Plenty of people in the United States suffer from the daily pain of arthritis. Once you reach a certain age, your joints begin to lose their effectiveness and you lose mobility. Many younger people also suffer from arthritis-related conditions as well. Physicians have been looking at various ways in which they can curtail the misery for those suffering from arthritis, and recent developments in stem cell research are showing some positive signs.
What is Arthritis Anyway?
There are a few different types of arthritis. For example, rheumatoid arthritis is a disease where a person’s own immune system attacks their tissues. Osteoarthritis is a natural degeneration of connective tissues in the joints. Over time, the body’s natural ‘shock absorbers’ wear away in joints, meaning that bones begin to rub together, causing discomfort.
Current treatments for arthritis repair involve low impact activities such as swimming, plus the adoption of a healthy diet in order to reduce weight which in turn reduces the load on joints. Medication is used to manage pain, but arthritis is thought to be incurable. New research on the use of stems cells to help treat arthritis is bringing some exciting results.
What Are Stem Cells, and How Can They Help?
Stem cells are the body’s superheroes when it comes to regeneration. They have the ability to turn into almost any type of cell that the body needs. We produce a large number of stem cells when we are young and we continue to do so throughout our lives although the stems cells we produce in our mature years are not as effective.
In a recent Canadian study, a dozen people with knee osteoarthritis were injected with their own stem cells, all drawn from the patient’s own bone marrow. They were then monitored for two years. During that two year period, all patients reported that they felt a significant diminishing in terms of pain after their treatment.
This is highly promising news, and suggests that stem cell therapy could be used to help treat some forms of arthritis. Further studies though need to be undertaken in order for stronger evidence to be obtained before stem cell therapy is considered an effective treatment for osteoarthritis and similar conditions.
If you like to learn about stem cell banking or any other form of regenerative medicine, then please contact the Michigan Center for Regenerative Medicine. Feel free to reach out to our team today by phone at (248) 216-1008.