Patients and doctors alike seek the best and most conservative effective treatments when faced with conditions and illnesses. In particular, the management of chronic pain demands a movement away from drug-based therapies.
When used wisely, opioid pain medications provide excellent short-term pain relief, such as after surgery or an accident. Because of longer-term risks including drug tolerance and addiction, however, there are often better solutions for chronic pain sufferers.
Stem cells have been used since the 1960s in bone marrow transplants to treat blood cancers, and researchers continue to investigate other uses for these powerful healers that everyone has in their bodies.
While it’s still a young medical technology, stem cell treatments involve no drug-based components, relying instead on live cells, sometimes harvested from the patient themselves.
It’s exciting news for those with degenerative conditions like arthritis and its related chronic pain. To learn more about the potential benefits of stem cell therapy for your condition, contact Westside Pain Specialists. Here’s what you need to know to understand more about the healing power of stem cells.
Though sometimes the aging process seems to suggest otherwise, your body constantly renews cells. Skin tissue is always renewing, and even seemingly permanent tissue like bones is in a state of regeneration. This takes a constant supply of cells, and since there are over 200 types of cells in the human body, it’s a complex production task.
Rather than having 200 separate biological “factories” cranking out new cells, your body has a much more efficient way of generating the components of new tissue. This is the role of stem cells, which have two distinct abilities.
They can duplicate themselves, creating a self-sustaining supply for the future, and they can differentiate. This is the ability to convert into other types of cells with distinct purposes, such as skin, bone, blood, or muscle cells.
Your body contains adult stem cells of various types. Each type has a range of tissue into which it can differentiate. Blood-making stem cells can, for instance, convert into the various components of your blood, while other stem cells convert into organ, nerve, and other types of tissue.
Embryonic stem cells exist only in the earliest stages of life, when growth occurs at its most rapid pace, and these cells have the ability to differentiate into many more types of tissue than adult cells.
Even when you’re in pain from a degenerative condition, it’s thought that your body continues to repair tissue, but at a rate that’s slower than the rate of degeneration. Part of the reason may be a lack of raw materials, such as the right kind of stem cell.
Supplementing naturally occurring stem cell supplies has shown to augment the healing process. While medicine isn’t yet at the point where it can reverse the process of degenerative conditions, stem cell therapy can often reduce pain and increase mobility.
While individual results vary, this field of medicine is still in development. For people with chronic pain that resists other treatments, stem cell therapy has few risks with potentially major payoffs.
Dr. James A. Nassiri is an expert in developing pain management strategies that let you resume living. Contact Westside Pain Specialists at their most convenient location in Beverly Hills or Rancho Cucamonga, California, to schedule your consultation. A pain-free life is important and possible. Call now.