Arthritis is a disease that causes one or more of your joints to become inflamed. Not only does the joint slowly deteriorate, but inflammation occurs, which causes pain, stiffness, swelling, redness, and a decreased range of motion. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis causes to break down, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that first targets the lining of joints. Stem cell and Platelet-Rich Plasma injection therapy can be used to improve conditions that involve arthritis.
According to arthritis-health.com, experts are researching ways to use stem cells to improve arthritis in the knee and other joints. Many use stem cell therapy already, but it is a process not normally practiced. Other therapies include different therapies, like massage and acupuncture; medications; surgeries, most commonly hip and knee replacement; and self-care methods, like weight loss, tai chi, and yoga.
So how can stem cells help?
It is well-known that stem cells are located throughout the body. They can divide and multiple, and some can even develop into different types of cells. According to arthritis-health.com, advocates of stem cell therapies hypothesize that, when placed into a certain environment, stem cells can transform to accommodate a certain need. Though stem cell therapy seems promising, it is still an unproven therapy and many who opt to use it do so voluntarily and out of their own pocket, since it isn’t covered by most medical insurance companies.
According to an article titled, “Therapeutic potential of mesenchymal stem cell-based therapy for osteoarthritis,” any supporters of stem cell therapy point to clinical studies that have had positive results pointing out the potential to this therapy if there is further research conducted. While it’s understandable why critics point out the lack of research studies on stem cell therapy, one should also remember to look at who is fueling the “anti-stem cell” campaign, generally religious groups. The Pew Research Center reports that many religious leaders believe that stem cell research raises as many moral issues as abortion. They believe that “the research has resulted in the destruction of only a few hundred embryos, making it fundamentally different from abortion, which results in the destruction of millions of human embryos every year.” (www.pewforum.org)
Politics aside, it’s important to remember one thing: science is always changing and evolving. When looking back in time, medical innovations such as antibiotics, the polio vaccine, and CT scans, revolutionized the medical field. Modern medicine is just going to keep on growing.
Platelet-Rich Plasma injections may be able to help improve your arthritis pain.