For people living with joint pain, finding the right treatment option can be a long road. Joint pain may be caused from a variety of conditions, such as arthritis, autoimmune diseases and injuries. Everyone is different, so joint pain affects people differently. With recent advances in alternative and new treatments, many people are wondering, “can stem cell therapy reduce joint pain?” Here’s what you need to know.
What are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are the building blocks of life in plants, animals and people. In people, there are many types of stem cells that come from different places in the body or are formed during different times of life. For example, embryonic stem cells only occur during the earliest stages of life and development. However, adult stem cells occur during the early stages and last throughout life.
Stem cells can replicate or make copies of themselves. They can also differentiate or develop into more specialized cells. For example, if you cut your finger, your body would signal your stem cells to the cut to help it heal.
What is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cell therapy is the use of stem cells to encourage healing from inside the body. Adult stem cells are also known as autologous stem cells, meaning that they come from within the patient (and not from someone else).
There are many stem cell treatment clinics nationwide. That being said, not all stem cell clinics are equal, so be sure to do your research and consult with your doctor before deciding to get treatment at any stem cell clinic.
In the United States, stem cell clinics use adult stem cells taken from the patient’s own body. After the clinic does its own processing of the cells, the stem cells are then returned to the patient’s body. The main goal of stem cell therapy for joint pain is to reduce pain and help the patient feel better.
The three main places stem cells may be harvested from are: fat tissue, blood and bone marrow. However, each stem cell clinic likely has its own protocols and procedures.
Depending on the clinic, stem cell therapy for joint pain may include an injection or multiple injections into the affected joints, or even an IV into your arm.
Can Stem Cell Therapy Reduce Joint Pain?
There are many different types of stem cell treatments, and stem cell therapy has shown promise in helping people with a variety of conditions, including people with joint pain. It is important to remember that more studies and clinical trials are still needed to fully understand the potential uses of stem cells as a treatment option.
While there are studies showing that stem cell therapy may reduce joint pain, more studies are needed to show both the short and long-term effects of treatment.
If you’re considering stem cell therapy to reduce joint pain or for another condition, it’s important to do your research and talk with your doctor. Your doctor will be able to provide valuable insight, answer your questions and help guide you.