There are so many variations and types of cells in the human body. In each and every one of us there are about 200 different types of cells. Within these cell types there are about 20 different types of structures or organelles. There are skin cells to help protect your body. There are muscles cells, which contract and grow with the physical demands of the person and there are also nerve cells to send signals. Almost every cell in the body has a very specific structure or function. All in all there are about 37.2 trillion cells in your body, but what’s so special about stem cells. It seems as though stem cells are getting all of the attention lately. What’s their purpose and how do stem cells have the ability to heal people’s painful orthopedic conditions?
What is a Stem Cell?
A stem cell is almost like an immature cell. They’re cells that don’t know what they want to be when they grow up. Specifically, they are called undifferentiated cells. Stem cells themselves serve no purpose. However, these cells have the amazing ability to become whatever cell they want. In fact, the reason why stem cells exist is to replace worn out cells after they die. Stem cells also serve to regrow new parts of the body as well.
For example, we wear out the lining of our intestines every four days. Stem cells that exist right beneath the lining of your intestines are there to replace the cells as they wear out. It seems as though if it weren’t for stem cells we wouldn’t last very long…if at all.
Stem Cells for Regenerative Medicine
Doctors and researchers are aware of the potential of stem cells. Think about how different everyone is. Everyone’s body is different and everyone requires a different approach to healthcare. However, wouldn’t it be amazing if we could use stem cells to replace the parts of your body that are damaged, instead of taking pills and going through surgery? You would essentially be using your body to heal your body.
Actually, this type of medicine isn’t 500 years into the future. We currently have those abilities right now! This type of medicine is called regenerative medicine. Instead of invasive surgery, painkillers or other pills, we are able to use stem cells to heal the body after injury or disease. One example of this is Leukemia. Leukemia is a blood disease that affects your bone marrow, which is the spongy tissue in your bone where your blood cells are created. When you have Leukemia the cancer cells crowd out the stem cells that make the new blood cells in your bone marrow.
For some patients a stem cell transplant can save their lives. These new stem cells will create the new blood cells needed by the patient’s body.
Stem Cells for Stem Cell Therapy
Another condition that’s even more common than leukemia is degenerative arthritis. We have all heard of arthritis and we all know someone who is affected by arthritis. In the United States one in 7 people are affected by arthritis.
What is arthritis? Arthritis is pain and inflammation that occurs in your joints such as your knees and hips. People develop arthritis symptoms after they have worn away the protective cartilage in their joints. Since we exert a certain amount of stress on our joints from everyday use, we slowly wear away this protective cartilage. Once this cartilage wears away it doesn’t grow back and arthritis symptoms begin.
Stem cell therapy uses stem cells to regrow this cartilage that otherwise wouldn’t have regrown. For example, if you are starting to develop knee pain, die to arthritis, an injection of stem cells into the knee joint will regrow the cartilage. After you give the stem cells enough time to regrow the cartilage you will begin to feel better. Until stem cell therapy your options for arthritis pain was surgery or painkillers. Thankfully, due to stem cells, we can now decrease your knee pain and you can avoid surgery.
Interested in learning more about this amazing treatment? Call the Stem Cell Professionals today at 717-881-2343!