Chronic pain is one of the worst maladies a person can suffer. The constant agony is frustrating enough, but you’ll also face the demoralizing awareness that your pain won’t go away. Few treatments address this sort of discomfort. That’s why stem cell research is so important. Here’s a guide on whether stem cell therapy can treat chronic pain.
What is stem cell treatment?
The cells in your body have specific purposes. Their utility is tremendous, but a defined cell only cooperates in conjunction with designated tasks. That means it cannot address anything outside its parameters. Stem cells have no such limitations. Think of them as blank cells whose purpose isn’t specific. Doctors can reset the blank cells to give them a precise purpose. More than 200 different types of cells exist in the human body. Stem cells can act as any of them. In a deck of cards, stem cells are the Jokers.
The two types of stem cells
Two different types of stem cells exist. Embryonic stem cells are the undifferentiated stem cells that come from fetuses. These stem cells have tremendous therapeutic value since they can replicate indefinitely. The other type is the adult stem cell. That’s a bit of a misnomer since children and adults both have adult stem cells. All the terminology means is that these stem cells already have specific purposes, negating some of their value in pain treatment.
How does stem cell treatment work?
The most recognized type of stem cell treatment is regenerative in nature. Many chronic pain issues involve discs in the vertebrae. When someone suffers such an injury, the discs become irreparably damaged, entering a degenerative state. Historically, that’s meant sufferers of chronic back pain have little respite.
Stem cell treatment is a novel attempt to reset the circumstances causing back pain. A doctor removes aspirating tissue from healthy parts of the body whose cells have similar assignments. Then, the medical team relocates these stem cells to the problem area. Once the primitive cells recognize the new influx of healthy tissue, they accept the signal to regenerate the affected discs. Stem cells effectively rewrite the body’s code. In the process, they stimulate healing by adding new collagen within the degenerative discs, thereby diminishing pack pain.
Other types of stem cell treatment
Curing all types of chronic pain is the goal of stem cell treatment. Any source of extended discomfort stemming from body trauma is a potential field for such treatments. Joint pain in affected areas such as the hips, knees, or shoulders is correctable via stem cell regeneration. Similarly, victims of athletic injuries such as rotator cuff tears, tennis elbow, and plantar fasciitis could benefit from this new style of medical therapy.
Unquestionably the most exciting potential avenue for stem cell treatment involves cancer patients. Such sufferers experience radiation and chemotherapy treatments that are invasive, excruciating, and often unsuccessful. Stem cell transplants restore the low cell count of cancer patients. That alleviates some of the chronic pain people feel while dealing with the effects of the disease.