You’ve almost inevitably heard of stem cell therapy—especially if you’ve sought out treatment for joint pain linked to arthritis—but you may not be certain what exactly stem cells are and just how they’re used to treat joint pain. This may be because conversations on stem cell therapy often focus on it being a cutting-edge treatment or on the impressive results people have achieved. While these elements are undeniable and important, it’s helpful to learn a little about the science behind the success.
What are stem cells?
Stem cells are naturally occurring cells in your body. What makes them unique is that they can adapt into specialized cells as your body needs. For example, a stem cell can differentiate into muscle, tendon, or ligament cells, depending on what your body is seeking. The multi-tasking nature of stem cells enables them to be harvested and injected into a different region of the body where they regenerate and repair damaged tissue.
This ability to divide and self-renew an unlimited number of times makes stem cells ideal candidates for repairing damaged cells in your hips, knees, shoulders, and wrists.
Where are my stem cells found?
Adult stem cells are typically found in a variety of tissues, including bone marrow, blood, skin, and the liver. No matter where they are found, however, they can be used to generate entirely different types of cells. This means, for example, that stem cells found in your bone marrow can be used to develop heart muscle cells.
What does stem cell therapy entail?
MDBiologix stem cell therapy takes stem cells from an uninjured area of your body, concentrates them to an optimal level for treatment, and injects them into the injured area, where they spur the growth of other healthy cells. Our innovative therapy involves one of three areas of treatment:
- Bone Marrow Aspirate—where multipotent stem cells are harvested from your bone marrow in your lower back and hips;
- Adipose Derived Stem Cells—where mesenchymal stem cells are taken from your adipose tissue (also known as fat tissue) and transferred to tissues that require treatment; and
- Platelet Rich Plasma—where platelets are taken from the blood, concentrated, and placed back into the plasma before being injected back into your body to stimulate the development of collagen.
Why is stem cell therapy so popular?
Because stem cell therapy uses your body’s own naturally-occurring stem cells, there is a lower risk of side effects or complications than with surgery or medication. Stem cells are efficient at differentiating into specialized cells, meaning your recovery time will typically also be lower than with a joint replacement surgery. This less-invasive, quick-recovery alternative to conventional treatments can reunite you with your favorite activities faster than ever before.