What Are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are cells that can turn into other cells. The process involves meticulous engineering in a laboratory until the cells divide and create daughter cells. These turn into specialized cells with specific functions that assist in regeneration in certain areas of the body. That is why it is used for treatment by specialists in a regenerative center to help patients with complications in areas like the heart, blood, bones, and muscles.
Throughout the years, researchers have found that there are many sources of stem cells. These sources come from certain essential parts of the human body that have evolved in varying stages of development. These include:
- Embryonic Stem Cells
These are stem cells harvested safely from embryos in their early stages or at least three to five days old. At this stage, it is called a blastocyst, which is identified as pluripotent as it can develop into varying cells in the body. These embryos are a result of in-vitro fertilization. It’s because after all the necessary processes have been done, one-week-old embryos are usually no longer needed, making them a viable source of stem cells.
- Adult Stem Cells
On the other hand, adult stem cells came from developed organs and tissues in an adult’s body. These are used to repair damaged tissues in the area where they are similarly found. But unlike embryonic cells, these stem cells are multipotent. This means that they can’t develop into other kinds of specialized cells in the body except for a specific tissue or organ. It also has two types, which are:
- Hematopoietic Stem Cells
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are found in the bone marrow and are responsible for producing mature blood cells. These are commonly used to treat malignant and non-malignant diseases, which are done through transplants.
- Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are present in various tissues, like the umbilical cord, adipose or fat, and bone marrow. These can develop into cells found in skeletal tissues. As such, these are used in repairing damaged bones and cartilage in the body.
- Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs)
Induced pluripotent stem cells are laboratory-engineered cells that are a fusion of the characteristics of an adult and embryonic stem cell. These are stem cells from adult somatic cells that have been improved in a facility to develop into different cells. Some researchers also found that since it is derived from the same person, it has a lower possibility of getting rejected by the body.
What Is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cell therapy is a form of regenerative treatment that uses stem cells. The process involves carefully manipulating stem cells in a laboratory to evolve into certain types of cells like blood cells, skin cells, and nerve cells. These are injected into the injured area to help other cells with the repair process. However, not all stem cells work the same way for different diseases. That is why it’s important to consult your specialist first to know the best approach for your injury.
Doctors have been using this technique to help treat several autoimmune, inflammatory, orthopedic, and even neurological diseases. Some of these include musculoskeletal conditions like osteoarthritis, rotator cuff tendonitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome. It is also used as a remedy for spinal cord injuries, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and even cancers like leukemia.
Benefits of Using Stem Cell Therapy
As a relatively new treatment in the medical field, some people might not be familiar with stem cell therapy. This is especially true for those who are used to traditional forms of remedy. Here are some of the benefits that patients may experience:
- Avoid Extensive Surgery
Stem cell therapy is a minimally invasive procedure, which means the treatment is administered without surgery. This is because the cells are usually implanted through injection on specific injured parts only.
- Speedy Recovery
As there is no surgery site to take care of, the recovery period for stem cell therapy is short. Some patients have stated they usually felt relief after around two to 12 weeks of receiving the therapy. But recovery doesn’t stop there. There is also an ongoing improvement for their damaged areas as weeks and months go by.
- Reduced Reliance on Pain Medications
Normally, pain relief medications are prescribed to patients who experience chronic pain. But reliance, and in some cases addiction, on these medicines is also possible. With stem cell therapy, this probability is reduced. This is because it uses the body’s natural healing ability to treat specific injuries and diseases.
In essence, stem cell therapy is not an automatic cure for your existing ailments. The idea is to assist the body’s healing capability to alleviate pain and other recurring symptoms. This is a more natural alternative to recovery, which allows you to get back to your daily routine faster than traditional ways of treatment. To get the right stem cell treatment for your condition, never hesitate to consult our experts at a regenerative center. They will answer all your questions and provide you with other information you need to know.