If you’re feeling more and more like the Tin Man when you get up each morning, welcome to the world of stiff and aging joints. Your joints are arguably the hardest workers in your skeletal system, keeping your bones and soft tissue together and providing an incredible amount of support and movement. This all-important role, however, means your joints also face the most abuse and wear-and-tear.
Here at The Vanguard Clinic, we partner with our patients in St. Louis, Missouri, to help them overcome the severe limitations that aging and degenerating joints can have, turning once-simple tasks into pain-filled endeavors. In recent years, we’ve been quite pleased with the results of stem cell therapy, which is finding its way into orthopedic circles as an excellent way to tap the human body’s own powerful healing resources and redirect them to where we need them most.
Read on to discover how stem cell therapy may be a game-changer for your aging joints.
The stem cell difference
The medical world has long understood the potential of stem cells because of their chameleon-like ability to transform into other cells. Tapping this power was another story.
Most of the cells in your body are devoted to a single task. For example, your liver cells handle all things to do with your liver, and your skin cells stick to working with your skin. Stem cells, however, are kind of like free agents because they are not designed for anyone single purpose, which is why they’re called undifferentiated.
Instead, stem cells have the incredible ability to arrive on the scene and become whatever cell is needed for the job and then multiply indefinitely as that cell.
Stem cells are strongest in embryonic development, which makes sense given that they’re helping to create a human life. After you’re born, and throughout your life, you still have stem cells in your body, which mostly reside in your bone marrow, in your blood vessels, and in your fatty tissue. These cells lie dormant until they’re called into action to help repair and regenerate something in your body.
The problem is, adult stem cells are weaker, and we had no control over where they went—until now.
Tapping the power within
With stem cell therapy, we take stem cells from your own body, or donor cells, and inject them into areas where your body could use a little healing and regenerative boost. When it comes to aging joints that are succumbing to arthritis or degenerative conditions, the problems typically lie in damaged and inflamed cartilage, ligaments, and tendons.
By injecting stem cells directly into your joints, we can create a healing response in your body and trigger it to send in even more reinforcement stem cells.
Together, these fresh troops set to work to regenerate your damaged cartilage, ligaments, and tendons, as well as reduce inflammation. There’s some evidence that stem cells may halt further degeneration in your joints, but more studies are needed to confirm this.
The stem cell advantage
One of the biggest appeals of stem cell therapy is that it works with your body, rather than against it. Often, the medical world seeks solutions that override or bypass the human body to correct a problem. With stem cell therapy, we work with human biology, which creates longer-lasting and sustainable results without the risks associated with other invasive measures, such as surgery and joint replacement.
If you’d like to explore how stem cell therapy can help your aging joints, we invite you to call us or use the online scheduling tool on this website to request an appointment.