What is stem cell therapy?

Think of them as the body’s raw materials. A stem cell is an undifferentiated cell of a multi-cellular organism which is capable of giving rise to indefinitely more cells of the same type, and from which certain other kinds of cell arise by differentiation. Under the right conditions in the body stem cells divide to form more cells called daughter cells.

These daughter cells either become new stem cells (self-renewal) or become specialized cells (differentiation) with a more specific function, such as blood cells, cartilage cells, muscle cells or bone cells. No other cell in the body has the natural ability to generate new cell types.

There are two types of stem cells that you may be familiar with. These are embryonic and adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos- this is the type of stem cell that was controversial. In the United States it is illegal to use embryonic stem cells under federal law because in order to use the embryonic stem cells the embryo would be destroyed.

Adult stem cells are cells that have limited differentiation potential. This means that the cells can only make certain types of new cells. Whereas the embryonic stem cells can become any cell in the body. Adult stem cells are found in placental tissue (ie umbilical cord matrix), adipose tissue and bone marrow.

The stem cell therapy we perform in the office is with adult stem cells that are donated umbilical cord tissue. The stem cells are collected from a healthy mother during cesarean section births. A thorough health history and blood test is conducted to ensure the donor is in good health.

Some of the conditions we see for stem cell therapy include:

  • Arthritic joints
  • Meniscus tears
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Tendonitis (acute tears)
  • Tendonosis (chronic tears)
  • Ligament tears (sprain)
  • Muscle injuries
  • Lumbar disc tears
  • Lumbar facet injuries
  • Peripheral nerve injuries

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