Joint pain can be a debilitating condition for those who suffer from it and can be caused by many different health conditions and diseases. Here at Optimal Health and Wellness in Pasadena, CA, we offer stem cell therapy to treat joint pain. This form of therapy has been proven to be a non-invasive and highly effective way of treating injuries and degenerative conditions.
Why Consider Treatment With Stem Cells?
The human body is made up of multiple cells that serve as the building blocks for organs, tissue, blood, hair, and all other parts of the body. Among these cells, none are more important than stem cells. This is because stem cells are the only cells within the body that can create new types of cells. It’s for this reason that stem cell therapy can offer many benefits over more traditional treatment options.
Can Stem Cell Therapy Help Treat Joint Pain?
Stem cell therapy can help to reduce or eliminate joint pain, regardless of whether it’s an acute problem that recently started or from a longstanding chronic condition. Once therapy has been administered, stem cells go to work in the body and begin to combat joint pain in the following ways:
Once stem cells are introduced into the body they locate and attach themselves to sites of injury. After this attachment process, known as grafting, takes place, the stem cells release byproducts that stimulate the body’s innate immune process so that it can begin repairs at the site of injury. Anti-inflammatory processes then take place that can all play a role in healing and strengthening damaged tissues, which can lead to less pain in nearby joints.
Stem cell therapy can also improve many joint problems because of its effect on cartilage. Not only do stem cells have the ability to repair damaged cartilage, but they can also reduce inflammation in joints to restore balance and expedite the healing process. Articular cartilage, which is found between joints and aids in mobility, is often worn down in arthritic and other joint-related conditions. It’s this type of cartilage that has been shown to benefit from therapy involving stem cells.
A Beneficial Outcome: Joint Pain Reduction
By both reducing inflammation and repairing injured tissues and joints, stem cell treatment can lead to significant reductions in joint pain. These effects may be noticed quickly as inflammation begins to subside, or you may notice gradual improvements over time as more structural damage is healed and cartilage is repaired and regenerated.
How Soon Are Improvements Noticed?
Improvements from stem cell therapy are often noticed in a matter of weeks, though some patients may experience these improvements later. Pain reduction, increased mobility, and other positive results can be experienced quite quickly for some because stem cells begin to promote the body’s natural healing mechanisms immediately for many conditions. Some patients may experience rapid improvements while others may notice a more gradual recovery over time.
Because the therapeutic effects from stem cells continue to take place over time, your body can continue to repair itself day by day, and improvements may be noticed at any time within a year after treatment. The severity of your condition, your age, comorbidities, and other factors can all factor in when it comes to the body’s ability to heal.
Where Do Stem Cells Come From?
The stem cells we use for our therapy are mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are natural and come directly from your own body. These stem cells have shown the following advantages over other types of stem cells in the treatment of joint pain.
Because MSCs are taken from your own body and have immunomodulating characteristics, they aren’t rejected by your body. Once introduced into your body, they can make their way to injured tissues and joints without the immune system treating them as a foreign invader that must be expelled.
The body is made up of many different types of cells, such as ectodermal and endodermal cells. An amazing feature of MSCs is their ability to change themselves into different types of cells such as these. This versatility is a major reason why we use them because MSCs harvested from one part of the body can then repair cells in a completely different area of the body.
Large amounts of MSCs can be produced from very tiny samples taken from your body. This means that collecting these stem cells from the body is a non-invasive process and typically has no side effects or safety issues. It also means that producing enough stem cells to treat joint problems, regardless of how widespread they are, is a quick and efficient process.
MSCs are known for having the ability to detect where injured cells are and to autonomously migrate to them. This gives these stem cells an advantage over some other types because of how targeted they can be in their approach to treating pain while helping you heal.
How Are Stem Cells Collected?
In most cases, we can quickly collect stem cells from your body using a simple blood extraction method, though there are other efficient methods available as well. The three main ways that stems are collected are:
1. Peripheral Blood Extraction
The process of extracting stem cells from blood, or a “blood draw”, is by far the most common method used today. With this method, we can simply extract a small amount of blood from your body using a process that is similar to the process of donating blood. Once we have collected an adequate sample of your blood, we can then extract stem cells from it and then replace the blood.
2. Adipose Tissue Extraction
Another minimally invasive method for collecting stem cells is by extracting them from adipose tissue, which are the deposits of fatty tissue found throughout the body. In some cases, this process may be preferable because stem cells are more abundant in this type of tissue than in some other places where stem cells are derived from, especially in the waist area.
3. Bone Marrow Extraction
The process of gathering stem cells from bone marrow is just as non-invasive and as quick as the blood and fatty tissue extractions. This process is normally carried out by extracting small amounts of marrow from any bone in the body, such as the hip, using a needle with a syringe.
How Long Does It Take To Recover?
The therapy itself is performed on an outpatient basis and is non-invasive, so the recovery process is not an intense one. However, we may make recommendations to accelerate healing. The positive effects of stem cell therapy often peak many months after treatment, so it’s important that the infused stem cells have the most optimal environment within your body during this time for tissue repair and improvements to take place. Our recommendations may include:
Because some conditions can affect your mobility and muscle use, it’s important to mobilize joints and muscles that have grown weak over time after resting for a brief period after treatment. While stem cells themselves can initiate the repair process within your body, weakened muscles that can affect your joints still need to be strengthened so that they can stay healthy long after improvements are experienced.
Although mesenchymal stem cells can find their way to injured tissue and prompt the immune system to start healing damaged joints, unhealthy lifestyle habits can interfere with this process. Smoking, drinking alcohol, lack of exercise, and other factors can all slow down your body’s natural ability to repair itself.
If you normally eat an unhealthy diet, this may be something that you’ll be asked to look at and modify. Stem cells proliferate, which means to multiply and create new cells, all on their own. However, much of the energy that they use to do this comes from the foods you eat. High-fat diets that are low in vegetables and nutrients can cause metabolic changes to your body that make it an unsuitable environment for stem cells to thrive. High sugar intake and triglycerides can also affect stem cell proliferation, so adjustments to your diet may be recommended in some cases.
Start Treating Your Joint Pain Today
If you’ve been suffering from pain or mobility issues as a result of joint dysfunction, you may be a good candidate for stem cell therapy. Call us today at Optimal Health and Wellness in Pasadena, CA to schedule a consultation or to discuss your treatment options. We look forward to helping you towards regaining a pain-free life, and we’re here to answer any questions you might have.