Stem cell therapy has been getting a lot of buzz recently. This cutting-edge minimally invasive technique relies on the body’s natural healing
mechanisms to ease pain and care for the underlying condition. For patients living with joint pain, stem cell therapy can be an effective alternative to surgery—reducing their dependence on prescription medication and giving them a new lease on life.
If you’ve been living with joint pain for a while, you might be curious whether this alternative treatment option is right for you. To help you make the best choices for your health, here’s a handy guide to stem cell therapy and the science behind this modern technique.
How does stem cell therapy work?
Stem cell therapy is a relatively quick and often painless procedure. When you visit for your treatment, your doctor will remove stem cells from one part of your body by taking a sample of your blood. Then, they’ll inject the isolated stem cells directly into the site of your injury or condition.
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have the ability to become a specialized type of cell, like muscle. By injecting them directly where your body needs them, the healthy stem cells adapt to their new placement and, in the process, work on repairing your damaged tissue. There’s also evidence that stem cell therapy can reduce arthritic inflammation and release proteins into the blood, decreasing pain and slowing down cartilage deterioration.
Is stem cell therapy safe?
Since the stem cells used in this treatment option are taken from your own body, the risk of an adverse reaction is very low.
Stem cell therapy is far less invasive than traditional surgery, so the recovery time is very short. You might feel a little sore around the site of the injection area, but this is perfectly normal and will go away. Many patients return to work the day after their treatment.
Will stem cell therapy relieve my joint pain?
The goal of stem cell therapy is to harness the body’s natural healing abilities to repair tissue damage and return the body to its original, healthy condition. As with any treatment option, results can differ from person to person. But for many, this alternative therapy has led to long-lasting relief from pain.
In a clinical study by the Mayo Clinic, 25 patients received stem cell therapy for arthritis. Each patient had pain in both knees and received a stem cell injection in one. At the end of the trial period, researchers found that patients experienced a dramatic improvement in both knees.
Based on the results, the researchers speculated that stem cell therapy may actually bring more widespread relief than doctors realize. The injected stem cells may be able to hone in on damaged tissue in other parts of the body, not just at the site of injection—suggesting that the treatment can have holistic effects.
Is stem cell therapy right for you?
As with all treatments, the effectiveness of stem cell therapy depends on many factors. This includes pre-existing conditions, the extent of your tissue damage, and the expertise of your provider.
Dr. Damon Noto has performed stem cell therapy on many patients with a high rate of success. If you’re considering stem cell therapy treatment for your arthritis, injury, or other joint issue, contact us today for a consultation.