Understanding How Stem Cell Therapy Works

When you learn about how stem cells work, you’ll quickly appreciate their amazing ability to heal many musculoskeletal problems and relieve your pain along the way. At the Regenerative Institute of Newport Beach, we specialize in today’s most advanced regenerative therapies, using our expertise to provide effective stem cell therapy that accelerates healing. 

A primer on stem cells

You already know that your body has the natural ability to heal itself. What you may not know is that adult stem cells located throughout your body are the keys to regeneration. For as long as they live, stem cells have the astounding ability to continuously divide to produce a new stem cell. The new stem cell then develops into many different types of cells.  

This regeneration process occurs daily. When disease develops, you suffer an injury, or existing tissues get too old, stem cells migrate to the area and regenerate the cells needed to repair and replace damaged tissues.

Different types of adult stem cells fill specific roles

Though each new stem cell can differentiate into more than one type of tissue, there are many different types of adult stem cells and each one serves a specialized role. Here are just two examples:

Hematopoietic stem cells

These adult stem cells are found in peripheral blood and bone marrow. The new cells they produce develop into white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. When patients receive a bone marrow transplant, these are the stem cells being transplanted so they can regenerate normal, healthy blood in patients with diseases such as leukemia.

Mesenchymal stem cells

Your body fat and bone marrow are rich sources of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Adult MSCs can even be found in umbilical cord blood after a baby is born, which is why cord blood is often donated by the mother for medical use rather than being discarded.

MSCs are highly valued in regenerative medicine because they divide and produce new adult stem cells capable of developing into muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, collagen, fat, skin, and blood vessels.

Stem cells do more than regenerate new tissues

Stem cells don’t stop at self-replicating and rebuilding new tissues; they have another trick up their sleeve. Adult stem cells release tiny sacs called exosomes. Exosomes are packed full of biochemicals such as proteins and DNA.

When exosomes release their biochemicals, they trigger activities in nearby cells. They activate wound-healing activities that complement and support stem cell regeneration. Exosomes may trigger the growth of essential tissues such as nerves or boost your immune system.

Some exosomes released by MSCs help regulate the inflammatory response, which is vital for normal healing. These are only a few examples of the many roles filled by exosomes as they communicate with existing cells.

Here’s what happens when you receive stem cell therapy

The first step in stem cell therapy is obtaining MSCs. We usually harvest MSCs from your hip, using a local anesthetic and then inserting a thin, hollow needle that’s used to aspirate a bone marrow sample. Once we have your bone marrow, we isolate the MSCs and prepare them for an immediate injection back into your body.

To achieve the best results, we inject numerous stem cells using X-ray or ultrasound imaging to precisely place the MSCs directly into your joint, muscles, or wherever they’re needed to promote healing.

Once the stem cells are inside your body, they behave the same way they would if they had traveled to the damaged tissues through your bloodstream. However, the results are better because we inject more stem cells than would naturally migrate to the site. 

This means more cells are produced at a faster rate, tissues are restored more quickly, and extra exosomes flood the area to accelerate and regulate healing.

It takes time to build new tissues, so you’ll need to be patient. You can expect to experience results in about six to eight weeks. 

If you have ongoing pain, a slow healing injury, or degenerative joint disease, call Regenerative Institute of Newport Beach or schedule an appointment online to get started with healing stem cell therapy.

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