When you become injured, such as when you get a deep cut, your skin cells, tissue cells, and blood cells become damaged and exposed. A deep cut can generally heal on its own, but what about in the case of people with conditions that make it harder to regenerate these types of cells? And, what if the injury is somewhere more severe, like chronic knee pain? What are your options?
A developing option that is changing the lives of people with chronic conditions like knee pain, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases is stem cell therapy. Stem cells can be used to replace all types of cells — curing wounds that typically can’t heal on their own. How do stem cells work, and how can they change the lives of chronic pain sufferers?
What are adult stem cells?
Stem cells replicate and reproduce to create healthy cells within the body. They can be harvested from umbilical cords, bone marrow, and fat. But, stem cells on their own won’t automatically find damaged areas of your body and go to fixing them. They need help developing those capabilities. This is done through stem cell therapy.
When stem cells have differentiated or developed from a stage where it can be any cell in the body to a stage where it is prepared to become new cells of a certain type, they’re called adult stem cells. Adult stem cells can also de-differentiate and thus become other types of tissues. That means that they not only replicate and replace healthy cells, but they can also replace the surrounding tissues. If you receive an extremely deep cut, the stem cells would not only replace the tissue that was damaged, but they could also replace the skin cells.
Benefits of Using Stem Cells from Fat
Unlike bone marrow transplants, which typically uses stem cells from donors, stem cell therapy using your own fat is more effective. You can get more stem cells from one harvest of fat than you can from a harvest of bone marrow. And, stem cells from your own body don’t run the risk of being rejected or exposing you to genetic or infectious diseases. Treatment results using other methods also aren’t as consistent as they are when you use your own fat.
How can stem cells help knee pain?
When someone experiences pain from an accident or chronic condition — whether it’s knee pain, arthritis, or something else — it can be difficult to heal the cartilage, muscle, or nerve in question. The result is chronic pain caused by not only the injury but by inflammation produced by the body to help try and heal the injury. Stem cells work by:
- Replicating healthy cells
- Removing and replacing the dead cells
- Communicating with the body to turn inflammation off
- Relieving pain
How does stem cell therapy work?
Relieving chronic pain doesn’t happen overnight, but the procedure for stem cell therapy can conclude in a few hours. To begin, a specialist harvests a thumb-sized piece of fat from your body — usually from a thigh — and sends it through the centrifuge. Harvesting takes no more than 15 minutes. Once it’s out of the centrifuge, it’s added to a solution and then reinserted into the impacted area — such as the knee. Once inside the body, stem cells get to work replacing the damaged tissues and replicating healthy ones.
After the procedure, patients can go home immediately. How quickly they’ll see results, however, depends on many factors — including lifestyle, the severity of the condition, and time taken to rest. Some patients see results within a couple of days, while others see gradual progress over the course of a few months. To ensure a smooth and quick recovery, you should:
- Avoid drinking alcohol or smoking 24 hours before your treatment
- Avoid drinking alcohol or smoking 48 hours after your treatment
- Take it easy for a few days following the procedure
- Avoid taking baths or soaking underwater for a week following the procedure
Contact Innovations Medical for Stem Cell Therapy
If you have knee or other chronic pain and are looking for relief, Innovations Medical is here for you. Our skilled professionals help you decide which stem cell therapy treatment is best for you – keeping you informed and confident in the next steps. We’ve been helping our patients look and feel their best since 1984, and even our most advanced procedures are often minimally invasive.