During the aging process, we are all forced to deal with the natural degeneration of our bodies. However, we each experience different levels of degeneration and choose to fight our personal deterioration in a multitude of ways. One successful way to combat age-related changes in the body is non-surgical stem cell therapy.
Stem cells are un-programmed cells in the human body which can develop into more than one cell type. They are also at the center of a new field of science called regenerative medicine. Because stem cells can become bone, muscle, cartilage and other specialized types of cells, they have the potential to treat many diseases including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Diabetes and more. Stem cells have also been investigated for the treatment of many musculoskeletal disorders including osteoarthritis and osteoporosis and the investigations have turned up positive results.
Stem cell therapy is a minimally invasive, non-surgical procedure proven to improve musculoskeletal injuries and age related degenerative conditions. The procedures utilize the patient’s own stem cells—harvested from fat or bone marrow—to assist the healing process of damaged tissues, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and spinal discs. The treatment offers a promising alternative for those considering elective surgery or joint replacement due to injury or arthritis. Medical researchers believe stem cell treatments have the potential to change the face of human aging and alleviate suffering.
The capacity for stem cells to self-renew and give rise to ensuing generations offers potential for groups of tissues that can potentially replace diseased and damaged areas in the body, with minimal risk of rejection and side effects.
Adipose Stem Cell (ASC) Therapy
Adipose (fat) tissue contains a concentrated amount of cells known as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) which are capable of converting into different types of cells throughout the body, such as neurons, bone, cartilage, muscle, and tendon. The authors of, “The Potential of Adipose Stem Cells in Regenerative Medicine,” note that, “adipose stem cells (ASCs) are an attractive and abundant stem cell source with therapeutic applicability in diverse fields for the repair and regeneration of acute and chronically damaged tissues.”
Because they exist in abundance in adipose tissue, stem cells in high-dose amounts can be obtained in just a couple of hours. ASCs can be retrieved from either liposuction aspirates or subcutaneous adipose tissue fragments.
Further, because patients receive their own autologous cells, there is a very low risk of immune rejection. Adipose stem cells have a high degree of immunomodulatory capacity, which can greatly benefit patients with auto-immune conditions.
ASCs have rapidly advanced into clinical trials for treatment of a broad range of conditions.
Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMC) Therapy
It is well established that a significant amount of our bodies’ stem cells are held within bone marrow. By harvesting blood and tissue from the bone marrow space of the hip, an injectable product can be produced by concentrating platelets and cells withdrawn through a simple outpatient procedure. This is done with local anesthetic and, occasionally, sedation. BMC contains all of the growth and healing factors in platelet-rich plasma, along with stem cells, which further contribute to the regenerative process.
Like ASCs, stem cells from bone marrow are also MSCs and autologous. When age-related degeneration occurs, the usual number of regenerative cells needed for tissue renewal is often inadequate. With BMC, the strength of the regenerative cells provides a more robust healing of the damaged tissue and aids in growth and repair by accelerating the body’s natural healing mechanism.
In studies, BMC has been shown to reduce swelling, relieve pain, and enhance healing of articular cartilage and bone.