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Using Stem Cells to Wage a War Against Joint Pain

Posted by Jessica Chu on

Using Stem Cells to Wage a War Against Joint Pain

Did you know, severe joint pains plague an increasing number of Americans every year? Joint pains are generally higher amongst women (approximately 29%), but the men aren't that far behind (approximately 23%). CDC reports that nearly one in four adults with complaints regarding arthritis experience severe joint pain. This makes up about 15 million individuals. 

That's a huge number!

So what makes the number of adults in the US experiencing joint pains so high?

Well, Joints help the human body to move as they are attachment sites for bones in the musculoskeletal system of the body. Tissues called tendons and ligaments help to connect the bones to the joints. In addition to the tendons and ligaments there are smooth protective cartilages and soft tissues around joints.

These provide cushioning to the adjacent bones as well as help produce liquids that lubricate them, keeping the bones from rubbing against each other. Due to factors like age, unhealthy lifestyle, and nutrient deficiencies, this cartilage becomes brittle and starts to wither away. This causes severe pain and may even lead to serious medical conditions.

Severe joint problems can make it very hard for a person to take care of themselves and to get through their daily routine. Ordinary tasks like going to the bathroom become a mission, especially for older people if experiencing such pains. 

These pains are treatable nonetheless. However, what is critical to understand about treatments are that all treatment options for joint pains are either temporary or surgical. The most common options that individuals with joint pains seek are surgical knees of joints replacement. 

About 600,000 people in America get their knees replaced every year. Although knee replacement surgery seems like a great idea, there are several drawbacks to it. A replacement knee will never be as good as the natural knee. Also, the artificial knee isn't designed to be bend as far as the natural knee would, causing discomfort to people who try.

The biggest drawback is that the artificial knee joint may become loose after some time or it might wear out. This would mean that the patient would have to get surgery again! 

So, if there were an alternative and rather effective solution? What if there was a way to make the pain go away without the added fear of surgery and the fear that your body might reject the implant? 

That's what we're here to tell you about. An alternative to surgical procedures to overcome joint pains!

Yup. It's time to wage war against joint pains through newer techniques using stem cells.

Stem cells for joint pains and stem cell therapy for back pain could be the solution to your problems.

What Are Stem Cells?

Stem cells are specialized human cells which can develop into many different types of cells; giving a specific trigger. The reason behind this is that under certain physiologic or experimental conditions, stem cells can be induced to become tissue- or organ-specific cells with unique functions. In some organs, such as the gut and bone marrow, stem cells also regularly divide to repair and replace worn out or damaged tissues. They are capable of renewing themselves through cell division, sometimes after long periods of inactivity making them a great weapon against medical conditions.

Recently, in numerous cases, stem cell for joint pain therapy has come out as a pain reduction therapy. Many people have been able to avoid surgery and improve their way of life through this therapy. 

Studies are still being done on stem cell therapy, the forms and the combinations of preparation of stem cells is improving which means the outcomes area expected to improve as well. 

The job of adult stem cells is to maintain and heal tissues by replenishing damaged and dying cells. There are some areas of the body, such as the knee, that have a limited blood supply. Due to this, your own stem cells aren’t working as well as they should in these areas, making it hard to heal damaged and dying cells. 

This is where stem cell therapy for joint pain comes in! There are different techniques which are now available to people to fight joint pains without having to be cut open in surgery. 

 Non-surgical Techniques: 

1. PRP:

Platelet-rich plasma therapy attempts to take advantage of the blood natural healing properties and repairs cartilage damage, damaged tendons, ligaments, muscles, and even bones.  The PRP is injected directly into the joints when treating a patient. The goal of this is to 

  • Reduce pain
  • Improve the function of the joint
  • Slow down or halt and even repair the damaged cartilage

PRP is usually taken from the patient's own blood. The therapeutic injections contain plasma with a high concentration of platelets than found in healthy blood. Platelet-rich plasma supposedly:

  • Inhibits inflammation and slows down the progression of osteoarthritis.
  • Stimulates the formation of new cartilage
  • Increases the production of the natural lubricant in the joint, easing painful joint friction
  • Also contains proteins that alter a patient's pain receptors and reduces the pain sensations. 

2. Regenerative Medicine Therapy:

Regenerative Medicine Therapy is a branch of medicine which focuses on the way to repair, replace, or even regenerate damaged human tissues. Treatment options for joint pains have been minimal before this. Steroid injections, physical therapy, and worst of all, knee replacement surgery were the only treatment options. 

Stem cell therapy for back pain and stem cells for joint pains are taken from the bone marrow of patients. Pain-relieving and joint healing injections are made from a patient's own stem cells. Regenerative medicine therapy has several benefits, which include:

  • No surgery involved and the complications of surgery
  • Minimal post-treatment recovery time
  • No use of Anesthesia
  • Increased mobility and function of joints

3. Allograft Tissue Therapy: 

Allograft tissue comes from donated sources like cell banks. This is because they come from the placenta of a healthy birth. These cells are always tested and screened for diseases when received and then safely stored in a lab. 

Allograft tissue is used to cover wounds in conditions where the tissue is damaged, or there is inflammation. The allograft tissue speeds up the healing process while replacing the previously damaged tissue.

These injections are injected right into the target area so that the effect is immediate and faster healing can occur. This is a quick procedure which allows the patient to walk out of the clinic on that same day.

Since allograft tissues are taken from cell banks instead of patient's bone marrow, it prevents complications such as the pain that comes with the extraction and the infections that follow. 

There's no doubt that joint pains are very troublesome and uncomfortable for some people. Up until recently, there haven't been any long term or permanent solutions to this problem. People tend to give up and get surgery to extinguish the pain and be able to return to their daily lives but there are mostly problems associated with that too.

With the help of stem cells, the ever-emerging miracle cells, we can say a final goodbye to surgical practices for joint pains.