Effectively managing pain usually requires more than just taking over-the-counter medications. Overcoming injury, chronic pain or disease involves the treatment of the source of the problem, not just its symptoms. With the ground-breaking and evolving field of regenerative medicine, patients can enjoy the success of a therapy that not only alleviates their pain but also targets and heals their injury at the source for long-lasting relief. At Body Symmetry MD, we are thrilled to offer our patients stem cell therapy —a minimally-invasive treatment that uses specialized human cells to heal damaged tissues naturally.
What Are Stem Cells?
Every component of your anatomy is made up of cells, from your organs and blood to your bones, skin and hair. There are countless different types of cells in the human body, each having a distinct and designated function that does not change — for example, blood cells will always be blood cells, and bone cells will always be bone cells. Stem cells, on the other hand, are special cells that do yet have a specific role in your body. Unlike other cells, stem cells possess the remarkable ability to differentiate or transform into many different cell types, meaning that they have the potential to form into any tissue in your body.
By harnessing the power of these blank cells, stem cells can be directed into areas of the body damaged by disease or injury to accelerate the healing of these issues. A growing number of researchers and providers in the medical field see endless possibilities for utilizing stem cells in regenerative medicine, and Body Symmetry MD is proud to be among one of the first wellness facilities in the area to provide the potential of this promising new field. At our office, we offer our patients mesenchymal stem cell injections as a viable solution to a wide range of injuries and ailments.
What Are Mesenchymal Stem Cells?
There are several types of stem cells found in the body that form at various stages of your life. You’ve likely heard of or read about embryonic stem cells, which are only available at the earliest stages of development and, as their name suggests, are derived from fertilized embryos. Embryonic stem cells are incredibly valuable because they can differentiate into every cell type in the body and have countless therapeutic uses for injury and disease. However, there is still a great deal of misinformation and controversy surrounding these stem cells because they are taken from a fertilized egg.
A vast majority of embryonic stem cells are collected from embryos that develop from donor eggs fertilized in vitro, meaning in a lab. They are not derived from an egg fertilized inside a woman’s body. By directing these lab-grown stem cells into specific cell types, stem cells may be used to repair many diseases or injuries, including vision and hearing loss, diabetes, heart disease, traumatic spinal injuries and other severe conditions.
Adult stem cells, on the other hand, develop during fetal development and remain in your body for the rest of your life. Also called somatic stem cells, adult stem cells are more specialized than embryonic stem cells. Typically, adult stem cells are tissue-specific, meaning they can generate different types of cells for the specific tissue or organ when they live.
Mesenchymal stem cells, or MSCs, are a type of adult stem cells that are multipotent, meaning they can differentiate into more than one type of specialized cell in the body, but not every type. MSCs produce different specialized cells found in skeletal tissue, including bone, cartilage or fat cells. While MSCs have not yet been proven to produce other types of cells outside of skeletal tissues, their abilities continue to be researched. MSCs can be easily isolated and collected from a variety of tissues in the body, like the umbilical cord, bone marrow, adipose tissue (fat), and uterus tissue.
Who is a Candidate for Stem Cell Therapy?
As the field of regenerative medicine evolves and we learn more about the capabilities of MSCs, the clinical applications for stem cells continue to expand. Because stem cell therapy is a minimally-invasive treatment, there are very few contraindications that would exclude you from this therapy. However, it is essential to have realistic expectations as to what stem cell therapy can do for you. Stem cell therapy does not produce immediate results; it could take several weeks to see or feel any improvements, and results vary from patient to patient.
That being said, stem cell therapy shows great promise for restoring functionality and healing damaged fragile tissues in the body, specifically the muscles, ligaments, joints and tendons. Stem cell therapy can help to reduce pain and inflammation, repair existing damage and delay or prevent surgical intervention. At Body Symmetry MD, we offer stem cell therapy to treat the following conditions and concerns:
- Back, neck or shoulder pain
- Ligament sprains and tears
- Sports injuries
- Musculoskeletal conditions
During your initial consultation at Body Symmetry MD, our wellness experts will carefully evaluate your concerns and goals to determine if stem cell therapy will effectively address your needs.
What Can I Expect From My Stem Cell Therapy?
While the science behind stem cell therapy is quite complex, the procedure itself is relatively quick and straightforward. MSCs are administered via injection directly into the source of your pain or injury to guide the stem cells into your targeted tissues. Over time, the MSCs differentiate and self-renew into cells that match the damaged tissue to accelerate the recovery of the area.
While side effects from stem cell therapy are rare, you may experience mild redness, bruising or swelling at the site of your injections. These effects will resolve on their own within a few days. Most patients can expect to return to their normal activities as soon as their appointment is over. Downtime may be recommended depending on the nature of your injury or pain; however, this is more for the injury itself than the injections.
What Results Can I Expect From Stem Cell Therapy?
Because each patient and their concerns are different, the benefits of stem cell therapy can vary. Many factors can affect the outcome of your treatment, including your condition, medical history, level of damage, age and more. Some patients may require multiple treatments, but this will depend on your individual response and progress to the therapy. Generally speaking, if a musculoskeletal condition or injury is being addressed, patients will typically observe improvements such as reduced pain or increased functionality about two to six weeks after their treatment.
Stem cell therapy is a revolutionary new field of medicine that can restore the damage your body has endured by healing tissues naturally from within. If you’d like to discover how stem cell therapy can be beneficial to you, contact Body Symmetry MD today at 833-789-2639 to schedule your consultation.