Regenerative medicine is a rapidly evolving field, yet it isn’t new: Stem cell therapies like bone marrow transplants have been performed for decades. At the same time, scientists continue to make progress as they use stem cells to promote healing and relieve pain in diverse health conditions ranging from spinal cord injuries to heart disease.
One of the top uses of stem cell therapy is in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and degenerative joint disease. Here at the Regenerative Institute of Newport Beach, we treat those conditions and more, staying ahead of the research so we can provide today’s most advanced stem cell techniques.
If you’re curious about the field, or you’re considering stem cell therapy, here are three things you should know.
Stem cell therapy bolsters your body’s natural healing ability.
For as long as you live, stem cells are responsible for healing and maintaining all the tissues and organs in your body. Stem cells are unique among cells because they have the amazing ability to divide and self-replicate indefinitely. After they create a new cell, it differentiates (develops) into the precise type of cell needed to repair and replace old or damaged tissues.
Your body contains many types of adult stem cells. Some regenerate one specific tissue, while others can self-replicate and produce cells that develop into multiple tissues. Some stem cells, such as those in your skin and gut, constantly self-renew, while others stay dormant until you suffer an injury or develop a disease, then they immediately go into action, migrate to the damaged area, and produce new tissues.
Stem cell therapy bolsters your body’s natural healing ability by injecting an extra supply of stem cells directly into the area that’s injured or affected by a degenerative disease. Increasing the number of stem cells supports the healing process, which in turn, relieves your pain. This treatment is especially beneficial for severe injuries, chronic pain and disease, and when aging slows down your normal stem cell response.
Stem cells used for therapy may come from your own body
When you undergo stem cell therapy, the stem cells being used must be able to develop into the type of tissues needed to repair your specific condition. One type of adult stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), can be extracted from your own body fat or bone marrow.
We can remove a fat sample with liposuction or use a needle aspiration to harvest MSCs from bone marrow. Then we carefully process the sample, separate and concentrate the stem cells, and use them in your stem cell injection.
MSCs are key players in stem cell therapy because they can self-replicate and develop into collagen, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and bones. MSCs also reduce inflammation and release substances that activate growth factors needed for healing. As a result, they’re excellent for treating musculoskeletal injuries and osteoarthritis.
Stem cell therapy does not produce immediate results.
Before you undergo stem cell therapy, it’s important to know that you won’t get immediate results. It takes time for stem cells to replicate, new cells to grow, and to complete the complex process of rebuilding blood vessels and tissues.
Individual variables also influence healing after a stem cell injection. Your age, overall health, and the severity of your injury or disease affect the time it takes for stem cells to produce results. Taking certain medications may interfere with stem cells. Your activity level can also have an impact, as exercise may increase the release of growth factors that support stem cells.
Here at the Regenerative Institute of Newport Beach, we work closely with each patient, carefully evaluating all the factors that have a role in stem cell therapy and recommending the best options for their health needs. To learn more or to find out if you’re a candidate for stem cell therapy, call or book an appointment online.