Stem cell therapy is an innovative field of medicine that is considered highly promising to change the way we treat many common illnesses and injuries. While still being thoroughly researched, doctors and scientists are looking at stem cell therapy as a treatment for chronic pain and arthritis. Stem cells have an amazing ability to rebuild and restore the tissues of the body, which has led researchers to explore whether stem cells can make a difference in the pain levels of pain sufferers.
What Are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are “undifferentiated” cells, which means that they have the ability to develop into a wider variety of other cell types, unlike regular cells. Stem cells also have the ability to repair other cells, making them useful for targeting old damage or degenerative diseases. Because stem cells have the ability to repair tissues, bones, muscles, organs, and more, researchers are looking into using stem cells to treat lingering pain and heal the damage that causes it.
Stem cells can come from several sources, such as bone marrow and adipose (fatty tissue). Bone marrow is the most studied and best-suited source of stem cells for pain management purposes. These stem cells are often harvested from the patient’s bone marrow by biopsy on the hip bone. After being collected from a patient’s bone marrow, they are treated and prepared for injection. Stem cells will then be injected into the affected tissue to start the regeneration process.
Can Stem Cells Be Used to Treat Pain?
Because of their regenerative abilities stem cells have been used in experiments to treat degenerative diseases, such as arthritis and degenerative disc disease. Stem cells work to reduce inflammation and promote healing in damaged parts of the body. Much of the research has returned positive results, showing that stem cells can minimize degeneration and regenerate tissue in the affected area.
Compared to other alternatives for pain treatment, stem cells also pose far less of a risk. Opioid pain medications can have a significant number of side effects, including addiction. Invasive reconstructive surgeries can have long recovery times and may not be fully successful to relieve the pain and replace the damage. Cortisone injections can be beneficial for pain, but don’t do anything to heal the damage that causes it. Stem cell researchers are concerned that the use of stem cells may encourage abnormal cell growth or tumors, but mutations haven’t been observed when using bone marrow stem cells.
At Paine Medicine Group, we’re always working to stay up-to-date on the latest breakthroughs in pain management. Our Fort Myerspain management center is dedicated to helping you live a life without pain. To discover our cutting-edge treatments, personalized care, and expert, compassionate staff, schedule an appointment today.
Contact our offices by calling (888) 832-3597. We’re ready to answer your questions.