While millions of Americans suffer from crippling joint pain and osteoarthritis, stem cell therapy has shown a lot of potential to alleviate pain caused from the deterioration of cartilage around joints. These types of regenerative treatments can even help regrow, repair and replace lost function and mobility for most of the patients who suffer from osteoarthritis and different types of joint pain. Stem cell therapy has been shown in numerous studies to help improve pain symptoms,(1) reduce inflammation (2) and assist in the body’s natural musculoskeletal regeneration process. (3)
Since our cells become aged and diseased, the human body constantly repairs and replaces cells with stem cells. Therefore, the use of stem cells, (especially autologous stem cell therapy) makes sense to assist the body’s natural regenerative and healing processes. In this regard, conceptually stem cells can be seen as similar to an organ transplant or mitochondrial transplants. Nonetheless, there is a strong resistance against the use of stem cells from the Food and Drug Administration and in modern medical circles. We believe this is based in part, due to a fear of stem cells replacing pharmaceutical treatments for certain diseases. The pharmaceutical companies, unfortunately, have focused merely on the symptoms, while few medications actually directly modify the disease they are designed to treat.
Current treatment for joint pain and osteoarthritis is outdated.
In the United States, the typical forms of treatment for joint degeneration and osteoarthritis is over the counter anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen, COX-2 inhibitors and other NSAIDs. In most cases, they will help reduce pain for the patient, but these drugs can actually slow the body’s natural tendon, bone and cartilage repair. (4) In some cases, NSAIDs will have a negative effect on muscle protein metabolism, which blocks protein synthesis in the muscle tissue. Many doctors have been advised to avoid NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors when attempting to repair cartilage or treat stress fractures. Inflammation is actually an important, necessary part of the cleaning and rebuilding process when it comes to cartilage, tissue and bone damage.
As history has shown, modern medicine is replete with stories of an almost stubborn resistance to change. From the discovery of the placebo effect, to Dr. Semmelweiss recommending doctors to wash their hands before surgery and now the use of stem cells to treat disease, the history of the medical community shows a reluctance to adopt scientific advances in medicine. Much is currently at stake for the medical and pharmaceutical industry as the actual cost to use stem cells is comparatively low. In cases where stem cells are proven to be disease modifying, they would certainly diminish the profits of the big pharmaceutical companies, whose executives currently dominate the FDA. Moreover, in some circumstances, advances in stem cell therapy may ultimately cure a number of diseases and ailments for some individuals.
The healthcare industry has been slow to accept regenerative medicine to treat osteoarthritis and joint pain.
Research is a big business in American medicine. While there is a financial incentive to develop and deploy new treatments, there is also a financial incentive to make money by continuing to use old techniques and medicines for as long as possible. Consequently, if a treatment is potentially not very profitable, then there is no real incentive for the industry to reach definitive conclusions in their medical research.
Profitability aside, most medical professionals genuinely want to help the patients who come into their clinics. There was a time in America where doctors heavily prescribed pain medications to their patients in an effort to alleviate their suffering. While the pain was managed, an unintended consequence of dependence and addiction to pain killers seemingly caught everyone off guard.
No one wants to see another human being suffer with pain of any kind. At Personalized Regenerative Medicine, we believe that the body has the natural ability to heal itself. Our stem cell therapy is designed to not simply mask the symptoms of degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis, but our hope is to help the body regrow and heal itself so you can live your life free from the restrictions of joint pain.