Our country has a long and complicated history with stem cell research. After years of misinformation and scare tactics meant to drive away research funding, scientists are only now scratching the surface of stem cell therapy potential. One link we have discovered regarding this early research discusses how stem cells can benefit sufferers of chronic pain. While more studies are needed to verify the extent and mechanisms of pain relief in stem cell therapy, what we do know so far is quite encouraging.
What types of pain does stem cell therapy treat?
Chronic pain is hard to treat because no condition is the same. Osteoarthritis patients experience joint pain, while diabetic patients may exhibit neuropathy symptoms. Current treatments for chronic pain are very invasive or risk developing a drug tolerance, or dependence. On the contrary, stem cell therapy has shown promise in relieving multiple types of chronic pain without these risks, including:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Orthopedic conditions
- Rotator cuff tears
- Tendon tears
- Muscle tears
- Cartilage tears
- Disc herniations
- Sacroiliac joint pain
- Radiculopathy (pinched spinal nerve)
- Bone fractures that won’t heal
How do stem cells work?
Stem cells can help alleviate the symptoms of so many conditions because of their flexibility, also known as plasticity. A stem cell can differentiate into a variety of cell types such as muscle, nerves, organs, or bones. So, no matter what the body is suffering from, a stem cell can transform itself into the appropriate cell to fix the problem. For example, if the body is suffering from a bone fracture, stem cells will become bone cells to repair the area. If the problem is neuropathy, stem cells will become nerve cells to replace damaged neurons. Besides differentiating into the type of cell needed for damage repair, stem cells also interact with resident cells to lessen pain by:
- Blocking degenerative processes
- Stopping apoptosis
- Enhancing survival and/or recovery of both damaged and undamaged cells
What can I expect during stem cell therapy?
During stem cell therapy, your stem cells will be collected from the marrow in one of your bones, usually the hip bone. This collection is quick and can be done right in your doctor’s office. After harvesting the stem cells, they will be injected into the area where you have pain, using an ultrasound as a guide for proper placement. Once injected, the stem cells will differentiate and interact with the cells at the pain site, repairing any damage. Pain relief will begin up to 3 months after the last treatment and continue up to one year.
Stem cell therapy could be the answer you are searching for if traditional treatments have not relieved your chronic pain. Visit www.regenerativemedicinenow.com for the latest news and updates on regenerative medicine for chronic pain. When you’re ready to schedule an appointment, use our handy search function to find a doctor who provides regenerative treatments, including stem cell therapy, in your area. You can even read reviews from other patients before you go! If you’re a medical professional who provides regenerative medicine treatments, be sure to claim your free profile on our site and take advantage of our B2B Directory of services. By empowering both patients and doctors with information and a space to connect, we hope to bring the benefits of regenerative medicine to every household, so no one has to keep living in pain.