Stem cells are a type of cells that can differentiate (form) into specific cells. Stem cell treatment utilizes different kinds of stem cells as needed for specific conditions. The stem cell treatment for knees can be about growing new cartilages needed to improve arthritis symptoms.
But what is stem cell treatment exactly? How does it help people with joint pain?
Stem Cells for Joint Pain
The stem cells are derived from adipose tissues, blood or the bone marrow of the patient. The stem cells are injected into damaged joints to encourage growth of new tissues or cartilages.
Joint pain can occur due to arthritis, weak bones or muscles. Arthritis is a debilitating condition that can severely restrict movement. It is an inflammatory condition that can produce different symptoms such as stiffness, pain and redness in the joints. Stem cell treatment can help reduce these painful symptoms effectively. But research is still ongoing on the full spectrum of benefits that stem cell treatment can provide for joint pain and inflammatory bone conditions.
Effectiveness of Stem Cell Treatments
Stem cell treatment for arthritis can offer promising results. Stem cell treatment for back pain is also gaining new ground. But stem cells are not the last word in joint pain treatments. They can certainly offer relief from pain. But the effects may not last longer than a few months. Based on existing research, stem cells have proven effective for forming new cartilage and suppressing inflammation to ease the pain from arthritis. Stem cells can also be useful for the release of a specific protein (cytokines) that can reduce pain and slow the degeneration of cartilages.
More research is needed to know if stem cells can be used for mainstream treatments. So far only clinical work on the use of stem cells has been done. Doctors and researchers are still conducting clinical trials for the use of stem cells for treating different conditions including joint pain. So far a standard treatment for arthritis or joint pain using stem cells doesn’t exist. Different clinical studies have used stem cells from various sources and have used them differently. So, it is not yet clear how best to deliver stem cell treatments to people with joint pain or other orthopedic conditions such as back pain.
Recommended Read: 6 Joint Pain Relief Measures that Everyone Should Know
Stem Cell Treatments – Safety and Precautions
Stem cell treatments are generally considered safe for orthopedic conditions. But it is important to work with doctors who have experience in using stem cells for various orthopedic conditions including joint pain. Research is still not conclusive on the treatments using stem cells. So, it is imperative that you seek treatment from a doctor who has participated in stem cell research for joint pain or has worked with other doctors with similar experience. The specialists can be orthopedic or rehabilitation doctors.
You also need to inquire whether the stem cells will be derived from your body or used from other donors. This is a very critical factor in determining the safety of the treatment using stem cells. As per FDA regulations, it is necessary to test donor stem cells for diseases before using them for treatments.
Most stem cell treatments are still under clinical trial. If you are willing to participate in studies to treat your joint pain, inquire whether the trials have been approved by the FDA.
In general, stem cells for treating orthopedic conditions are considered safe. But it is important to ask your doctor about risks and benefits before starting any treatment.
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