Although arthritis can be a debilitating and painful disease that can affect your quality of life in many ways, stem cell therapy for arthritis is an effective and safe way of treating many forms of it. Here at Right Path Pain and Spine Center in Davenport, FL, this therapy is available to heal and repair joint issues caused by arthritis, and many of our patients have received excellent results, with both reduced pain and increased mobility experienced after treatment.
What Are Stem Cells and Where Do They Come From?
Our stem cell therapy for arthritis uses mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are found in the human body and act as building blocks in the creation of other types of cells. Your bones, organs, tissues, blood, and other parts of the body are all naturally created by MSCs.
These cells are capable of dividing and creating more cells, and when they do so, they can switch from one type of cell to another, giving them virtually unlimited potential in treating a wide array of different conditions, including arthritis. The MSCs we’ll use for your therapy will come from your own body, and we can extract them from bone marrow, adipose tissue, and blood.
Stem Cell Therapy for Arthritis: How Does It Work?
After an initial consultation, where we’ll discuss your condition and answer any questions you have, we can then start your treatment. Your therapy, which normally only takes a few hours or less, will be performed here in our clinic.
The Treatment Process
Before we treat you, we’ll need to harvest stem cells and growth factors, such as platelet-rich plasma, by collecting very small amounts from your body. There are many different locations within your body where the extractions can be made, and the areas we extract from can vary based on your condition and other factors.
Under sterile conditions, we will then inject the stem cells and growth factors into the areas of the body where you’re experiencing pain, stiffness, or other issues, which normally is a painless process performed in a comfortable setting here at our practice. This therapy is a precision-targeted one, meaning that we only treat the areas that need treatment and can use both ultrasound guidance and live x-ray imaging to treat hard-to-reach joints.
Once injected into the treated areas, mesenchymal stem cells use their natural homing ability to locate damaged or inflamed tissue. It can take some time for them to migrate to all the damaged areas, where they then attach themselves to tissue through a process known as grafting. They then begin to go to work in repairing it while also using paracrine signaling, a form of communication between cells, to recruit other nearby cells into this repair process.
What Are the Benefits?
The results and benefits each patient sees after treatment can vary based on many factors, but in general, the benefits of this therapy include:
One of the many therapeutic effects of this treatment is less inflammation in tissues, muscles, and joints. MSCs can reduce inflammation by regulating the body’s natural immune response. They do this by communicating with other cells and reprogramming them, which then tells the immune system to reduce inflammation within damaged tissues. Best of all, these anti-inflammatory benefits can continue to last long after the injected stem cells have been cleared from the body.
Two types of cells, osteoblasts and chondrocytes, play a role in the formation of body tissues, like bone and cartilage. MSCs are capable of becoming these types of cells to initiate tissue repair within the body, especially when it comes to bone damage. As arthritis can affect many different types of tissues within the joints, including bones, this form of therapy may be effective in repairing them.
A reduction or total absence of pain is often one of the first positive outcomes experienced by patients after treatment, though it can also take a very long for this to occur for others. Although cartilage degeneration can lead to pain when bones are no longer cushioned against each other, other types of arthritic changes can cause pain as well, including inflammation of the joints.
Because stem cells can treat many different issues within the joints, pain can often dissipate once structural improvements begin to happen.
This therapy is capable of preventing many of the degenerative changes seen in arthritis, so it can therefore slow or stop the natural progression of certain types of the disease. Because MSCs have anti-inflammatory effects, and because inflammation plays a role in bone and cartilage destruction, this treatment can exert a protective effect on the tissues that play a role in joint function.
With less inflammation and reduced pain, it’s common to also experience increased flexibility and mobility. Staying mobile and active is often difficult with arthritis because of pain or stiffness, but this therapy can improve or completely eliminate these types of symptoms, leading to greater mobility in hands, knees, arms, wrists, or virtually any other treated areas.
Is There Any Downtime?
Unlike invasive surgeries and other treatments, there’s normally no downtime after stem cell therapy. You’ll be able to return to work quickly, though you’ll want to reduce the amount of pressure and loading you put on your joints by avoiding any strenuous activities for the first week after treatment.
How Soon Before I See Results?
While some patients experience improvements rather quickly, often within a few weeks, most begin to notice results after two to three months. Further improvements may then continue for up to a year after your first treatment. It can take time for the body to repair itself and for inflammation to subside over time as the stem cells begin to correct immune function at the treatment sites.
How Long Will the Results Last?
Because stem cell therapy is capable of regenerating cartilage, reducing inflammation, and repairing damage, the results are often long-lasting, and some patients may only need one treatment. As it can take up to a year for maximum effectiveness to take place, any improvements early on will typically remain for at least the first year.
However, because many forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are progressive in nature, repeat treatments may sometimes be needed. Fortunately, stem cell therapy also has the advantage of preventing or slowing arthritic changes in joints, so this can also play a role in maintaining results over time. For the best results, we recommend that you continue to live a healthy lifestyle and maintain a healthy diet to receive and maintain the best possible results.
What Are the Advantages of this Therapy?
Stem cell therapy for arthritis offers obvious advantages over more traditional forms of treatment and surgeries and is preferred by many doctors and patients for the following reasons:
Naturally Accepted By Your Body
The largest advantage is that your stem cells won’t be rejected by your body after we re-introduce them at targeted sites in your limbs or elsewhere. Unlike organ transplants or the use of other types of stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells are readily accepted by the body and not treated as foreign objects by your immune system.
Able to Treat Different Types of Tissues
Your body is made up of many different cell types, though mesenchymal stem cells have the advantage of being able to convert themselves into these, regardless of where they’re initially extracted from. These cells can migrate to a site where they’re most needed and can then differentiate, or change into the cells that make up bone, cartilage, muscle, tissue, and tendons.
Minimally Invasive and Safe
From just a tiny sample, we’re able to produce large amounts of MSCs, allowing us to treat multiple joints quickly and easily. This means that only one extraction is typically needed, which is normally performed with a needle and can feel similar to having blood drawn. For this reason, stem cell therapy for arthritis with MSCs is a minimally invasive process that is considered to be very safe.
Schedule Your Consultation
Stem cell therapy can repair long-standing joint problems caused by arthritis in a natural and minimally invasive way. To see how this treatment might help your condition, contact us today at Right Path Pain and Spine Center in Davenport, FL to schedule your initial consultation, and we’ll be here to answer your questions and ensure you receive the most optimal treatment possible.