Stem cell therapy has become the latest rage in natural healing. It has been growing in popularity among doctors and the general public, because of the promise of immediate relief from the pain and suffering of arthritis. Injections of stem cells can be put into the body through a variety of different methods, depending on the provider, the type of stem cell therapy being administered, the area or part of the body that needs treatment and the source of the stem cells. Most stem cells are administered via intravenous or intramuscular injections.
There are three different types of stem cells that are in general use here in the United States and around the world. The different types are all adult stem cells and make up the majority of stem cell therapies used in modern regenerative medicine:
- Umbilical cord stem cells, which are derived from the umbilical cords from the mothers of newborn babies.
- Bone marrow stem cells, that are derived from a person’s own bone marrow.
- Adipose tissue stem cells which are derived from a person’s abdominal fat tissues.
Most stem cell clinics operating in the USA are using adult stem cells, which are derived from the patient’s own bone marrow, or from their own adipose tissue (fat cells).
Before the year 2000, stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood were typically used to treat blood diseases, including leukemia. But since 2001, when Dr. David A. Steenblock did the first clinical trials using umbilical cord stem cells, these powerful, healing stem cells have become the standard to which all other stem cells (bone marrow or fat) do not measure up to, in terms of their healing power.
How are adult stem cells used in the body with regenerative medicine?
In most regenerative medicine clinics, bone marrow derived stem cells or adipose tissue stem cells are used. At Personalized Regenerative Medicine, in San Clemente, California, we can harvest and utilize both types. These are typically harvested from the patient’s own body, right here inside of our clinic. Bone marrow and fat tissue is extracted with a virtually painless procedure, then the extracted tissue is put into a centrifuge. This process separates the stem cells from the other components of the tissue, making a concentrate of highly potent stem cells, which are then injected, directly into the area of the body that you need help with.
This whole process is completed in an outpatient setting, so there is no need for an overnight hospital stay. Most people are able to return to normal activity following the procedure.
Bone marrow-derived stem cells can be used to regenerate injured and damaged tissues. These specialized cells can form into muscle, tendon, ligament, cartilage, joint and bone cells. Mesenchymal stem cells, (or MSCs) are capable of yielding a higher concentration of naturally-occurring stem cells when injected into the body structure. MSCs are designed to harness the healing potential of natural growth factors your body already uses to heal its own tissue.
The bone marrow used for this procedure is usually obtained from the iliac bone in the hip region of the body. Then, using an x-ray in real-time, the doctor administering the stem cell injection can ensure they are being delivered, precisely to the right place.
Adipose tissue-derived stem cells are mesenchymal cells with the capacity to self-renew and complete multipotential differentiation. This means like other stem cells, they can attach and turn into any other type of cell in the body. The adipose tissue is extracted from the body using a procedure similar to liposuction. This is then mixed with an enzyme that helps to separate the stem cells from oils and fat tissues.
Once the stem cells are extracted in the lab, they can be injected into the body using the same procedure as bone marrow derived stem cells. No clinical research has shown that adipose tissue or bone marrow stem cells are any different in effectiveness.
What about platelet-rich plasma injections?
Platelet-rich plasma injections (PRP) can assist stem cell therapies, but do not necessarily contain more than a trace amount of stem cells. Much like a stem cell therapy, the PRP delivers growth and healing factors to the affected area. While they help initiate the body’s natural healing process with growth factors, PRP also helps attract and integrate stem cells present in the area. This assists the stem cells in the process of differentiation, or becoming new cells that regrow tissue and assist in healing.
Who can benefit from stem cell therapies?
If you or a loved one is currently suffering from a number of degenerative conditions, stem cell therapy from Personalized Regenerative Medicine may be able to help. Our stem cell treatments can help your body heal itself, naturally from a variety of medical conditions including:
- joint pain
- amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- cerebral palsy
- stroke or traumatic brain injury
- rotator cuff injury
- tennis elbow
- and a number of other neurological and cardiovascular conditions.
If you, a family member or loved one is suffering from any of the above conditions, please give Personalized Regenerative Medicine a call, right away. We will ask you a few questions, you let us know what’s going on and we will see if any of our treatment options are right for you.