- An exciting future for arthritis sufferers
- You could PRINT OUT a healthy, pain-free joint to replace the old one
- Or try this method of getting sore joints to heal themselves…
I remember when my Dad first brought home a dot matrix printer.
Back as a small geeky kid I used to write stories (mainly about ghosts and dinosaurs) on a typewriter.
But this printer…
You could just press a button and out would come as many copies as I liked, all perfectly laid out.
Okay, so it was bobbly text, but it still seemed like magic.
If someone had told me then about 3D printing, I’d have as easily believed in a time travel machine or telepathy.
And yet here we are…
In 2017 the 3D printer is to the dot matrix printer what a jet-plane is to a hot air balloon.
You can now enter a design pattern into a computer and a machine will add layers of material on top of each other to create a 3D object. They’re already being used by manufacturers of many medical devices.
This is what one looks like:
Obviously it’s a TINY bit different to the old paper printer I have at the top of this email.
But something even more exciting is coming up in the 3D world…
The future of BioPrinting…
There is now a fledgling 3D printing technology that could transform the lives of the millions who suffer from joint pain.
Within decades from now you could use a 3D printer to create a new bone joint or piece of cartilage.
This is the dream of a biological engineer named Ibrahim Ozbolat.
He wants to create a 3D printing machine into which a scientist can enter your precise physical details – a complete map of the effected joint and your biological information.
It will then begin to add layers of cell-rich material until a fully formed replacement appears, that’s perfectly tailored to you – and made from ‘biocompatible’ material so your body won’t reject it.
And it’s not just painful joints or ligaments that could be replaced in kind…
“Whatever section of the body needs to be fixed,” says Ozbolat, “the bioprinter can repair that.”
So far, the amazing Mr Ozbolat has developed a prototype material based on alginate, an extract of seaweed. These can be layered to create a larger piece of tissue. This can then be inlaid with human cells that will then start communicating and interacting like real life cells.
This can be created in the exact shape of the damaged piece of tissue so that it can fit neatly into place without needing to cut out perfectly good bits of your body.
Now, okay, this is a future technology.
But things are happening fast.
Already we’re on the verge of being able to ‘print out’ ear-shaped cartilage! At the end of 2016 the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh used a scanner and printer to create a new ear for a little girl named Anya Storie.
Anyway, if you like science and want to read the research report by Ibrahim Ozbolat and his team you can do so here.
Of course, these are technologies yet to come.
There’s a long way to go yet.
And simply REPLACING tissues in the body should really be a last resort.
Particularly when there are ways of getting your sort joints to heal themselves, or at least slow down the problem, helping you control the pain.
How to encourage your body to fix itself
One way you can do this is by using electrical currents.
Take a look at our webpage here in which we reveal a wearable technology that sends ‘microcurrents’ directly into the affected joint, whether it’s knee or shoulder. These mimic your body’s natural electrical currents, stabilizing the electric balance of the injured cells, helping your body’s tissues heal themselves.
A 2004 case review showed that in 90% of the subjects “microcurrent treatment was the single factor contributing the most consistent difference in patient-reported pain relief.”
If you’re interested in experiencing it for yourself, try this for size.
Alongside this therapy, you can also try these….
• Therapy and self-help for emotional problems, including meditation and other forms of stress relief. In 2004 study called The Link Between Depression and Physical Symptoms it’s shown that chronic joint pain, limb pain and back pain can be caused by, or worsened by, depression.
• Yoga and Pilates – these strengthen your core muscles, helping to take the pressure off stress joints and improve your posture.
• Low pressure-exercise regime involving swimming and walking. This gets the blood flowing to the affected joints and ligaments.
• A balanced diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods. Lower your meat intake and try a more Mediterranean-style diet of vegetables, fish, fruit and olive oil. Also include plenty of beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
• Try a natural anti-inflammatory supplement. Arpagphytum (Devil’s claw), Ginger and Curcuma, are well known natural pain killers.
• Take more Vitamins C, E and Selenium. These help destroy free radicals, which can attack the cells, causing stiffness and pain.
See how you get on with these. Meanwhile, let’s wait and see what happens in the amazing world of 3D bioprinting!
Don’t forget to check out The People’s Doctor website. If you’re in pain and are looking for natural, effective solutions, there’s bound to be something to help.
Until next week, stay healthy, happy and as pain-free as possible!