There’s so much talk about regenerative medicine and stem cell therapy in the media today that patients often ask us to explain what regenerative medicine is, how it works and whether it might be a viable solution for them.
What is Regenerative Medicine?
Regenerative medicine deals with the process of restoring the normal function of the body by replacing, engineering or re-engineering human cells, tissues or organs. This is accomplished by introducing new, young, healthy tissue that contains stem cells into your body. Stem cell therapy refers to a procedure that relies on harvesting your own stem cells and reintroducing them to your body.
It’s a fact that your body has the innate ability to heal tissue that has been injured or is aging. This is accomplished when your body’s own stem cells perform the function they’re naturally designed to do, renew and repair cells, and differentiate into specialized cells. Healthy, young and effective stem cells have the ability to differentiate, or change into, the proper cell needed to heal an injury. For example, if you have lower back pain that emanates from a disc injury, your body needs one type of cell to repair the damage that is responsible for your pain. If you have joint pain resulting from damaged or degraded cartilage, another type of cell may be required to heal the injury. Stem cells are the mechanisms that provide the proper cell type to heal your body.
If the human body already has stem cells and natural growth factors, why are treatments that contain stem cells valuable?
Unfortunately, studies show that as we age the natural ability of our stem cells to renew and restore diminishes and our natural cells are far less effective than they were when we were young. We have many fewer healthy stem cells as our bodies age and we lose much of the ability to heal quickly and efficiently. This is evidenced by the fact that children heal much more quickly than adults.
Regenerative medicine uses young, healthy stem cells, growth factors and other healing components from allografts (donated tissue) to help your body heal.
Fortunately, there is a solution that can help people of all ages. Mesenchymal stem cells are that solution.
- What are Mesenchymal stem cells?
- Where do they come from?
- Why are they so effective at assisting the bodies natural healing process?
Mesenchymal stem cells come from the Wharton’s jelly found in the umbilical cord of newly born babies. The cells used in our treatment option are from cesarean deliveries. Both mother and baby are checked and monitored throughout the pregnancy and never experience any ill effects or discomfort from the donation of the umbilical cord.
By introducing these young, healthy stem cells into your body, we give your body’s natural ability to heal a big boost. It’s like turning the clock back to when you were very young and had the ability to heal very quickly.
What results can I expect from stem cell treatments?
The results with stem cells are multi-faceted.
- First, when your body experiences an injury resulting in pain, it releases chemicals that increase the blood flow to the injured area to protect that area. Upon arrival to the injured area, some of these chemicals cause a leak of fluid into the tissue resulting in inflammation. The initial, and most often, rapid relief from this treatment is a result of the strong anti-inflammatory properties of the formula. Reducing inflammation reduces pain.
- Next, the long-term result of regenerative medicine is much like the name indicates, it helps your body regenerate cells, tissue, bone etc. The value of regenerating cells, tissue, bone etc. is that this regeneration aids your body’s natural ability to heal more effectively. It is not unusual for patients to see long-term relief from the pain associated with the back, knee, joints, partially torn rotator cuffs, tendons, ligaments, disc issues, plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, pinched nerves, torn muscles, sports injuries and many more injuries. The long-term relief comes from the body actually healing itself with the help of the treatment.
Aren’t stem cell treatments painful?
There are forms of stem cell replacement that are painful. However, the use of Mesenchymal stem cells found in umbilical allografts does not require the harvesting of any tissue from you, our patient. On the other hand, stem cell therapy requires the harvesting of your blood or bone marrow, which is then processed for stem cells and reintroduced to your body. Not only are these procedures rather painful but you are reintroducing and relying upon the healing capability of aged stem cells rather than young, healthy, more vibrant cells.