Stem Cell Therapy for Arthritis and Arthrosis

Dec 23, 2019

The effects of arthritis can be painful, debilitating, and downright irritating.

Symptoms can be felt in the knees, elbows, and hips and often referred to as a condition affecting men and woman later in life.

So you can imagine Mike Hanlan’s shock when he started feeling similar pains at the ripe old age of 28. His pain came on without warning – a sharp, intense shoulder pain like he had never felt before. Seven days later, his arm would hardly move. After trying OTC painkillers, ice packs, and heating pads, Mike realized that  he would have to see a doctor.

The doctor announced that Mike had osteoarthritis. 

Understandably, Mike was already scared when the doctor continued by saying, “You probably want to start thinking about surgery.” This was not the diagnosis Mike was expecting to hear, and he decided at that moment to learn everything he could about osteoarthritis and his available treatment options.

Mike did the same thing that everyone does and turned to the internet for help. Before long, he was swimming in contradictory information. Frustrated with the overwhelming and conflicting data, he turned to several doctors for help. One mentioned that recent advancements had been made in regards to stem cells and arthritis symptom relief. From there, Mike went to the experts at a recommended clinic to learn more about stem cell therapy.

Mike wants to share his story with anyone suffering from arthritis, explaining, “I want to help make your journey to effective treatment as easy as possible.” Through Mike’s experience and research, everything you need to know about arthritis, from its causes and symptoms to the benefits of stem cells and the results of clinical studies, is laid out here for you.

What is Arthritis? 

Arthritis describes joint inflammation and refers to around 200 conditions affecting your joints, the tissue surrounding them, and your other connective tissue. Cartilage damage is a huge part of arthritis. This firm, yet flexible connective tissue is meant to absorb any shock and pressure created by movement and other stress that you put on your joints. Arthritis can affect any of your joints, though it most often affects your hands, hips, knees, and spine. 

The most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), gout, and fibromyalgia. With RA, your own immune system attacks your body’s tissues, affecting the area where fluid is produced to lubricate your joints and nourish your cartilage.  

What Causes Arthritis?

Medical experts tend to agree that there isn’t a single cause for the different types of arthritis. Instead, there are several possibilities, including:

  • Abnormal metabolism
  • Genetics
  • Infections
  • Dysfunctions of the immune system
  • Previous injuries

While most types of arthritis are tied to multiple factors, there are times when it occurs for no obvious reason. In some cases, the emergence of arthritis may be completely unpredictable. In particular, RA can develop suddenly or gradually. 

Symptoms of Arthritis 

The most common symptoms include:

  • An aching or sharp pain in one or more joints
  • Swelling in or around the joints
  • Stiffness 

Current Treatment Options

Many arthritis sufferers are encouraged to participate in physical therapy exercises and utilize splints and slings to relieve discomfort. They may be encouraged to have surgery, though many do not want this after learning more about the prognosis and recovery associated with surgery. For example, not all helpful surgeries are available worldwide. Plus, there is a prolonged healing time. For these reasons, more and more sufferers are choosing to take advantage of stem cell therapy. 

Why Consider Stem Cell Therapy for Arthritis?

First, you have to understand what stem cells are and what they can do. Stem cells continue to divide over time, creating new healthy tissue and helping to replace lost tissue.

Stem cells have two primary mechanisms. The first helps to block joint inflammation. This is done by blocking mechanisms inside the joint that promote chronic inflammation. When stem cells are injected into your affected joint, they are able to replace injured, dysfunctional, and damaged tissues while restoring the overall structure. 

The second involves their regenerative impact on your cartilage. By activating the joint’s metabolism, the cartilage will eventually return to normal. 

The Application of Stem Cells

Stem cells are delivered to the problem areas most commonly through injections into your joint. When stem cell injections are performed, doctors use medical imaging, including ultrasound, to ensure all cells are sent directly to the damaged cartilage. 

Simply put, stem cell treatment enables arthritis sufferers to develop new, healthy cells that repair damaged areas, reduce swelling, decrease pain, and normalize your body’s immune response.

What to Expect

When stem cells are introduced, you can anticipate encouraging results in just a short amount of time. This may include:

  • Decreased inflammation
  • Little to no joint pain
  • An opportunity to resume your everyday life

The Advantages of Stem Cells

Advantages include:

  • Eliminating the need for medications that can have serious side effects
  • No need for radiation
  • Immune system is not significantly suppressed
  • No foreign materials
  • No possibility of rejection
  • A quick and easy recovery

What The Clinical Studies Show

Thanks to the experts at the clinic Mike attended, he was able to access the results from several clinical studies on stem cell therapy for arthritis. Some of the most interesting findings include:

  • Patients were tested before beginning the cell infusion schedule. They were also tested at various times after the schedule was complete. Results show that all infusion patients experienced an improvement in function, reduction of pain, and increased range of motion (ROM) during the 16-40 month follow-up period after their infusion.
  • A double blind, controlled study involved 7 institutions and 55 patients who had undergone a partial medial meniscectomy. Those who were injected with mesenchymal stem cells 7-10 days after the meniscectomy experienced meniscus regeneration, accompanied by a substantial decrease in the pain in their knee. 
  • To treat cartilage loss, 18 patients with knee OA were injected with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Those who received a higher dose of MSCs experienced a decrease in their cartilage defect, as well as an increase in their cartilage volume. The result was decreased knee pain and improved function.
  • MSC therapy was followed up for 2 years in 12 patients. At the end of 2 years, a significant improvement was seen in their cartilage quality and their functional improvement was improved by 78%. The study authors determined that stem cell therapy could be an acceptable alternative treatment for anyone with chronic knee OA.

What Types of Stem Cells are Used?

There are several potential sources of stem cells, including:

  • Autologous (from the patient’s body tissues)
  • Allogeneic (from donated stem cells)
  • MSCs

MSCs are important because they are able to differentiate into chondrocytes that produce and maintain a cartilaginous matrix that is usually destroyed by arthritis. They decrease joint destruction and produce and secrete a variety of mediators of cell function that have an anti-inflammatory effect and repair the damaged area.

MSCs are harvested from: 

  • Peripheral blood stem cells, which are found in your bloodstream
  • Bone marrow stem cells that are taken from one of your bones
  • Adipose stem cells that are harvested usually through liposuction

How is the Stem Cell Therapy Process Carried Out?

A clinic doctor explained to Mike, “To prevent or delay OA, direct stem cell injection can be effective because of its anti-inflammatory function. It is a minimally invasive procedure where the specialized cells are injected into you. In your case, the cells will be injected into the knee.”

The 2-5 minute procedure involves injecting the stem cells into areas where you are experiencing arthritis symptoms and Mike was assured that there is very little chance of side effects. According to the doctor, “You may feel pressure or a tingle, but it doesn’t hurt. Patients are able to leave the office walking and generally return to their daily activities in just a few days.”

Additionally, anesthesia was discussed with Mike prior to the treatment. Typically, a local anesthesia with painkillers is used, but local and general anesthesia are available if needed. Those who do experience side effects after the injection have described mild pain at the injection site, some joint swelling, and temporary stiffness. 

Can Arthritis Be Cured?

A physical therapist with the clinic was asked about any additional options that could be used to support stem cell therapy and further improve results. He reported, “Arthritis cannot be cured, but the right treatment can greatly reduce symptoms. In addition to treatments recommended by your doctor, changes to your lifestyle may help manage your arthritis. Special therapy, which includes exercises, helps strengthen muscles around the affected joint.”

Additional Therapy Options

There are several therapies that can be used In conjunction with stem cell therapy that may be useful for arthritis sufferers. They include:

  • MBST
    • MBST uses a MR-Therapy (Magnetic Resonance) device that transfers energy directly into the tissue’s cells. Working at this cellular level facilitates stimulation of the regeneration process and the rebuilding of bone and cartilage.
  • Shockwave
    • Shockwave treatment employs an acoustic wave to carry high energy to aching spots and myoskeletal tissues with chronic, subchronic, and subacute conditions. Often used in sports medicine, urology, orthopedics, physiotherapy, and even veterinary medicine, shockwave therapy works to enhance local blood flow, increase the healing response, break adhesions and scar tissue into smaller pieces, directly reduce pain, and decrease muscle spasms. Its energy promotes repairing and regeneration of the tendons, bones, and soft tissues.
    • Shockwave is non-surgical and doesn’t require any painkillers, making it ideal for hastening your recovery and healing some of the underlying factors that may be causing chronic or acute pain.
  • Transcranial Electrical Stimulation 
    • This involves applying smooth electrical signals to the brain’s hypothalamus, which increases cell activity. Positive effects include:
      • Accelerating the restoration process of damaged structures
      • Normalizing the neuroendocrine complex
      • Having a positive impact on a patient’s mental and emotional state
      • Enhanced immune system
      • Decreased stress hormone levels
      • Decreased or eradicated pain, anxiety, and twitching
  • Hypoxi-Hyperoxy Therapy 
    • This involves destroying old, worn-out mitochondria in the cell and quickening the formation of younger, healthier mitochondria. Benefits include:
      • Decreased blood pressure
      • Activation of the body’s antioxidant system
      • Normalizing the immune system
      • Decrease fatigue and an overall improvement In well-being
      • Enhanced blood flow in organs and tissues
      • Prevention of premature aging
  • Lymphatic Drainage
    • A form of massage that is rhythmic and gentle, Lymphatic Drainage stimulates lymph fluid circulation throughout the body. This helps speed up waste and toxin removal and can help prevent swelling after surgery or an injury. Some think that It also gives the immune system a big boost.
  • Kinesiotherapy
    • This is a form of exercise intended to improve endurance, strength and mobility in patients with functional and/or physical limitations or those who need extended physical conditioning. After a thorough evaluation, an exercise program is developed to help every patient reach their highest physical abilities.

 

 

To your health,

The Healing Miracle Team

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