When everything you’ve tried for knee pain relief has failed, Aligned Health Center offers hope

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For anyone who wants to start living free from knee pain again, Aligned Health Center in Westlake offers a revolutionary—yet natural—approach. Find out how hopeful patients are becoming devoted fans.

By Patricia Nugent

Since opening in 2015, Aligned Health Center in Westlake has earned a reputation for “firsts.” It was the first and still only Chiropractic BioPhysics clinic in Northeast Ohio.

In 2019, Aligned medically integrated their practice to help patients tap into this holistic level of care by offering mesenchymal stem cell injections for the treatment of arthritic joints.

The impressive newly renovated Aligned Health Center on Westwood Road houses 7,000 square feet of treatment rooms, X-ray diagnostics, a full physical therapy studio, and a massage therapy room.

Dr. Nicholas Bigrigg and Managing Partner Maria Jeancola’s impressive newly renovated Aligned Health Center is located on Westwood Road in Westlake. (Photography: Francis Angelone)

Activate Your Healing
“With this next step in medical technology, we’re using regenerative medicine therapy to aid patients’ bodies in the healing process that they would be unable to do without outside intervention,” says Managing Partner Maria Jeancola. “To us, regenerative medicine is a cooperative modality— a way of working with the body’s own care continuum. We take a full-circle, patient-focused approach, not a temporary Band-Aid treatment with no lasting effects.”

Overseen by Medical Director Ibrahim Elsheikh, MD, regenerative medicine injections offered at Aligned can benefit those suffering from arthritic joints such as knees, shoulders, ankles and elbows.

“The program includes an initial consultation and X-rays with one of Aligned’s doctors and a full review of the patient’s complete medical history,” says Maria. “This innovative treatment option only requires one injection, with no anesthesia or downtime. As a thorough means of follow-up care to ensure a patient has the best possible outcome, we include a full physical therapy rehabilitation program and follow-up visits that span 24 months.”

The impressive newly opened Aligned Health Center on Westwood Road houses 7,000 square feet of treatment rooms, X-ray diagnostics, a full physical therapy studio, and a massage therapy room. The staff includes (L-R): Joseph Knazek, Shanelle Solgos, Maria Jeancola, Nicholas Bigirgg, Bayleigh Skernivitz, Peyton Skernivitz, Adam Raymond, Jeremy Maximovich, Kimi Allen, Sarah Jones.

Ensuring Success
She points out that providing the additional physical therapy sessions and follow-up assessments is a big differentiator between Aligned Health Center and other clinics in Cleveland who may be offering these injections.

“Our professional post-procedural care‚ with PT sessions and progress assessments at 3, 6, 9, 12 and 24 months following the single injection, is part of what makes our success rate so high,” she adds. “The injection appointment is easy for the patient. They can go right back to their busy lives without restrictions. The ultimate healing process is gradual, generally taking up to a year.”

Physical therapy from Joseph Knazek, MPT, includes a range of services, such as trigger point dry needling, that optimizes the results through rehab.

Physical therapy from Joseph Knazek, MPT, includes a range of services, such as trigger point dry needling, that optimizes the results through rehab.

“Patients come to us for hope,” Maria says. “We are the place many patients come when they feel like they have exhausted all other options. They want to avoid taking pain medications and having joint replacement surgery. It’s rewarding for us. The program has been remarkably successful in its mission.”

Every Patient’s Story
Maria says she remembers the story of every patient who has gone through a regenerative medicine journey with Aligned.

“During their first visit we talk about what their pain and disability has stopped them from doing in their lives,” she says. “With one couple, due to the wife’s knee pain, they had to stop going to festivals and county fairs, as well as the travel that they loved. After the program, they came in and told me they were planning a cruise with lots of walking that would’ve been impossible before the treatment.”

Maria’s own personal journey with pain and surgery is a big part of her “why.”

More than a decade ago, she was suffering from debilitating shoulder pain and underwent three surgeries to repair a torn rotator cuff and labrum. The root cause was scoliosis, a curvature of the spine that triggered an imbalance in her body.

“Ironically, at that time I was offered regenerative medicine therapy by my doctor in lieu of surgery, but it was so new to the area and significantly more expensive than it is today. I said no,” she says. “The surgeries were not successful, and I still experienced chronic pain. Years later, Dr. Bigrigg and I began to do extensive research in the studies behind regenerative medicine and decided we wanted it to be part of this practice. Hindsight is 20/20. I wish I knew then what I know now.”

Correcting Alignment First
Aligned Health Center founder Dr. Nicholas Bigrigg says that a spine out of alignment can be the first precursor to issues that would benefit from regenerative medicine therapy. For instance, a knee or hip that’s favored by an unbalanced amount of weight will become worn and arthritic before the other one. Chiropractic BioPhysics care done early can prevent this. The process begins with a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Bigrigg. He assesses range of motion, checks your spine by hand and takes a digital postural X-ray, which generates a full report. A customized care plan is based on that data.

“Anyone would benefit from a healthy back check-up even if they aren’t having specific issues,” he says, noting the sooner you correct even the smallest issues, that will prevent them from getting worse in the long run.

A good example of the success stories walking out of Aligned Health Center, Vivian O. had three doctors recommend she have knee replacement surgery on both knees.

“I was bone-on-bone, and I really didn’t want to do two major surgeries,” she says. “Previously I had done the cortisone shots, and every shot available, but they only lasted so long. And then the pain returned.”

She decided to receive care at Aligned instead of the surgery, getting an injection in each knee.

That was two years ago and today she remains pain-free.

“Aligned Health Center gave me the quality of my life back,” she says.

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Aligned Health Center is located at 26933 Westwood Road, near the corner of Center Ridge Road in Westlake. Financing options are available. To make an appointment, call 440-385-7357 or visit AHCwestlake.com.