Stem Cell Therapy
What are stem cells and how do they work?
Stem cells are essentially “blank cells” that can become whatever type of cells the body needs at the time. They can grow new cells and repair damaged tissues. Stem cells are attracted to inflammation and can therefore seek out the damaged tissues in the body and repair them from within. As an adult, your body naturally produces stem cells in your bone marrow for use throughout the body, but as you age, you produce significantly fewer stem cells than you did when you were younger. This is why you are more prone to injury and it takes longer to heal. Stem cell therapy treats the source of your pain by stimulating the body to heal itself, generating new tissue in the damaged areas. Stem cells will turn into whatever type of cartilage, muscle, bone, or other tissues that the body needs at the time. Stem cells can and will seek out the damaged areas in the body and help the body to regenerate those areas, however the greatest results are achieved when the stem cells are directly injected into the damaged area, such as a knee, shoulder, hip, elbow, etc. These stem cells quickly go to work to renew and repair the area, and pain relief is usually seen within 1-4 weeks.
Where do the stem cells come from?
HUCT( human umbilical cord tissue): The stem cells that we use in our office come from the donated human umbilical cord blood of screened, healthy live-birth babies. The product consists of a very concentrated cord blood stem cell population that includes hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), and mesenchymal stems cells (MSC). These stem cells have the ability to replicate and to release growth factors and cytokines, as well as differentiate into more mature cells. The donors of these cells are heavily screened and the cell product is rigorously tested in a lab to make sure they are viable and free of diseases. These are not embryonic stem cells, and therefore there is no controversy over their use. Now that the healing power of stem cells is widely known, many new mothers will pay to store their baby’s cord blood for possible future use, but the vast majority of umbilical cords get discarded instead. Those mothers that donate their umbilical cord blood are offering truly life-changing therapies to patients in need.
Are stem cells safe?
While all types of therapies have risks associated with them, stem cell therapy has been used in medicine for many years and has shown a very low incidence of adverse effects. Regenerative medicine and the use of stem cells in the general population is becoming more widespread due to the positive results they have achieved over time. Please contact our office for more information or to schedule for one of our informative educational seminars to learn more.