No matter what part of your body arthritis affects, one thing is for sure — every aspect of your life becomes more difficult. Not only does this condition lead to debilitating pain, it also limits your mobility. Arthritis is hard to treat, but with regenerative medicine like stem cell therapy, there’s hope for arthritis sufferers.
At TruWell health, our team’s main goal is to get you back to the active lifestyle you love. Our team is led by Dr. Lora Brown and Dr. Michael MacMillan, both of whom are board certified orthopedic surgeons. Dr. Brown and Dr. MacMillan both specialize in regenerative medicine, which could greatly help decrease your arthritis symptoms.
What is arthritis?
There are more than 100 types of arthritis, and they typically develop as you age. This condition causes inflammation and pain in your joints and leads to permanent joint damage if left untreated for a long period of time.
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most familiar types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear on your joint surface over time. There’s protective cartilage over the bones that cushion your joints. With osteoarthritis, however, this cartilage wears down, leading to inflammation and pain in the joint space.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis caused by an exaggerated immune response that leads to your joint being attacked by your immune system. This leads to pain and inflammation, and other symptoms such as:
- Morning joint stiffness
- Swelling and tenderness
- Bilateral joint pain
- Pain in smaller joints
- Fever and fatigue
Your joints may also be red and warm to the touch with rheumatoid arthritis. The treatments for these types of arthritis are different, however, some regenerative medicine therapies may be able to help many different types of arthritis.
All about stem cell therapy
Stem cell therapy is a type of regenerative medicine with many uses, including treatment of arthritis pain. Stem cells are basically your body’s core set of cells; this means they can transform into any other cell that your body needs at any time.
In the lab, these stem cells are able to divide into what are called daughter cells. These cells have the special ability to become specialized cells, such as bone cells, muscle cells, and blood cells, so they’re able to heal areas that need those specialized cells.
Under the perfect circumstances, stem cells in your body divide into these daughter cells and transform into the cells you need. This not only helps you heal the damage caused by arthritis, but may help heal other injuries in your body as well.
This treatment is usually autologous, meaning that the stem cells come from your body. This is a fantastic benefit of regenerative medicine, because you don’t have to worry about where the cells came from and other complications from donor blood and tissue.
Stem cells can be used for arthritis to help rebuild the damaged cartilage in the arthritic joint. Because they’re so specialized and versatile, the stem cells go right to the site of damage and slowly begin replicating into the tissue you need.
Stem cell procedure
If Dr. Brown or Dr. MacMillan determine that stem cell therapy could help decrease your symptoms from arthritis, you’ll be scheduled for the procedure.
The first step of the procedure is harvesting the cells from your body. This involves inserting a needle either into your bone marrow or into the fat layer under your skin. Once the cells are harvested, they’re prepared to be put back into your joint. Depending on the severity of your arthritis, it could take several appointments to harvest the stem cells.
Once we’ve harvested enough stem cells, you come back for another appointment where the stem cells are injected into your joint. Because these cells are so specialized, they detect the damage in your joint and begin to repair it immediately.
The effects, however, won’t be felt for weeks to months after your injection. Like many other types of treatments, stem cells take time to rebuild into new tissue or bone. However, in as little as a few weeks, you may notice slight improvement in your pain and mobility as the cells begin to take over the damaged area.
Stop dealing with the pain of arthritis. For more information on stem cell therapy, call our office at 727-361-2162 or book an appointment online today to learn more about our treatment plans.