In the United States alone, 24% of all adults, or 58.5 million people, have arthritis. People who suffer from arthritis can experience pain, swelling, aching, or stiffness in and around their joints. While there are treatments that can lessen the symptoms of arthritis, there is no cure.
Current Arthritis Treatments
Despite arthritis being the leading cause of disability worldwide, current treatments may only offer temporary relief. However, exercise, medication, and stress reduction mitigate arthritis pain. Common treatments of arthritis include:
- Stretches and exercise
- Weight management
- Physical therapy
- Medications (both prescription and over-the-counter)
- Relaxation therapy
Patients whose arthritis is severe may benefit from corticosteroid injections, sacroiliac joint injections, or joint surgery. Previously, these served as the only options for arthritis patients, but regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, may offer a new alternative to consider.
What Are Stem Cells?
Stem cells serve as the building blocks of cells. Every other cell in the body with a specialized function originates as a stem cell. A stem cell can divide in the right conditions, either forming more stem cells through self-renewal or forming a specialized cell through differentiation. Stem cells are the only cells in the body that can generate new types of cells.
What Is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cell therapy is a non-invasive, regenerative medicine designed to repair damaged cells within the body. When a physician administers stem cells into an area with damaged and diseased cells, the stem cells may become specific cells that could regenerate and repair diseased or damaged tissues.
One of the properties of stem cells may attract them to inflammation in the body. However, the cells also potentially reduce inflammation and modulate the immune system to help regenerate tissue.
Bone Marrow Stem Cells for Arthritis
While there are several sources for stem cells, adult stem cells found in bone marrow or fat serve as one option that comes from the patient’s own body.
Researchers suggest that stem cells applied to an arthritic joint may develop into needed cartilage cells and reduce inflammation. Additionally, they have the potential to release proteins that slow down cartilage degeneration and decrease pain.
Clinical studies of bone marrow stem cell therapy for arthritis demonstrate positive results so far. While further research continues, patients may explore this as an alternative or in conjunction with current conventional treatments.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine for back pain, also known as stem cell therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.