Stem cell therapy is quickly transforming from an edgy new concept into a well-applied science, particularly when it comes to joint pain. Some exciting trials have emerged about the use of stem cells in osteoarthritis, cartilage degeneration, and rheumatoid arthritis. Such therapies develop into new cartilage cells, suppress swelling, and slow degeneration down. Scientists have also developed innovative ways to support stem cell therapies to stretch out the effects.
<h2>Understanding Joint Pain</h2>
Joint pain is a symptom rather than a condition. It has many potential causes, from injuries to infection. These include:
As with any form of medicine, there is no single magical cure for all of these conditions. Adult stem cells can be taken from marrow, blood, and fat and developed into cartilage and bone marrow cells at Thrive MD centers. The technique can repair the joint degeneration typical of arthritis. Usually, cells are injected into the damaged bone and cartilage tissue. This way, metal replacement metal parts can be avoided entirely.
Stem cells can’t treat neurodegenerative diseases yet, but inflammation, immune diseases, arthritis, and spinal cord injury have responded well to stem cell therapy. These treatments can stimulate blood vessel growth, which may evolve into a new joint pain therapy in the coming years.
Orthopedic conditions are responding well in stem cell trials. The Arthritis Foundation is working on a technique that uses hydrogels that don’t harden until they’re exposed to light. This way, nutrients can be carried to the cells and toxins can be shifted away. If the trial is successful, stem cell therapy will be used to treat a wider variety of conditions.
<h2>A Closer Look at Osteoarthritis </h2>
Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of joint pain. It can take hold as early as your twenties, but by seventy, it’s almost guaranteed. It’s a degenerative disease affecting over 30 million U.S. patients. It arises when cartilage in the synovial joints breaks down, but it may also affect bone. It causes a deep ache in the joints, along with reduced range of motion and stiffness.
Adult stem cells taken from marrow are showing excellent results in osteoarthritis trials, even after a single dose. They can transform into bone, cartilage, and muscle. There are many kinds of stem cell therapies, but osteoarthritis responds to two broad therapies. Stem cells can be used to create a support structure for degenerated joints in open surgery or, more commonly, injected into joints. Researchers are also looking at supportive therapies that can reduce swelling and prevent further degeneration after treatment.
Most forms of arthritis lend themselves well to the same stem cell treatments. The FDA currently prefers stem cells taken from bone marrow, which have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce pain and support regeneration. Knee replacement can reduce pain, but surgical stem cell therapy tends to produce fewer blood clots and increase knee cartilage.
Golfer, Jack Nicklaus, was famously treated for facet joint syndrome with stem cells. Similar therapies have been tested for back pain related to discs, joints, and muscle, with promising results. This is an important breakthrough because back pain is notoriously difficult to treat, but research is still in its early stages.
<h2> Knee Pain </h2>
The FDA believes that stem cell therapy for knee pain can avoid the side effects of other invasive therapies. Knee injections usually use stem cells taken from marrow, fat, or blood. The therapy is quick and non-invasive, and many doctors around the world are excited about their results. One of the more interesting effects for knee injections is a reduction in swelling. It’s not known whether the stems cells themselves are responsible or whether the chemicals they release are impacting on other cells. Whatever the case, inflammation causes severe joint pain and is to blame for joint degeneration. Cortisone injections provide limited results and carry severe side effects to boot.
Stem cell injections can encourage healing in any condition related to the joints, so they can be used to help patients recover from surgery faster. They appear to reduce the scarring, too. The results are being seen in small animal and human trials but show plenty of promise. Thrive MD has partnered with Premier Regenerative Stem Cell and Wellness Centers to introduce innovative therapies to encourage healing.
When treating pain, doctors typically try the least invasive procedures first before moving onto total knee replacements and other surgical options. Thrive MD can use stem cell therapy as a part of that process, whether to improve the results of traditional therapies or as the therapy itself. Pain is debilitating, and stem cell therapy could have a drastic effect on your quality of life.