Back pain and joint pain are two common complaints affecting millions of people. While there are many treatment options available, stem cell therapy is growing in popularity. Stem cell therapy works by encouraging damaged tissues to repair themselves. Yet, despite the growing popularity, there are many misconceptions about stem cell therapy.
Below, Dr. John Regan at Spine Group Beverly Hills in Santa Monica, California explains the myths and facts about stem cell therapy.
Myth #1: Stem cells only come from embryonic cells
Fact: Stem cells can come from many origins, including umbilical cord blood and bone marrow. At Spine Group Beverly Hills, we offer stem cell therapy using only autologous bone marrow, which means Dr. Regan uses stem cells from your body.
Before your infusion, Dr. Regan collects stem cells from your bone marrow. Once he injects your stem cell infusion into the treatment area, the stem cells turn into the right type of cell through a process known as differentiation.
Myth #2: Stem cells are the same as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
Fact: PRP injections and stem cell therapy are often discussed together because they are both regenerative therapies, but the truth is that these are two very different processes. PRP injections are made from your own blood and are rich in growth factors. They promote wound healing and are a good choice for treating ulcers and slow-healing wounds.
On the other hand, stem cells are a type of regenerative medicine but they work in a different way. Stem cells are unique in that they can differentiate. This means they can turn into daughter cells 一 cells that become specialized with a more specific function such as bone cells, blood cells, heart cells, etc.
Myth #3: Stem cells can’t treat joint conditions
Fact: stem cell therapy can treat joint conditions including degenerative diseases of the joints and discs of the spine, including osteoarthritis. If you are receiving stem cell therapy for joint or spine issues, you can expect to complete the entire process in one appointment.
Myth #4: Stem cell therapy takes multiple appointments
Fact: stem cell therapy only requires one appointment. First, Dr. Regan numbs the treatment area and then retrieves the stem cells from your bone marrow. He then processes your stem cells and prepares them for your injection. Then, Dr. Regan administers the stem cells into the affected area of your spine or joint.
Myth #5: Stem cell therapy doesn’t work
Fact: Stem cell therapy doesn’t work overnight. Because it can take time for the stem cells to differentiate, you might wonder if it’s working or not. The truth is that it takes time, even months, for the stem cells to differentiate.
As this process unfolds, you should feel a significant reduction in pain. Stem cell therapy doesn’t just help reduce pain, but as the new cells form, you should also notice increased mobility in the treatment area.
Is stem cell therapy right for you?
If the pain of a degenerative condition, arthritis, facet injury, or disc problem interferes with your quality of life, then you might consider stem cell therapy. Because stem cells come from your own body (autologous), allergic reactions are rare and no synthetic medications are used.
To learn more about stem cell therapy, book an appointment at our Santa Monica, California office today.
*Individual results may vary