How Stem Cells Promote Healing

How Stem Cells Promote Healing

When the stem cells are isolated and injected into diseased or damaged tissue, it can stimulate your body’s natural healing processes. If you’re considering stem cell therapy for a sports injury or to treat chronic pain, you might wonder exactly how that works.

Stem cell therapy, along with platelet-rich plasma and infusion therapy, is part of the regenerative medicine services that our team of providers offers here at International Spine, Pain & Performance Center

Here’s what you need to know about stem cells and how they promote healing.

Understanding stem cells

Stem cells are special cells that have the ability to generate all other specialized cells with specific functions. For example, stem cells can become new stem cells or they can become daughter cells in a process called differentiation. Daughter cells can become cells with specific functions such as bone, cartilage, muscle, or nerve cells.

Stem cell therapy relies on the ability of stem cells to differentiate. Controlled differentiation means that stem cell therapy can be used as part of stem cell therapy.

What is stem cell therapy and how does it promote healing?

Stem cell therapy is a type of therapy that utilizes the power of stem cells to differentiate in order to address specific concerns. Stem cell therapy doesn’t cure underlying health conditions such as arthritis or tendonitis, but the idea is that stem cell therapy helps your body heal itself. Because stem cell therapy promotes healing, it can mitigate the symptoms of the conditions or injuries, which increases the quality of your life.

Stem cell therapy promotes healing because of the ability of stem cells to turn into (differentiate) needed cells. For example, sports injuries including, including a torn ligament, can benefit from stem cell therapy because the newly created ligament cells help you heal from your initial injury.

What to expect from stem cell therapy

Before embarking on any type of regenerative medicine therapy, the first step is to receive an accurate diagnosis. That’s why our team of providers always starts with a thorough medical evaluation to determine the root source of your pain. Depending on the type of pain you have, we may recommend a variety of treatments including steroid injections, physical therapy, and stem cell therapy.

If stem cell therapy is part of your ideal treatment plan, we first need to source the stem cells. We use mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from one of three places:

If using your own cell stem cells, we extract the stem cells during a simple outpatient procedure. After your fatty tissue or bone marrow from your hip is extracted, we place the sample into a centrifuge, similar to what is used for PRP injections. The centrifuge spins fast enough to draw out and separate the stem cells from the sample. These isolated stem cells are then injected into the damaged or diseased bone or tissue in need of healing.

Benefits of stem cell therapy

Stem cell therapy has many benefits, including the ability to address many different types of injuries or conditions. Current research highlights the uses of stem cell therapy in many fields, including dentistry as well as treatment plans for neurodegenerative disorders. Again, this versatility all goes back to the simple fact that stem cells can differentiate. 

Other benefits of stem cell therapy include:

Another perk? Stem cell therapy works well in conjunction with other treatments, including physical therapy.

Questions about stem cell therapy? You can learn more about stem cell therapy and find out if it’s right for you by calling one of our two locations: Arlington, Virginia, or Washington D.C. You can also request an appointment online any time day or night.

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