Stem cells are one of the greatest medical discoveries of the past century. Since the early 1980s, scientists have made nearly continuous breakthroughs in understanding what stem cells are, the types of stem cells, what they do inside our bodies, and what we can do with them to help treat various health conditions.
Because of their remarkable and singular ability to morph into different types of cells and multiply without limit, there are endless possibilities for the application of stem cells to heal injuries and disease.
If you have a health condition that is difficult to treat, contact the team at STAR Spine & Sport to discuss your options and potential stem cell treatments.
Types of Stem Cells
There are several main types of stem cells, and they are used in different lines of research and treatment.
Embryonic stem cells are the most versatile and powerful as they have the job of creating a physical organism based on tiny DNA cells. A single embryonic stem cell can become any type of cell. They are only present in the initial phase of development before birth, when an embryo is only several days old. Although these cells have unparalleled potential for research and medicine, there are limitations on their accessibility and on the legality of using human embryonic stem cells.
Adult stem cells are present in small quantities in adults, children, and fetuses. Adult stem cells can deliver successful results especially when a doctor extracts your own stem cells for your treatment. The cells are then re-injected into your body to replace the stem cells your body needs. This is a delicate process, and a knowledgeable doctor can further explain whether it might help your own condition.
It has been discovered that adult stem cells can be manipulated to mimic embryonic stem cells, and they are then called induced pluripotent stem cells. However, there are limitations to the application of cells created or altered through this method. It is not yet considered safe for medical use because the altered cells sometimes mutate into cancer cells. This is the risk most often discussed regarding stem cell therapy.
Perinatal stem cells are found in the amniotic fluid and in blood from the umbilical cord of a fetus. This type of stem cell is currently under aggressive research.
Stem Cell Therapy for Musculoskeletal Conditions
Adult pluripotent stem cells have been shown to be safe in the application to treat osteoarthritis and injuries to the tendons and cartilage. This therapy is performed with adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from the patient’s own body.
MSCs are found in high concentrations in the adipose (fat) tissue and in bone marrow. Stem cells harvested from these areas are called an autologous donation because the donated cells are not from an outside source, so there is no possibility of any allergic reaction or rejection. The main concern with this procedure is the potential of infection.
Contact a Stem Cell Therapy Center Today
If you have a joint condition like osteoarthritis and you have not had success from more conservative treatments, stem cell therapy may be able to help you. Although it is a new discipline and application, there have been studies that demonstrate pain relief and decreased inflammation when stem cell therapy is used to treat arthritis, tendinitis, and many other conditions. Many patients have reported outstanding improvement in pain and joint function, making surgery unnecessary.
If you have a musculoskeletal condition like arthritis or an injury to tendons and live in the West Denver area, schedule a consultation with the board-certified physicians at STAR Spine & Sport. They are experts in non-surgical treatments of arthritis and all kinds of muscle and joint conditions. Stem cell therapy may be able to help you regain function and relieve pain either alone or as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
For an evaluation and to get started on the road to recovery, call STAR Spine & Sport at (303) 238-4277 or fill out our simple online appointment request form. We see patients in three convenient locations in Golden, Westminster, and Denver.