One single injury or damage to any organ is enough to change anyone's life drastically. Thanks to the promising advancements in regenerative medicine and the option of stem cell treatment, many individuals with life-altering injuries and diseases are afforded the opportunity to restore their health.
With these advancements in medicine and technology, patients can receive treatments that can bring a brighter hope to their lives and sports careers again.
Stem cell treatment is a regenerative procedure that repairs and replaces damaged or injured tissues and organs. So, if you are an athlete or a patient with a chronic health condition, stem cell treatment could help you recover better and faster.
Before diving into the benefits of stem cell treatment for sports and injuries, it’s important to understand what stem cells are and how the treatment works.
What are Stem Cells?
Specialized and undifferentiated cells are the two types of cells found in the human body. Specialized cells are designed to perform particular functions in the body. For example, red blood cells are designed to carry oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues.
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells. Unlike specialized cells, they have no specific function and can duplicate themselves and develop into specialized cells as the body needs.
There are two main sources from which stem cells originate, and they have the potential to repair, replace, and regenerate tissues and organs in the body. Namely, they are the embryonic and adult stem cells, and although both stem cells are undifferentiated – having the capacity to duplicate and produce other differentiated cells – they each have different characteristics.
Embryonic Stem Cells
Embryonic stem cells are gathered from cells found in the very early forms of embryos (blastocysts) and have over a hundred cells.
Embryonic stem cells are also called pluripotent cells, which means that they can develop into more than one stem cell and become any type of specialized cell.
Due to their vast differentiable capability, embryonic stem cells are mainly used for research purposes. They have the potential to be used in regenerative medicine to repair dysfunctional, injured, or diseased tissues and organs.
However, the use of embryonic stem cells for this purpose has remained a controversial issue because using them to treat diseases and regenerate damaged organs would involve the destruction of the blastocysts.
Adult Stem Cells
Adult stem cells – also known as somatic stem cells – are obtained from developed organs and tissues in the body, such as the bone marrow or fat tissue.
Unlike embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells are unipotent cells, meaning that they can only produce one cell type in the body but have the self-duplicating quality that distinguishes them from non-stem cells.
The primary purpose of adult stem cells is to maintain and replace the cells in tissues and organs and maintain the body’s functionality.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy uses stem cells to treat or prevent a disease or condition. The treatment has provided new hope for patients battling chronic illness and pain that cannot be healed with standard medical treatments.
Stem cell therapy works by using adult stem cells to repair and regenerate diseased or injured organs and tissues in the body.
Some common diseases stem cell therapy is used to treat include:
· Parkinson’s disease: Parkinson’s is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system which affects a patient’s movements. Both embryonic and adult stem cells may be deposited into the patient’s body to repair or replace the nerve cells responsible for generating dopamine, improving functionality.
· Joint pain: Stem cell therapy for shoulders, knees, elbows and other joints in the body involves injecting adult stem cells into the damaged or injured area to renew the cartilage or tissue responsible for the pain or discomfort.
· Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD): DDD is a condition that causes pain, and other discomforts to the back as normal changes in the spine’s disks occur. Stem cell therapy for back pain aims to regenerate weary cartilage and tissue that reduces the proper functioning of the spine.
· Type 1 diabetes: Stem cell treatment for diabetes patients aims to repair or replace insulin-producing cells for better functionality of the body’s system.
Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy
Regenerative medicine has made it possible for the human body to heal itself in many interesting ways. Below are some benefits of stem cell treatment for sports and injuries:
1. Minimally invasive procedure
2. The fast healing process of wounds or incisions
3. Improves range of motion and overall body part functionality
4. Provides relief for pain and heals the body
5. Reduces the risk of body rejection
6. Less dependence on medications
7. Healthier treatment option
8. Capable of treating diseases normal medical procedures cannot
Chicago Stem Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine Treatment Options
The benefits of stem cell treatment for sports and injuries are endless and can help aid the recovery process immensely. At Chicago Stem Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine, we are committed to providing our patients with advanced treatment options and the highest standard of medical care. Interested in learning more about other regenerative medicine procedures? Explore our library of resources.