Chronic joint pain is very common among the adult population. Injuries and age eventually cause the erosion of cartilage—the protective tissue at the ends of bones. When cartilage wears down, it can result in inflammation, stiffness and pain. Joint complications can have adverse effects on quality of life, but it doesn’t have to be that way. At BioCure, we provide non-invasive, regenerative treatment through the use of stem cells.
What Are Stem Cells?
Mesenchymal stem cells, or just “stem cells” as they are more commonly known, are special types of cells that don’t have a definitive role in the body. These cells have the ability to replicate themselves or differentiate into many cell types. In other words, stem cells can become nerve cells, muscle cells or even cartilage cells. Stem cells are part of the body’s natural repair process and can be found in multiple areas, such as bone marrow and fat, or can be received from donor sources.
How Does Stem Cell Therapy Work?
Stem cell therapy is a minimally invasive procedure where stem cells are injected into the affected joint, ligament or tendon. Once delivered, the cells are able to reduce inflammation and develop into different types of cells—depending on the location they were injected—to repair the damage. This type of treatment can reverse the effects of worn down cartilage and delay or even prevent the need for joint surgery.
Umbilical Cord vs Bone Marrow
Bone marrow and umbilical cords tend to be the most common sources for stem cells. Both are used to replace unhealthy cells with healthy ones but they have their differences.
Bone marrow stem cell extraction is an invasive procedure requiring general anesthesia. Through a series of injections, the bone marrow is harvested from the pelvic bone or other bones in the body. Umbilical cord stem cell extraction is much less invasive since the collection happens directly after birth.
Risk of Rejection
A possible complication with stem cell transplants is the receiving immune system rejecting the foreign cells. If the bone marrow stem cells are from a donor, it is recommended that they be from a family member to reduce the likelihood of rejection. Umbilical cord stem cells are more adaptable however, making rejection of the foreign cells less likely.
Umbilical cord stem cells are believed to have greater regenerative properties because they are younger than bone marrow.
Availability & Storage
Bone marrow stem cells are often harder to acquire due to high demand and the difficulty of finding a suitable donor. Umbilical cord banking, on the other hand, makes stem cells more readily available. Bone marrow must also be used freshly while umbilical cords can be cryopreserved for years.
Stem Cell Treatment for Better Joints
Injuries, ailments and general age take a toll on our joints and lead to complications such as knee pain or stiff shoulders. At BioCure, we provide umbilical cord stem cell treatment that can help relieve joint pain and increase range of motion without the need for surgery.