Much of the news surrounding stem cell therapy focuses on one of two things. Stories either detail ongoing research projects that may lead to revolutionary treatments years down the road, or they talk about past cases in which bad actors operating outside of the boundaries of current regulations have harmed patients with their therapies. What you do not hear much about are everyday uses for stem cell therapy – like treating osteoarthritis for example.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease capable of causing severe pain and discomfort in the knees, hips, hands, etc. It is the result of a loss of cartilage, which allows the bones of an affected joint to grind on each other. Long term sufferers of the disease often turn to pain medication. Many end up undergoing joint replacement surgery at some point.
Stem cell therapy offers an alternative. A stem cell procedure done in accordance with existing FDA regulations involves drawing blood or adipose fat tissue, processing the material in a centrifuge to isolate stem cells, and then injecting those cells into the arthritic joint. It is a fairly straightforward procedure.
If you have been considering stem cell treatment for osteoarthritis, here are three things you need to know:
1. It Doesn’t Work for Everyone
As helpful as stem cell treatments are for some osteoarthritis patients, they do not work for everyone. Representatives from Utah-based Apex Biologix say that varying results are normal with any type of medical procedure. Results differ based on patient health, the body’s response to the therapy, how doctors administer the procedure, and more.
You may undergo stem cell therapy and be one of those patients who experiences a full recovery. You might be a patient who enjoys some relief, but not total relief. Or you may end up getting no relief at all. Your best bet is to talk with your doctor before making a decision. Make sure you fully understand all the implications of stem cell therapy for your particular situation.
2. It is Natural and Safe
Next, you need to know that stem cell therapy is both natural and safe. It is considered natural because the doctor does not inject any foreign substances into your body. The stem cells used in your procedure are your stem cells, harvested from either your blood or adipose fat tissue. And as long as your doctor is operating within the constraints of current regulations, the procedure is completely safe. Using your own stem cells means there is no risk of rejection and very little risk of complications.
3. You Might Need Multiple Treatments
Finally, understand that you might need multiple treatments in order to realize benefit from stem cell therapy. Some patients do fine with just one injection, some require two or three injections. There is no way to know without sitting down and talking with your doctor first.
Regardless of the number of treatments you need, you can rest assured that stem cell therapy is not terribly complicated. It is an outpatient procedure that does not take a lot of time and will not leave you sidelined for weeks on end. Within a few hours of treatment you will be back to your normal routine.
While the news media is busy reporting on the most sensational news in the stem cell arena, doctors and clinics around the country are helping osteoarthritis patients lead better lives through autologous stem cell injections. It is something to look into if you suffer from the chronic pain of this very common disease. Stem cell therapy might just be the treatment you have been looking for.