What are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells, meaning that they do not have one singular purpose but are ready to become whatever type of cell your body needs to heal an injury or combat the effects of aging.
Stem cells exist in our bodies naturally. However, they age with us and as we age there are fewer stem cells in our bodies and the ones that remain loose much of their healing ability. This is why stem cell therapy is being talked about so much in the media.
Stem cell therapy is not however, regenerative medicine. Stem cell therapy requires the harvesting of stem cells from the patient or a relative. These procedures are often painful. These treatments are also relying on aged stem cells to help your body heal or fight disease.
Regenerative cell therapy uses young, donated tissue that includes stem cells and growth factors that help reduce pain and heal your injuries. These young, more vibrant stem cells introduced to your body are often referred to as being similar to turning back your biological clock. These treatments are designed to help your body regenerate damaged cartilage, discs, soft tissue, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bone, the synovial fluid in your joints and so much more.
Where Do Stem Cells Come From?
The 4 most common areas that stem cells come from are:
- Bone marrow
- Adipose (fat cells)
- Umbilical allografts
- Amniotic fluid
Bone marrow transplants were the first stem cell procedures and were introduced around 1968. This procedure was revolutionary and is still used in certain applications today. The potential shortcomings in bone marrow transplants are that the process is painful and it utilizes the aging stem cells of the patient. The procedure to acquire the bone marrow requires that the doctor drill a hole in either the hip or femur and extract the marrow. The stem cells are then extracted from the marrow and reintroduced into the patient’s body. This was big news in 1968 and helped many patients. But there are more effective and less painful ways to enjoy the effects of stem cell therapy today
Adipose is another stem cell treatment that you may have heard about. In this procedure, the stem cells are extracted from your fat cells. This is widely used in Canada because of governmental regulation and is still used upon occasion in the US but it’s not a favorite of many more advanced stem cell clinics. The reason many clinics shy away from adipose is that the procedure is using aged stem cells and perhaps more importantly, the body stores many toxins in fat cells. Those toxins may have an adverse effect on the quality of the stem cells causing a far inferior outcome.
Umbilical allografts are an extremely effective source for stem cells for multiple reasons and have many uses. First, they are harvested at the time of birth from tissue that would have previously been discarded. The mother and baby experience no pain or ill effects from donating this tissue. Second, the stem cells are very young and very healthy. Third, the mother and baby have been monitored and well cared for throughout the pregnancy.
These stem cells are only harvested from cesarean section births. Many top stem cell clinics, including ours, use these stem cells extensively due to their high rate of success.
The Umbilical cord contains a gelatinous substance known as Wharton’s Jelly. This substance contains mesenchymal stem cells and these are very effective healing cells. This tissue also contains a tremendous amount of cytokines, growth factors, collagens, proteins, peptides and numerous other components needed to regenerate injured tissue. So these stem cell injections contain a great deal more healing ability than a more common stem cell therapy. This tissue is much different than cord blood that you may have heard spoken about.
What Can Stem Cells Be Used For?
Stem cell injections derived from Wharton’s Jelly are highly effective for & have helped many people avoid surgery for:
- Knee pain
- Joint pain
- Back pain – A great alternative to laser spinal surgery
- Shoulder pain
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Hip pain
- Regenerating the synovial fluid in joints
- Neuropathy treatment
- Herniated discs
- Torn discs
- Fibromyalgia treatment
- Neck injuries
- Sexual Dysfunction
- And more
Stem Cells for Pain Relief and Healing
Utilizing stem cells and the many growth factors from umbilical allografts is like turning your biological clock back. The best way to illustrate this is to think about how quickly children heal from injuries compared to older people. This is because they have large volumes of young, healthy mesenchymal stem cells. You can now have them too!
Amniotic fluid is used more for its growth factors than its stem cells. In addition to growth factors amniotic fluid contains lipids, carbohydrates, cytokines, polyamides, collagen substrates, extracellular matrix molecules like hyaluronic acids, and amino acids. In addition to all of these restorative components, it also contains micronized amniotic membrane, which has anti-inflammatory properties and is used to help with:
- Natural pain management
- Aesthetic purposes, such as scar reduction and hair restoration
- Arthritis and other joint problems
- Spine surgery recovery
- Treatment of slow-to-heal or chronic wounds
- Podiatric issues
- Sports injuries
- And more
We are a multidisciplinary practice. Because of this, we will choose the exact treatment options that show the most promise to resolve the health concerns of each patient. To learn the benefits available to you from our Platelet rich plasma, please contact our office and ask about a free consultation on this service.