Stem Cell Therapy for Arthritis: Is It Safe & Effective?

Stem Cell Therapy for Arthritis: Is It Safe & Effective?

Arthritis is a common condition in which the joints become painful, stiff, and inflamed. It can worsen over time, and while there are treatments available to mask the symptoms, there is currently no cure. Many patients with arthritis seek a more effective solution than over-the-counter medications and similar home remedies. Of course, they also want to know if the options they’re considering are safe and effective. One popular alternative in particular is stem cell therapy.

Is Stem Cell Therapy for Arthritis Safe?

Stem cell therapy is largely considered to be safe, due to the fact that adult stem cells can be collected from the patient themselves. Many consider this an option to avoid the risk of an adverse reaction or rejection of the cells, however, there are also donated umbilical cord derived stem cells that do not have the risk of these reactions as well. The most common side effects patients encounter are swelling and discomfort, which are temporary.

Is Stem Cell Therapy for Arthritis Effective?

While research into stem cell therapy is ongoing, experts have already conducted studies which indicate that the treatment can aid arthritis patients by:

  • Replacing damaged cartilage cells
  • Minimizing the inflammation that can exacerbate arthritis
  • Releasing cytokines, which can reduce pain and slow the degeneration of cartilage

Of course, there are some factors which can affect the outcome of the treatment and may produce varying results, for example, diet, activity level, or smoking.

Stem Cell Therapy & Platelet Rich Plasma

Recently, experts have been exploring the use of stem cell therapy in conjunction with other regenerative medicine approaches, including platelet rich plasma (PRP). In PRP, medical professionals draw blood from the patient and isolate platelets, which can trigger tissue regeneration and healing, thanks to their growth factors and proteins. Some experts believe that combining these approaches could lead to more powerful results for patients with arthritis.

Pursuing Stem Cell Therapy for Arthritis

If you’re considering stem cell therapy to treat your arthritis, be sure to have an informed conversation with the team at your clinic. Here are some questions to ask:

  • What are the potential risks of the treatment?
  • What are my options for stem cell sources?
  • What does the injection process entail?
  • How have patients with a similar condition responded to treatment?
  • What is your experience treating this condition with stem cell therapy?

The clinic you’re considering should be able to engage in a transparent dialogue and give you thorough answers to these questions, along with any others you may have, to help you reach an informed decision.

This post was written by Becky Palmer, a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine, also known as Stem Cell Therapy in Tampa. Regenerative medicine seeks to replace tissue or organs that have been damaged by disease, trauma, or congenital issues.

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