For those suffering moderate to severe joint pain, it can seem as though there is no end insight. Extreme degeneration in joints can lead to loss of function, painful movement, and even difficulty performing simple life activities. In some cases, it can even affect sensory experiences like eyesight and hearing.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, more than 54 million adults suffer from doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Yet, those who suffer from this disease may have found an answer to their woes. They have found solace in a relatively new form of treatment, namely, stem cell therapy.
This article will divulge the mechanisms of stem cell therapy and the ways in which it repairs the effects of joint degradation. Even more so, it will reveal how this procedure can offer arthritic patients a whole new lease on life.
What Are Stem Cells?
Stem cells, known as mesenchymal cells, are embryonic connective tissues that can self-differentiate into specialized cells. In simpler terms, they can actively transform into the organisms that are needed to treat the localized area. For arthritis patients, this means that esenchymal material can synthesize into the connective tissue that has been lost.
How Are Stem Cells Harvested?
The process of therapy begins with the procurement of stem cells. There are multiple ways to harvest this material. Some labs get the organisms from the patient’s own mesenchymal cells.
These include harvesting bone marrow, fat tissue, or blood. By harvesting personal material, these practices ensure that the immune system will not adversely react to the injected mesenchymal.
Other practices rely on cells gleaned from umbilical cords. It’s important to note that, although these cells are not from the patient, they still have proven conducive to therapy. Doctor Arnold Caplan, colloquially known as the father of mesenchymals, discovered that these cells use a barrier of molecules to stave off any adverse reaction. They protect the foreign cells from any immune system interference. Thus, these stem cells react identically to personal material gained from the patient.
How your stem cells are procured is based entirely on the therapy center that you use. You can find umbilical based methods that are successful in Richmond, and personally harvested methods that are doing well in Georgetown. Thus, there is no right or wrong answer; just find the therapy that works best for you!
A Nearly Painless Procedure
For such a life-changing experience, the actual procedure of stem cell therapy is easily undertaken. If you decide to use your own cells, then you’ll need to undergo a minor procedure
If you use a lab that relies on umbilical cord material, all you need to do is schedule an appointment. The place that you visit will diagnose your condition. They will further design a process to combat your case.
The actual procedure involves methods like IV infusion and/or joint injections. Depending on the severity of your case, you may need to undergo multiple injections. Once the cells have
been introduced to the problematic areas, they will begin the process of regeneration.
Regaining What Was Once Lost
The greatest benefit of stem cell therapy for arthritic patients is the healing of joint degradation. Many who once suffered from crippling pain state that their quality of life is greatly improved. The pain is gone, and their mobility is immensely increased.
Saving Money Through Regeneration
In addition to physical and emotional relief, stem cell therapy offers patients a financial reprieve from the drain of suffering arthritis. A statistical brief, conducted by the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, found that arthritis is one of the five most costly conditions found in adults 18 years or older. This makes sense when you consider the amount of funds that go into treating arthritic conditions. There is money spent on doctor’s visits, steroid treatments, and countless pain medications. In some cases, degeneration can be so aggressive that patients result in costly replacement surgeries.
All of these aforementioned methods only treat the inflammatory pain; thus, they do not combat the root of the problem. Stem cell therapy actively grows the lost tissue, treating the condition until it has become less aggressive. This way, patients receive a reprieve from the physical pain and the monetary loss caused by arthritis!