Stem Cell Therapy for Knee Pain in La Quinta
Knee pain is one of the most common causes of chronic pain, affecting some 25% of people throughout the world and affects more men than women. It has many causes, including obesity, exercise, and osteoarthritis.
The knees are susceptible to injury and are difficult to treat because they are composed of many different types of muscles and ligaments that it can be difficult to get a diagnosis just by movement or looking.
One of the reasons why knee pain is so difficult to treat is because it is a weight-bearing joint, and ongoing movement will typically exacerbate existing injuries. This can be a serious problem and impact your day-to-day mobility.
We may not realize just how much we rely on our knees for everything day-to-day — at least not until we start feeling pain there which gets in the way.
The good news is that stem cell therapy is now being used to heal knee pain. Read on to find out more about this safe alternative to surgery.
What are Stem Cells and Where are they Found?
Stem cells are considered cellular building blocks that are mainly found in bone marrow and fat. They can reproduce on their own without limit in living tissue and thereby replenish lost tissue. With every division, the new cells that form can morph into another type of cell.
Stem cells exist in the blastocyst (embryos that are 3-5 days old) and are the basis for every other type of cell in the body at this phase. This is why, for some stem cell treatments, physicians may use embryo cells.
As far as regeneration of stem cells go, sometimes they do this naturally in the body, and sometimes they do not. Scientists do have the technology to induce replication.
One of the benefits of treating something like knee pain with stem cells is that it comes from the patient’s own body, which means that there’s no chance of rejection. So, we can take our own stem cells and transfer them to other areas, which is not only safe but also ethical.
What is Stem Cell Therapy in La Quinta?
Stem cell therapy (SCT) is a relatively new means of treating various disorders using stem cells.
These are the basic cells that form all different parts of our bodies. This may be done via a person-to-person transplant if, for instance, the person needing the cells is missing healthy cells — for instance, bone marrow stem cells for those with leukemia.
Some examples of problems that may be cured by SCT include neurological problems, organ replacement or even insulin production. Diseases like osteoarthritis, stroke, heart failure, and even renal failure, which are ongoing especially in the aging population, have the potential to be cured by stem cell therapy.
How does Stem Cell Therapy Work for Knees in La Quinta?
More and more people are getting knee replacement surgery today than ever, but the truth is that, while knee replacement therapy may be the only option for people with very severe pain, it is likely not necessary for everyone who gets it — at least, according to one study, more than a third of knee surgeries are likely unnecessary.
In the past, knee pain from injury, arthritis or general wear and tear needed to be cured by surgery, and often this would involve a painful and invasive replacement surgery (total knee replacement). Today it is possible for some to skip the surgery and implant stem cells to regrow damaged tissues such as cartilage, which is a non-invasive and fast way of successfully reducing both inflammation and pain.
For some disorders, doctors will take the cells from a donor, but for knee therapy, the treatment requires cells from a person’s own body. This means that there is little chance of rejection or other complications resulting from the fact that it is donor material. Recovery time for stem cell therapy is minimal compared to the months it can take to recover from knee replacement surgery.
How does Stem Cell Therapy Help with Knee Pain?
Stem cell therapy is beneficial in helping with various types of pain, especially that which is caused by osteoarthritis, the most common source of chronic, incurable knee pain. As osteoarthritis is characterized by wearing of the cartilage, the pain is ongoing and gets worse. Stem cell therapy helps with osteoarthritic knee pain not only in its potential to restore cartilage and protect bone, but it also can be an anti-inflammatory agent.
Though research is still underway to test how effective this treatment is, so far it has offered effective relief for knee pain without the invasive and expensive costs associated with surgery.
Is Stem Cell Therapy a Good Alternative to Surgery for Knee Problems?
Chronic knee pain can be debilitating as it impacts day-to-day mobility, but when this pain gets really bad, sometimes surgery is the only solution. Surgery not only has the potential to be expensive, it has a long recovery time, is generally traumatic, and may also involve the need for extensive physical therapy as well as potentially harmful prescription drugs.
When stem cell therapy is used, it can help ease the pain and mean less medication. Stem cell therapy offers an alternative to pain relief and can improve the quality of the cartilage without hospitalization.
Using stem cells is a great alternative because the cells actually repair tissue themselves. There’s no need to go into the bone and dig around, possibly leading to more damage. Knee replacement therapy, in particular, is complex and difficult.
Future Directions in Stem Cell Therapy
For those battling chronic knee pain, stem cell therapy is an alternative solution that just makes sense because, for instance, you can skip the long recovery from surgery as well as the associated physical therapy.
Using stem cell therapy for knee pain is one of the areas that has the most research and is one of the safest applications of this new technology. While it’s still never 100% guaranteed, the research is promising and side effects are very rare, especially when collected from the person undergoing the treatment, rather than a separate donor.
Want to learn more about stem cell treatment for knee pain in La Quinta? Contact our office today!
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