Living with chronic pain is much more than simply a physical ordeal. The emotional and psychological effects of constant, ongoing pain can take a toll on the strongest of men and women. Often, chronic pain results from degenerative conditions, such as arthritis, where your body simply can’t keep up with the rate of decline. Regenerative medicine is one of the more exciting fields in fighting chronic pain due to its mounting successes and drug-free nature.
Stem cells have been notorious in the media for years, leading to misconceptions about what they are, what they do, and how they’re harvested. Yet stem cells are showing promise as a powerful tool in the regenerative medicine playbook.
If you’re suffering from chronic pain due to arthritis or another degenerative condition, stem cell therapy, alone or in conjunction with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, may give your body the boost it needs to beat chronic pain. John Regan, MD, and Spine Group Beverly Hills can help you decide if stem cell therapy is right for you.
How stem cells work
Your body is always busy with one repair job or another, clearing out old tissue and creating new tissue. This is the healing cycle, and even when you don’t have an obvious injury, chances are good that something, somewhere, is being bolstered and renewed. When you have a degenerative condition, such as arthritis, your body simply can’t make repairs as fast as necessary to stay ahead of the damage.
Stem cells are raw material for body maintenance. You already have plenty of stem cells in your body, and they stand by waiting to be told what kind of cells to become. When they’re needed, your bloodstream carries them to parts that need repair, and they’re used to build new tissue.
How stem cell therapy treats pain
Though the mechanism behind stem cell therapy and pain relief isn’t fully understood, it’s thought that introducing additional stem cells at the site of a deteriorating knee joint, for example, can provide additional raw materials and accelerate regeneration. For many patients, ongoing stem cell therapy can produce a substantial amount of pain relief.
How stem cell therapy is performed
Dr. Regan harvests stem cells from your own body, processes them, and re-injects them at the site of your pain. Instead of treating pain symptoms with medications, which can have many side effects, Dr. Regan uses your own cells to speed healing and relieve pain.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy follows a similar path. First, a sample of your blood is drawn. Then the platelets are separated from the other components of your blood. Finally, the platelets are injected at the pain site. Platelets contain growth hormones, a resource that can help rejuvenate tissue. Once again, it’s a therapy that uses your own cells. There’s no risk of rejection, allergy, or side effects.
If you’re living with chronic pain, book an appointment online or over the phone with Spine Group Beverly Hills to see if stem cell or PRP therapy can help you.