Why Stem Cell Therapy Could Be the Right Treatment for You

Stem cell therapy has increased significantly in popularity in recent years as patients look for pain management treatments that don’t involve long-term use of pain medication. As many as 25 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, including pain from degenerative diseases like arthritis and pain syndromes like fibromyalgia. While medication can help provide some relief, when taken for a long time, many medicines can cause their own problems, including gastrointestinal upset, liver and kidney damage, and even life-threatening addiction.

Stem cell therapy uses a natural product — cells derived from umbilical cord blood and fatty tissue — to help repair damaged tissues and relieve pain and other symptoms, without relying on medication. At The Vanguard Clinic, we offer stem cell therapy using the most advanced techniques to help men and women relieve their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life.

What are stem cells?

Stem cells are “blank” cells that have the potential to become any other type of cell in the body. While early treatments focused on stem cells derived from embryos and umbilical cord blood, today we can also derive stem cells from fat (adipose) tissue, bone marrow, and blood.

In the body, stem cells are acted upon by chemicals and other substances that cause them to “transform” into specific types of cells, including cells that make up cartilage, muscles, and ligaments. In our bodies, this happens naturally. Stem cells remain “inactive” until they’re “called on” by the body to repair or replace old or damaged tissue.

In stem cell therapy, the cells are first purified and processed, then injected into specific areas of the body where tissue repair or replacement is necessary. After they’re injected, the body’s natural healing processes “signal” these stem cells to become whatever tissue is needed for healing. For instance, in a joint with osteoarthritis, stem cells might be recruited to form new cartilage cells that can then be used by the body to replace the cells that have become damaged or destroyed by the disease process.

Stem cell therapy can also be used with platelet-rich plasma (PRP), a product derived from your own blood. Platelets are one of the components of blood, and they contain special proteins called growth factors that play an important role in healing. In PRP therapy, platelets are harvested from a sample of your blood and then concentrated before being reinjected into the damaged area. When combined with stem cell therapy, PRP can help jump-start the healing process for faster recovery in certain types of injuries.

Am I a candidate for stem cell therapy?

Stem cell therapy can be used to treat many different conditions, including pain and dysfunction in the joints. The therapy typically is considered when other treatments like physical therapy and medication have proven ineffective in providing long-term relief of pain and related symptoms, and it’s also considered in people who want to postpone surgery for their condition. Most people who have stem cell therapy have symptoms that are severe enough to interfere with their normal daily activities.

Because stem cell therapy is a nonsurgical treatment, it doesn’t have the risks associated with more invasive surgeries. Because it works by stimulating natural healing and tissue regrowth, it can take several weeks to a few months to achieve optimal relief after your treatment. Immediately after your injections, you may have some discomfort near the site of the injection. This is a normal response to the injections and clears up after a few days.

Learn more about stem cell therapy

At The Vanguard Clinic, we focus on providing every patient with individualized care. Our integrative approach centers on treating the whole patient, not just discrete symptoms. Stem cell therapy can play an important role in managing chronic pain and speeding healing after acute injuries and degenerative disease. To find out more about stem cell therapy and whether it might be a good choice for your needs, book an appointment online today.

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