Stem Cells Therapy: Myths and Facts
Stem Cells Therapy: Myths and Facts
Stem Cells therapy has significantly evolved over the years and can now be considered a viable treatment alternative for people suffering from osteoarthritis, joint pain, ligament and tendon damage as well as many other conditions.
Stem cells are essentially un-programmed cells that can become specialized in order to target a particular injury or condition. These “specialized” cells will then multiply and treat the affected area by releasing natural chemicals that initiate the healing process and alleviate the pain..
Now that you know what stem cells can do, you might be wondering why there are so many patients opting out of stem cell therapy and pursuing the more traditional, surgical route. The answer is simple: misinformation.
In this blog, we’re going to clear up some common misconceptions about stem cell therapy, along with revealing the facts behind the myths.
Stem Cells Therapy: Myth and Fact 1
Myth: Stem cells used are harvested from embryos.
Facts: Embryonic stem cell research has stirred up great controversy and ethical concerns regarding the use of stem cells in medical procedures, while in truth, it’s actually just a speck in comparison to the numerous alternative applications of stem cells.
Other types of stem cells include umbilical cord blood and adult stem cells. In the potential treatment of joint pain, ligaments and tendons, adult stem cells are used.
Adult stem cells exist in every human body at every stage of life and in every tissue and organ. For the purpose of treatment, they are taken from the patient themselves, and used on that individual patient only.
While the acquisition of embryonic stem cells results in the destruction of the embryo, the harvesting of adult stem cells does not involve damage to the patient in any way whatsoever.
Stem Cells Therapy: Myth and Fact 2
Myth: All stem cells are the same
Facts: There are several types of stem cells, but we can separate them into two large categories: the adult and the embryonic. The differences between these two are striking, not only at the biological level but also in applications of medical procedures.
Stem Cells Therapy: Myth and Fact 3
Myth: A stem cell treatment may be rejected by the body
Facts: Rejection occurs when the immune system discovers a foreign body within the patient. In order to protect the body from any possible harm, the immune system will attack the foreign cells.
This myth is common because some people may correlate a stem cell treatment with an organ transplant. In the case of an organ transplant, there is a risk of rejection due to the fact that the transplanted organ does not originate from the patient’s own body, but rather a donor.
The risk of rejection in stem cell therapy is therefore dissolved because the adult cells actually come from the patient themselves (fat tissue or bone marrow) and not from an outside source.
Stem Cells Therapy: Myth and Fact 4
Myth: You can catch a disease from stem cells
Facts: As the cells originate from within your own body, there is no risk of contracting a transmittable infectious disease.
Stem Cells Therapy: Myth and Fact 5
Myth: Stem cell therapy is unsafe.
Facts: The risks of adult stem cell therapy are minimal when exclusively autologous adult cells (harvested from the patient’s own body) are used.
As earlier stated, stem cell therapy poses no risk of rejection or the contraction of transmittable infectious diseases.
Moreover, the increased risk of heart attack associated with knee and hip replacement surgery is not present in stem cell therapy. Like any procedure, there is a minute risk of infection at the sample collection and injection site. To minimize that risk, patients may be provided with an antibiotic and the procedure is carried out under strict sterile conditions. Patient safety is always the number one priority in any procedure and even the slightest risk will always be mitigated by extensive safety protocols.
Stem Cells Therapy: Myth and Fact 6
Myth: There’s no proof that stem cell therapy works.
Facts: Several studies have been published in the field of regenerative medicine
demonstrating positive results from Stem Cell therapies. Evidence is particularly strong in the following two recent studies on treating osteoarthritis with stem cells:
Regenerative therapies have now been utilized in clinical practice for more than five years to treat degenerative knees, hips and shoulders with excellent results. Patients are seeing a significant reduction in pain as well as improvement in cartilage quality.
Furthermore, a variety of well-founded clinical trials have been conducted on stem cell therapy for the management and treatment of chronic pain. The trials concerning stem cells are widely published online and readily available for all to access.
The use of stem cells has proven to be both safe and effective in the treatment of many conditions. They allow the body to heal and regenerate in ways that were once thought impossible. Stem cell technology provides a natural alternative to the use of drugs and surgeries, which can be more harmful and invasive.
Regenerative therapy procedures are quickly becoming a line of treatment for chronic pain and degenerative joint diseases, providing a minimally invasive alternative to risky, life-changing surgeries with long and painful rehabilitation periods.
We encourage you to read through Dr. Gehad’s testimonials, where some of his previous patients share their experience with regenerative therapies at Regenecare Pain Management Clinics:
Stem Cells Therapy: Myth and Fact 7
Myth: Stem cell therapy procedures are painful and result in a long recovery period
Facts: Stem cell therapy is minimally invasive, which gives patients an alternative to painful surgery and a lengthy recovery. It is a walk-in, walk-out procedure that is performed in an outpatient setting and only takes a few hours.
Patients are provided with local anaesthesia and the majority do not require post-operative pain medication. Moreover, patients typically return to work within a day or two of treatment and can resume physical activity much faster than after invasive surgery.
Stem Cells Therapy: Myth and Fact 8
Myth: Each case is treated the same
Facts: There are different types of regenerative therapies such as Stem Cell treatment, and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). On attending a consultation with Dr. Gehad, the patient’s medical history and maturity of the disease are considered. This ensures that each individual patient receives a treatment plan tailored specifically for their case in order to treat them as effectively as possible.
After a comprehensive examination and review of your case, blood tests & radio-imaging scans, a baseline is established for your pre-existing condition and Dr. Gehad will conclude which line of Regenerative Therapy is most suited to your condition. In certain cases, it may be a combination of more than one treatment protocol.
For some patients, however, the complete protocol is a series of injections in several treatment sessions. The choice of treatment is at the discretion of the Consultant and is based on your unique case.
*Stem Cell treatment is not suitable for all conditions and all patients. The doctor will be able to advise if you are a suitable candidate. The outcome of the treatment and extent of improvement varies from one patient to another depending on the type and severity of the condition, age, etc.