Blazing a New Trail

Stem cell therapy inspires avid hiker.

When he’s not treating patients at his practice, Active Health Center in North Palm Beach, Marc A. Weinberg, DC, can often be found out in the woods or on a mountain somewhere chasing down his greatest passion, hiking.

Dr. Marc Weinberg’s own experience with stem cell therapy inspired him to begin offering the treatment at his practice.

Along with Dr. Behrue (left),
Dr. Weinberg is hiking pain free.

“I love to hike,” Dr. Weinberg relates. “It’s my favorite thing to do in the whole world. I enjoy it so much that even here in Florida, I often go hiking over at nearby Dyer Park, where they have a nice little hill that’s pretty good for it.”

Dr. Weinberg’s love of hiking is so great that for the better part of the past two decades, he continued hiking through some recurring left knee pain that worsened significantly last year.

“For the longest time, I had trouble squatting, or if I took a wrong step, my left knee would go out and lock up on me. That usually meant two or three days of pain and discomfort,” Dr. Weinberg relates.

“But then came this day in October where I got out of my car and instead of bringing my right leg out like I should have, I put all my body weight onto that left knee and I felt a small click.

“I didn’t think much of it until I woke up the next morning and couldn’t walk at all. I could not put any weight on my left leg. It got so bad that I was actually at home in a wheelchair for about seven days.”

The seven days of rest in the wheelchair didn’t do much to alleviate Dr. Weinberg’s pain. By the time he returned to work, he was still hobbling around and was forced to spend most of his time there sitting as his desk.

Driven by his desire to be back on his feet and healthy in time for a 12-day vacation to Europe a few months later, Dr. Weinberg visited an orthopedist whose examination revealed a torn left meniscus.

To alleviate the pain caused by that tear, Dr. Weinberg’s orthopedist gave him a cortisone shot. That brought temporary relief, but within days, the pain returned worse than ever. The same result occurred after each of two injections of hyaluronic acid.

“I was also doing physical therapy and strengthening exercises at the time, but nothing was working,” Dr. Weinberg laments. “Everything I did was making my knee feel worse, so I quickly reached a point where I knew I had to do something different.”

“While traveling to North Carolina, I stopped to visit a friend who had started doing stem cell therapy. He knew what I’d been going through, and it was just before Christmas of 2017 that he gave me an injection of stem cells in that left knee.”

Leading Edge 

Stem cells are the most basic of the human body’s building blocks. They are the foundation of all the body’s tissues and organs. When injected into damaged tissue or organs, they support the natural healing process by regenerating that tissue.

Stem cell injections can be administered right in a doctor’s office and only take about 15 minutes, with no anesthesia needed. Once the cells are injected, most patients are able to return to normal activities immediately.

Another advantage of stem cell therapy is that it can be used anywhere in the body where there is arthritis or a muscle or tendon tear. In addition to knees and shoulders, stem cell injections can be used to assist the body to repair damaged hamstrings, ankles and wrists.

Most patients receiving stem cell therapy begin to notice a reduction in pain and an increase in comfort within a month of the treatment. Some patients have even reported improvement after just a few days. Dr. Weinberg wasn’t one of them.

“For almost eleven weeks after receiving that injection of stem cells, I got out of bed each morning hoping I would feel a change,” Dr. Weinberg relates. “But I felt nothing, nothing at all. Then, all of a sudden, that changed.

“Right in the middle of that eleventh week, I got out of bed one morning and said, Holy cow, my knee feels a whole lot better. Since then, I’ve only gotten better, and now, not only am I hiking again but I’m even playing golf again. I’ve got my life back.

“And yes, I made it to Europe, and for twelve days, I did all the walking I needed to without any problems. Right now, I’d say I’m at about ninety-eight percent, and I can still feel myself getting stronger every day.”

Mission Statement

Even before he experienced its healing powers himself, Dr. Weinberg was already contemplating the idea of offering stem cell therapy through his practice. His experience only convinced him that such a move was best for his clients.

“A lot of people will ask, Why is a chiropractor creating a new entity in which he offers stem cell injections?” Dr. Weinberg asks rhetorically. “They’ll ask, Aren’t chiropractors supposed to be anti-medicine?

“Well, we have a mission statement posted in every room in our office that reflects our desire to be the best natural health care facility in Palm Beach County. And stem cell therapy aligns with everything we’ve been working toward for the last twenty-six years.

“There are no drugs or medications involved with it, so it’s natural. And it’s regenerative, promoting the body to heal itself, and that’s what stem cells do is help the body heal itself.”

The area of Dr. Weinberg’s practice now devoted to stem cell therapy is called Active Health Medical Solutions. Its provider is Kris Jones, MSN, APRN, FNP-C. Now in her 22nd year of nursing, Kris remembers when stem cell therapy was no more than a futuristic idea.

“My nursing background is in obstetrics, and I remember years ago, we started collecting umbilical cord blood from parents who were willing to store it,” Kris recalls. “The feeling at the time was, Maybe someday they’ll use it for something.

“Since then, it’s been studied a lot, and we know now that it can be used to regenerate tissue, and it’s exciting that within my career, we’ve reached the other end of that idea where I can use the product to help people.”

Kris emphasizes that the stem cells used at Active Health Medical Solutions are all derived from full-term deliveries, are stored and kept frozen in a cryotank at the facility until they’re used and contain no embryonic or fetal tissue.

“We have three products, one of which comes from the Wharton’s jelly that surrounds the umbilical cord,” Kris explains. “Within that jelly there is a matrix that has cytokines and mesenchymal stem cells, which are like building blocks.

“We also have cells from the amniotic fluid and cells that come from the umbilical cord itself. What we inject is individualized, depending on what we believe is best for the patient following our evaluation.

“Everybody responds differently, of course, but the bottom line is, we finally have something we can offer patients that helps build tissue and gets them back to where they were when they were younger and more flexible,” Kris concludes.

“And to me, it’s a wonderful option, because I remember a time in primary care where we didn’t have much to offer other than pain medication or more conservative therapies using heat and ice. This is something that’s actually going to regenerate the tissue.”

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