One of the most common concerns about stem cell therapy is cost. More patients are becoming interested in testing stem cell therapy but questions about pricing, affordability, and insurance coverage are preventing them from reaching out. We’re seeing incredible advancements in conditions like diabetes, Parkinson’s and joint pain from osteoarthritis but with all the benefits that this non-surgical, non-invasive solution offers, many people still avoid talking seriously with their doctor about stem cell therapy because of myths they’ve heard about the expense of the treatment. It’s a natural concern. Annual premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket expenses are steadily rising in this country with no end in sight. Americans spend more per capita for prescription drugs than any other country with a high-income economy, and if you have been battling a chronic condition that has you considering stem cell therapy, you have no doubt felt the sting of these expenses at the pharmacy. No patient should have to choose between expensive medical procedures and chronic pain, and far more can be at risk if you rule out stem cell therapy as an option for your treatment. In many cases, stem cell therapy is the choice that will cost you the least in the long run. When comparing stem cell therapy to surgical procedures like joint replacement, hidden costs and unsatisfactory results drive the real cost of traditional treatment way up. Luckily, most assumptions about the costs of stem cell therapy are untrue and here’s why:
Preliminary clinical studies indicate that regenerative/stem cell medicine may be beneficial to patients with most chronic pain issues. First Team Medical Clinics offers regenerative/stem cell injections to patients with pain in the shoulder, back, neck, knee, hip or other locations. This treatment is presently considered as “cutting edge” technology in contemporary health care. “Its primary application is the treatment of damaged, degenerated body tissue. This action is to enable the regeneration of human body parts, where cells and tissues can be engineered to grow healthy, functional organs (and musculoskeletal tissues) to replace diseased or degenerated ones; new genes can be introduced in to the body to combat disease.” US Federal Drug Administration- November 2017
“Stem cells can generate replacements for cells that are lost to injury or disease. This is no longer stuff of science fiction. This is the practical promise of modern applications of regenerative medicine.” FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, MD.
Experts expect regenerative medicine to expand rapidly as the aging and more interactive baby boomer generation seeks alternative and unconventional treatments, especially in the wake of rising demand for tissues and organs.
NIH: “As tech-savvy older generations retire and as risk-prone younger population segments seek unconventional and “futuristic” remedies, cutting-edge treatments like stem cells with growth factors, hyaluronic acid and cytokines will increasingly grow in demand and enter the mainstay of healthcare.”
Although the popularity within orthopedics physical medicine, and pain management is fairly recent, placental tissue derived products have a 100-year history of being used in other disciplines for their healing properties. The earliest record of research regarding stem cell therapy dates back to 1913 where an article appeared in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) detailing the use of stem cells in the treatment of skin burn victims.
Regenerative/Stem Cells are undifferentiated cells that are harvestable from various tissues within our own human body; primarily fat tissue, bone marrow, and blood sources. These cells have the capabilities to differentiate into ANY other type of cell in the human body, as well as dividing into more stem cells. For example, stem cells can regenerate and renew cell to related tendon, nerve, ligament, cartilage, and bone tissue. Unfortunately, when tissues are aged or damaged, they can no longer produce healing stem cells as effectively as they once did. These “endogenous stem cells” are harvested from our own body, therefore having the same DNA, therefore eliminating the possibilities of tissue rejection.
BUT these stem cell sources are also known to be age dependent and often subject to areas of relative toxicity (adipose) or the harvesting is very difficult or potentially susceptible to infection (bone marrow harvesting. Therefore, the source of your stem cells is very important, especially relating to the rate at which they multiply within the injected area:
Dr. Neil Riordan, PA, PhD states: “Not only does the number of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCS) decline as we age, but so does their robustness. Their robustness is determined by a few main factors: the rate at which they multiply, the number of trophic factors they produce, and the rate of deterioration.”
In addition: “MSCs in older individuals do not multiply, or double as quickly, nor do they produce healing trophic factors as do cells in younger individuals.”
There are two basic sources for regenerative medicine/stem cells , those from your own body and those from fetal tissue sources. We do have our own stem cells that are present in our own bodies all the time. In order to use these Stem Cells for treatment, they have to be “harvested” from your body, and then injected back into the area of concern. These “harvesting” sources cab be from our own bone marrow, plasma of our blood, or from our adipose/fat tissue. These procedures and its effectiveness are dependent upon the age and the source of the cells. A very popular form of treatment is Platelet Rich Plasma which provide the growth factors that contribute to tissue regeneration, by assisting in stem cell movement, production, differentiation and extra-cellular matrix creation. PRP is used primarily in the Dayton by orthopedic specialists and pain management practices.
Dr. Neil Riordon: “Younger Cells, as found in umbilical cords, are more energetic in the system, and hence have a better chance of persisting and being more effective.”
Riordan believes “the best stem cells; the ones with the best healing and regenerative powers, as well as the fewest complications, are adult stem cells which can obtained from donated umbilical cord blood, or umbilical chord tissue, from healthy live births.” “So, umbilical MSCs which come from discarded tissue are just as good as your own MSCs”.
This explains why umbilical chord MSCs are so potent- they come from a very young, healthy human being. We have found that Umbilical cord MSCs are the most potent when compared to bone marrow, fat, and menstrual cell MSCs, all of which we’ve used and have been extensively tested.
The body’s stem cells are responsible for stimulating the healing process and renewing and repairing injured tissues. These cells are capable of changing into the specific types of cells the body needs to promote tissue restoration. Regenerative cell injections can relieve pain and improve range of motion in your joints by treating the damaged connective tissue. When injected into injured area, the theory is that the placental allograft tissues stimulate repair and your body regenerates only what’s needed.
Regenerative Cell injection therapy works by injecting the placental allograft directly into the tissue that needs repair. Once in place, these cells will produce chemicals that signal a reduction in inflammation and encourage cell reparation. These cells have specific properties and actions including, eliminating scar tissue accumulation, reducing infection, and then replacing the previously damaged tissue with newly differentiated cells. It was recently determined that the actions of mesenchymal stem cells can occur for up to one year after introduction into the damaged area.
Regenerative cell injections are administered directly into a joint or tissue, where the stem cells develop into the types of cells that are lacking or damaged. This type of therapy works with your body to give you BEST whole self without surgery or prescription medication. Our clinicians first perform a thorough physical examination and diagnoses the underlying cause of your condition to determine whether stem cell injections are the best course of treatment for you. Up to date x-rays are recommended to assure the present condition of the joint in question. Our Nurse Practitioner is certified in joint injection procedures and performs the injection process using color Ultrasound guidance; to target the Stem Cells allograft in the proper location within the effected joint.
The ACTIONS of Regenerative Medicine allografts when injected into a damaged, degenerated joint:
AND, some clinical research shows evidence that suggests that stem cells can be in an area repairing damaged tissues for up to one year after insertion!
Our clinical team may recommend regenerative/stem cell therapy to promote healing and prevent pain from:
Other conditions that have been shown to be clinically responsive to regenerative medicine are:
Sprains and strains | Back and neck injuries | Diabetic neuropathy | Carpal Tunnel Syndrome | Chronic plantar fasciitis | Heel pain | Chronic joint pain | Hip injuries | Tennis and golfer’s elbow | Achilles tendonitis | Jumper’s knee | Ligament tears, injuries | Lumbar, spine, disc pain and dysfunction | Muscle injuries | Pulled hamstring | Shoulder injuries | ACL injuries | Joint injuries | Quadriceps injuries | Arthritis | Rheumatoid Arthritis | Fractures | Post-surgery healing | Soft tissue damage | Wounds | Burns | Aesthetic, antiaging applications | And much more!
Stem cell research and treatment is occurring throughout the world. Within the United States, most major universities and research hospitals are involved with the study and remedy via regenerative medicine. Here in Ohio, it is known that The Ohio State University and The Cleveland Clinic are both studying the effectiveness of stem cell treatment for terminal nervous system disorders, as well as, some forms of cancer.
Studies in humans have shown that regenerative medicine can produce healing and tissue regeneration. The product used at FTMC has a 95.5% success rate over the last 2-year period. Most patients who undergo amniotic allograft treatments will experience relief from pain within 1-3 weeks and improvement in function approximately 6-8 weeks after treatment.