09 Oct Is Stem Cell Therapy a Safe, Effective Treatment for Arthritis?
If you have arthritis, your doctor may recommend synthetic drugs to treat your symptoms. However, the pharmaceutical approach doesn’t work for 20 to 40 percent of arthritis patients. If this describes your situation, you may be eager to find a treatment that has proven both safe and effective before you resort to surgery. Stem cell therapy could be the solution you’re looking for! Learn more about this treatment option to help you decide if it’s right for you.
What Makes Stem Cells Special?
Stem cells are located throughout your body, lying dormant until they are needed. They serve the critical purpose of becoming any type of cell required to heal ligaments, tendons, cartilage, bone, or muscle tissue when these areas become injured or infected. The amount of stem cells in your body naturally decreases with age, making stem cell therapy necessary to heal chronically damaged parts of the body from the inside out.
How Can Stem Cell Therapy Help Arthritis?
Stem cells are delivered via injection near an arthritic joint. Similar to cortisone and steroid injections, stem cell injections have anti-inflammatory properties. However, stem cells offer many additional benefits for long-term healing.
For starters, stem cells naturally contain hyaluronic acid, which lubricates joints and tendons to ease pain and restore mobility. Upon injection, they also release proteins called cytokines, which slow down cartilage degeneration and decrease pain.
When high concentrations of stem cells are accurately positioned near damaged tissue, they can develop into the cartilage and bone cells your body needs to repair the damage. This takes advantage of your body’s innate ability to heal itself—it simply provides the ingredients necessary to do so.
Where Do Stem Cells Come From?
Different types of stem cells are harvested from different sources. For instance, mesenchymal stem cells come from the patient’s own fat tissue, blood, or bone marrow. Another option is amniotic stem cells, which are collected from the amniotic sac after a mother gives birth.
You may be familiar with the ethical debate of harvesting embryonic stem cells from embryos. However, amniotic stem cells come from a waste material after a healthy baby is born. For this reason, most people agree that there is no moral dilemma with using amniotic stem cells.
Who is a Candidate for Stem Cell Therapy?
The decision regarding who should receive stem cell injections is between patients and their doctors. In general, anyone suffering from a condition that stem cell therapy is designed to treat—including osteoarthritis, acute joint injuries, tendon or ligament tears, and other causes of joint pain—could be a good candidate for stem cell therapy. This treatment may be effective at relieving symptoms in severe cases. It may help prevent mild cases from getting any worse.
The best way to find out if you’re a candidate for stem cell therapy is to meet with a Broomfield medical professional who provides this service and discuss your specific needs.
Is Stem Cell Therapy Safe and Effective?
The effectiveness of stem cell therapy depends on where the stem cells come from, how they are separated from the harvested tissue, and how they are delivered to the damaged joint. This means it’s important to compare different stem cell treatments to find one that will work best for you.
Amniotic stem cell injections have helped tens of thousands of patients in the United States with minimal adverse side effects, the most common of which include temporary swelling and discomfort. The treatment takes only 15 minutes and provides pain relief within 24 to 48 hours, with most patients experiencing complete joint restoration after 28 days. Plus, the results are long-lasting. The oldest research suggests that 100 percent of treatment recipients remain pain-free after four years.
Should I Try Stem Cell Therapy for Arthritis?
Stem cell therapy is still a relatively new treatment. Research is ongoing, and FDA regulations are subject to change. Insurance coverage also may not be available for stem cell injections. Still, if prescription medications aren’t meeting your needs, and you want to avoid surgery, stem cell injections may be the next logical step.
Mile High Spine & Pain Center is proud to offer stem cell therapy near Broomfield and Westminster. We create specialized treatment plans to effectively relieve your arthritis symptoms, no matter which joints are affected.
Let us help you understand where your pain is coming from and whether you’re a good candidate for stem cell therapy! Contact us at (720) 507-0080 to schedule a free consultation. We would be happy to answer any remaining questions you have.