Stem Cells Used to Treat Pain

Jordan Bonte | March 12, 2014.


Stem cells are making it easier for people to deal with certain injuries. The cells can now be used to treat pain in the joints, lower back and foot injuries. Stem cells can be used to regenerate and repair damaged joint tissues. In the past, stem cells used to be harvested from human embryos and was banned in the United States. Now, scientists and physicians are using adult stem cells and re-implantation by extracting adult stem cells from a person’s body instead of from human fetuses and embryos. In 2009, the United States developed a minimally invasive threshold that allowed the United States Food and Drug Administration to monitor the regenerative use of stem cell therapy.

Starting in 2003, veterinarians used stem cells to treat their patients. Bob Harman, the chief executive officer and founder of Vet-Stem, a company that uses stem cell therapy to treat horses, said that his company treated over 4.141 horses with soft-tissue injuries such as tendinitis since 2003 and that 70 to 80 percent of horses healed completely. Stem cells can survive over long periods of time and are able to divide themselves to make more cells. There are a large amount of stem cells in the body and they are capable of maintaining tissue function. Dr. Scott Brant says that the focus of medicine is changing from treating symptoms to providing regenerative and restorative solutions to get the body to heal itself.

A recent clinical trial tested the use of stem cells to treat lower back pain. The trial tested 100 patients who reported having less back pain after 12 months of receiving injections. The patients were given an injection of mesenchymal precursor cells that was used to reduce pain. Researchers who ran the study found that patients who had less pain were more than 50 percent after 12 months. Patients used less pain medications, functioned better and did not need surgical or non-surgical treatments to manage their back pain. The results were from patients who had mild to intense discogenic lower back pain. W. Jeremy Beckworth, a doctor of medicine and an assistant professor for Orthopedic and Rehab Medicine, who was  involved in the study said that the finding are very exciting. Beckworth also said that the results provided a major hope for a condition that has been very difficult to treat. Discogenic back pain, a painful degenerative disk, is the most common reason for low back pain.

Adler Footcare in New York is now using stem cell therapy to treat chronic foot injuries such as plantar fasciitis and foot problems such as Osteoarthritis. The therapy is more effective than physical therapy because it works better and lasts longer. Adler Footcare uses live birth stem cells that are injected into the affected area. The area is measured before the person is injected to ensure the cells will work properly. Physicans use stem cells for different types of illnesses because the cells are able to multiply themselves and change into the cell that is needed. Dr. Darline Kulhan, a podiatric surgeon at Adler Footcare, said that patients who use stem cells as a form of treatment heal faster and can return to their normal activities sooner than if they chose a traditional treatment.

Stem cells can now be used to treat different kinds of pain through the use of stem cell therapy. This type of therapy can be used to treat back pain, joint pain and foot injuries. These cells are used because they can regenerate, multiply and change into cells that patients need. Stem cells can be used to help patients with knee pain by regenerating and repairing old joints. The cells can also be used to treat pain associated with degenerative lower back pain and can help patients who have foot injuries heal faster. Despite the controversy, physicians have been using stem cells as a form of treatment for more than 100 years.


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