Stem Cell Therapy: A Game-Changer for Baby Boomers With Aging Joints

With the boomer generation moving into retirement, their level of health has never been better, making for exciting and active later lives. However, the inevitable passage of time brings with it the wear and tear that accompanies a well-lived life.

Osteoarthritis is a common culprit, a degenerative joint condition resulting from daily living. When your joints start to suffer, you can lose mobility to pain and stiffness while also dealing with chronic pain.

While it’s true that surgical replacement of joints helps many people resume pain-free mobility, prosthetic joints have a limited lifespan, so most patients — and their doctors — prefer to postpone replacement surgery until they believe the prosthetic will last the rest of the patient’s life. So any treatment that extends time before the replacement surgery is welcome.

The case for regenerative medicine

One of the most exciting fields of development is regenerative medicine. Instead of treating symptoms or compensating for degenerative conditions, regenerative techniques assist your body in repairing itself.

As advanced as medical engineering has become, it’s still no match for the ability and elegance of natural healing. Regenerative medicine focuses on helping your body help itself. For people suffering from conditions like osteoarthritis, stem cells may prove to do just that.

Augmenting resources

Natural healing is all about resource allocation. The building blocks for natural repairs need to be present in the right place in the right amount. The resource delivery service in your body is, not surprisingly, your bloodstream, which not only carries oxygen and other nutrients for your cells, it delivers the raw materials needed for healing to take place. Stem cells are one of these raw materials.

Understanding stem cells

Though there are different types of stem cells, some more versatile than others, they all share two important characteristics. They can, first of all, make copies of themselves, and secondly, they can change into other types of cells.

Stem cells are like piles of lumber in a carpenter’s shop. On their own, they’re just boards, but they can be used to build elegant furniture.

Overcoming limits

Stem cells are present in your body already, placed to aid natural regenerative processes. It’s thought that degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis happen due to wear and tear overtaking the rate of repair.

Delivering stem cells by injection into the site of an aching joint builds the supply of raw materials needed by your body to rebuild the joint more quickly to better match the rate of deterioration.

Drug-free, risk-free

In terms of clinical research, stem cell therapy is not yet well-developed. However, the risk/benefit ratio is solidly in its favor. If you’re struggling with osteoarthritis of the knee, for instance, you may be taking medication for pain.

Over time, you may need stronger drugs, perhaps due to further deterioration or your body starting to resist the current dosage. Higher levels or stronger drugs are needed to keep pace.

Stem cells are drawn from amniotic sources and your own blood, making these quite biocompatible. There’s no medication added and little chance for an allergic response. The only risks are the same as those for procedures such as blood samples or allergy shots. This is a key reason why so many people turn to stem cell treatment before surgery. There’s simply much to gain with little to lose.

Learn more about stem cell therapy and how it may help you cope with joint pain. Dr. McKenna and his team at McKenna Orthopedics are specialists in all aspects of joint care. Call or click today to schedule your consultation.

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