What Is a Stem Cell?
Stem cells stand as one amazing element of the body’s many natural healing powers. By the ability to proliferate endlessly and rejuvenate damaged cells at injury sites, stem cells have the future potential to cure many, if not all, diseases. The tiny wonders inside of our body must first be extracted and separated to ready them for healing. When reinjected into the body, stem cells can always renew themselves by dividing, and they can turn into other types of cells, like cells found in muscles, blood, and even specific organs.
Researchers typically work with two types of stem cells, though others do exist. Somatic stem cells, otherwise known as adult stem cells, exist as unidentified cells that can turn into almost any type of specialized organ or tissue cell in the body. Embryonic stem cells are usually derived from embryos formed by in vitro fertilization, though embryonic stem cells are used much less frequently than adult stem cells.
Stem cells’ transformative nature make them frequently eyed candidates for improving a growing number of health conditions. Though one may often hear the term “stem cell” in controversial settings, the healers already have accomplished great feats in healthcare, and researchers find more positive discoveries involving stem cells every day.
Harvesting a Stem Cell
When using adult stem cells to treat pain, doctors usually harvest stem cells from bone marrow. They can also draw them from tissue and blood. Using a thick needle, doctors insert the tool into the extraction location, carefully drawing out material that includes dormant stem cells. After placing the extracted substance into test tubes, the test tubes spin around in a centrifuge. The spinning motion allows the stem cells to separate from the rest of the tissue, blood or bone marrow.
Doctors place the adult stem cells in another test tube for safekeeping before being injected into a place of pain, injury or a general location to treat disease. With the exception of a few body parts in which stem cells can only activate in certain conditions, stem cells begin limitlessly multiplying at the injection point and working to repair damaged cells to speed healing.
By employing adult stem cells in patient procedures, conditions like chronic pain can be reduced or eliminated. For example, prolotherapy uses stem cells to heal injured joints or tissues that are hurting while platelet-rich plasma therapy repairs spinal injuries. Other adult stem cell procedures help back pain, arthritis, disc extrusion, erectile dysfunction, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy and a plethora of other conditions.
Stem Cells in Research and News
Researchers have made game-changing discoveries with stem cells and common illnesses that could change the way doctors treat patients and the success rate at which patients recover. Medical News Today reported evidence of stem cells replacing bone affected by osteoporosis.
By taking mesenchymal stem cells from healthy mice and injecting them into mice suffering from osteoporosis, researchers measured the results six months after the single injection. They found healthy, functional bone replaced the bone damaged by osteoporosis.
Another team of researchers in Australia made advancements in using stem cells to repair joints affected by degenerative conditions. By injecting stem cells into patients’ knees, researchers found reduced pain and increased function for 70 people.
One patient who received injections in the knee joints reported 50 percent increased mobility just three months after the injection. A new trial in the future aims to establish stem cells as a common alternative to joint replacement surgery.
Upon reaching the highest potential of stem cells, doctors ultimately would like to be able to treat and cure all human diseases. Researchers most likely are a bit away from conquering all ailments with stem cell treatment; however, they’ve made tremendous progress and, from the look of recent trials, have successfully begun using stem cells to help patients who suffer from chronic pain and permanent damage in certain body parts.
The Stem Cell Institute in Plano, Texas Uses Adult Stem Cells to Treat Pain
Do you have an injury or chronic pain that you believe could be treated with stem cells? Contact or visit The Stem Cell Institute in Plano, Texas to start living your life free from pain. Dr. Gabriel Rodriguez and his team are fully trained in an array of stem cell procedures that can provide healing and rejuvenation.