
Weightlifting and How It Affects Your Joints
Weightlifting and bodybuilding can place excessive loads on the joints due
to repetitive motion and heavy weight. However, the longer any sport is done, the effects are increased. Avid weightlifters and bodybuilders who develop joint injuries may initially ignore the pain and continue to work out and lift weights. It is not uncommon for an avid weightlifter, body builder or just a person that lifts weights for strengthening to have pain for several years.
Your Shoulders and Weightlifting
The shoulder joint is a frequent problem with long term weightlifters. Bench presses and overhead lifts such as military presses place large stress on the shoulder joint. It is not uncommon for lifters to have over developed internal rotators, pectoralis muscle in particular and ignore the external rotators, which are important for durability of the rotator cuff.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a technique where the patients blood is drawn and placed in a centrifuge to concentrate the bloods platelets. This is done to deliver the healing growth factors to the injured joint. PRP has been used by many elite athletes in a variety of sports to enhance recovery and repair. However, PRP has no stem cells. This limits the regenerative capabilities of PRP.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem Cell Therapy is a more sophisticated and powerful treatment in it’s healing response. Stem Cell therapy also uses the bodies growth factors found in the PRP, the stem cells are master regulators of the inflammatory cascade and regenerative process. Lastly, stem cells can differentiate into other cell types such as cartilage, ligament, tendon and even bone. It is the environment the stem cell reads that determines the process.
Aging and Weightlifting
Aging weight lifters and bodybuilders are no less enthusiastic about their sport and discipline. However years of repetitive strain, prior injury (or trauma), or genetics may have lead to the development of joint arthritis. Shoulder and knee degenerative or osteoarthritis are common problems in older lifters. Arthritis medications (anti-inflammatories) may alleviate pain short term, but do not alter the degenerative cascade pathway. Thus the more lifting in a worn arthritic joint, the more progression of the arthritis. Not a conducive scenario for maintaining that sport and feeling no joint pain.
Regenerative Therapy Treatment While Staying Active
Lighter weights have been advocated with aging to protect the joints. Another strategy when early arthritis affects working out and the goal is to repair and regenerate while allowing continued weightlifting, is to use regenerative therapy to repair, diminish joint inflammation and halt the progression of degeneration. It is possible to do regenerative therapy and stay active in the gym lifting weights and maintaining a bodybuilding philosophy while protecting and repairing your joints.
Dennis Lox M.D
Dr. Lox has treated many different types of people including professional athletes, weightlifters and bodybuilders. If you are struggling with joint pain and would like to consult with a Regenerative Medicine expert, contact the office of Dr. Lox and schedule your consultation.
Clearwater, Florida 727-462-5582
Beverly Hills, California 310-975-7033
Whether you are a professional athlete, weekend warrior, or have arthritis from aging, Dr. Lox can help.
Dennis M. Lox, M.D. is an internationally renown Sports and Regenerative Medicine specialist. Dr. Lox incorporates Regenerative Medicine techniques such as cell science applications, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), and Tissue Engineering aspects, to help patients from around the world with a vast array of problems. Dr. Lox is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Lox lectures extensively and has edited two PM&R textbooks, the prestigious A State of the Art Review (Star) on Low Back Pain, and Soft Tissue Injuries: Diagnosis and Treatment.
Dennis M. Lox, M.D. maintains an active practice in the Tampa Bay, Florida area, and in Beverly Hills, California.