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Corey Kunzer, PT, DPT, often sees patients who've had certain regenerative medicine procedures. He describes the process as helping the body heal itself.


"It's like with a paper cut," Kunzer says. "If a person gets a cut, his or her body creates a scab, and, as the scab is working, the skin and tissue below it heals. That's what regenerative medicine is. It's priming the body to heal itself." Kunzer, a board-certified clinical specialist in sports physical therapy, is coordinator of the Mayo Clinic Physical Therapy Sports Residency in Rochester, Minnesota.

That's only one of many aspects of regenerative medicine. According to an article in PTJ (Physical Therapy), the term "regenerative medicine" describes anything that helps the body restore biological function lost to age, disease, injury, or congenital abnormality.1 This objective, the National Institutes of Health says, can be accomplished with the help of medical devices and organs, biomaterials, and cellular therapies.2

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  1. Ambrosio F, Wolf SL, Delitto A, et al. The emerging relationship between regenerative medicine and physical therapeutics. Phys Ther. 2010;90(12);1807-1814.
  2. National Institutes of Health. Regenerative Medicine. 2006. Accessed January 17, 2019.
  3. Tower J. Stress and stem cells. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Dev Biol. April 2012.
  4. American Physical Therapy Association. Genetics in Physical Therapy. Accessed January 17, 2019.
  5. Curtis CL, Goldberg A, Kleim GA, et al. Translating genomic advances to physical therapist practice: a closer look at the nature and nurture of common diseases. Phys Ther. 2016;96(4):570-580.
  6. Alliance for Regenerative Rehabilitation Research and Training. Funding Opportunities. Accessed February 5, 2019.

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