Therapy with Stem Cells: Things You Should Know
Stem cell therapy is used around the world for various conditions ranging from heart problems and autoimmune diseases to joint conditions and even anti-aging.
However, just because these treatments are offered does not mean there’s evidence to back their efficacy.
The first thing to understand is that not all stem cell procedures have been studied. That means in some cases, stem cell injections are still largely experimental. While theoretically, stem cells should have the potential to help with practically any kind of health condition, this doesn’t mean they’ll always be effective.
At Blatman Health and Wellness Center, the stem cell treatment we offer our patients is based on clinical studies and the current application of stem cells for joints and some conditions involving chronic pain. There is a growing body of evidence that indicates stem cells can provide significant support for joints. In addition, many patients report positive results after only a few weeks. We strongly believe that the amount of both successful scientific studies and positive anecdotal reports should not be ignored. In fact, as more patients experience recovery and a lessening of pain after stem cell treatment, more doctors are beginning to adopt this new practice.
Stem cells are becoming so popular that places like Stanford, Mayo Clinic, and John Hopkins University are even becoming interested in their potential medical use in healing conditions once thought of as incurable.
Stem cells have been investigated for their use in cartilage regeneration, knee, osteoarthritis, and more.
How Many Injections are Required?
The number of injections required largely depends on the severity and type of condition a patient is facing. First, it’s important to understand that the primary purpose of stem cell therapy is not to simply “treat” the symptoms of the condition.
The goal of stem cells is to completely heal the condition. For example, patients with osteoarthritis of the knee may be able to grow more cartilage surrounding their joints which may reverse the condition entirely.
That means that stem cells can be a long-term solution – not merely a short-term fix.
In most studies involving joint problems, patients experienced significant positive results after only 1 injection, with continued improvement over time.
In order to understand why stem cells may take months or longer to take effect, we’ll need to look at the example of a minor injury like a cut or scrape. When you suffer from a cut, it often takes a few days to close up and heal. You might have a scab which can take another few days and sometimes there’s a minor scare which fades over time.
Stem cell injections work in a very similar way. Because of this, results are not immediate. The stem cells are injected into the injured joint, where they’ll begin to replicate and help your body grow new tissue and cartilage. This process can take some time, so it’s not uncommon for patients to feel continued improvement months or even a year after their first injection.
As for how many injections are required, when it comes to joints, 1 injection is often enough. In some cases, patients may need additional injections over the course of a year. Depending on age, it may also be beneficial to have a “maintenance” treatment that involves stem cell injections once every year or every few years.
It’s important to note that for most people, this is a much better option than other treatments for joint pain. For example, most doctors will give patients arthritis medication and pain pills to help them manage their condition. These prescriptions do not prevent or reverse the condition – they only help the patient deal with the pain. And unfortunately, the condition usually worsens over time.
Eventually, patients may be recommended a knee replacement or some other type of invasive surgery. Just like the medication, these surgeries only help the patient manage their condition – they’re not a cure and it won’t stop the joint deterioration.
Stem cells work differently. Because stem cells target the source of the problem, patients often stand the best chance of complete recovery when compared to other methods of treatment.