Regenerative medicine is an innovative and exciting field, and stem cell therapy is one of the most promising treatments in regenerative medicine. When stem cells are injected into part of the body, they divide and grow, helping to repair damage by creating new tissue. They can also play a key role in reducing inflammation. Arthritis is a condition that’s both inflammatory and degenerative, involving damage to the cartilage that protects the ends of the bones in the joints. Since they’re used to treat inflammation and rebuild tissue, can stem cell treatments cure arthritis?
There’s not really enough evidence yet to answer that question. Currently, stem cell treatment is still experimental. How are stem cells useful in arthritis? Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) gathered from umbilical cord blood, are being used in experimental treatments to help regrow cartilage. These cells are self-renewing and undifferentiated, meaning that they can specialize and become different kind of cells to help where they’re needed. What’s more, they can reduce inflammation and prevent a hyperactive response of the immune system.
What is the reason behind the anti-inflammatory effects of stem cells? MSCs enhance the expression of a protein with anti-inflammatory functions. What’s more, when MSCs are exposed to inflammatory molecules, they release prostaglandin, counteracting the inflammation. Scientists don’t yet know all the ways that stem cells combat inflammation, but research is ongoing. What we do know is that when cartilage cells are cultured together with stem cells, they grown better and are more stable.
So far, it seems that umbilical cord MSCs offer the most promise in treating arthritis. However, umbilical cords are not always readily available. Many stem cell therapies, therefore, use stem cells harvested from the patient’s own fat or bone marrow. Unfortunately, these are not the best forms of stem cells, and they are in a much lower concentration in fat and bone marrow than in umbilical cords. Still, many people are finding relief from joint pain caused by arthritis and other conditions using stem cell treatments, even when the stem cells are drawn from their own bodies.
Who can get stem cell therapy for arthritis? The decision is a personal one, between patient and doctor. There’s evidence to suggest that it can be most beneficial for those with relatively mild osteoarthritis or cartilage damage, but people with severe arthritis can also benefit from stem cell therapy.
If you’re wondering if you’re a good candidate for stem cell therapy, contact Oregon Medical Centers for a consultation. Founded in 1989 as First Choice Chiropractic, Oregon Medical Centers was established in 2018 after adding Medical Providers and becoming an integrated medical facility. Specialists in treating car accident and workplace injuries, we also treat conditions like sciatica, pinched nerves, TMJ, neck and back pain, headaches, joint pain, and much more. We offer chiropractic care, physical therapy, massage, and regenerative medicine, and we specialize in diagnosing and treating chronic pain. Our dedicated medical team provides high-level care and compassion for patients in a collaborative environment where patients get the best possible treatment. What’s more, our insurance department assists in the insurance process, to alleviate stress for patients and allow them to focus on getting better. For more information about services we offer, to find a location, or to schedule an appointment, call (503) 390-1552 in Salem, (503) 642-2845 in Aloha, or contact us through our website.