Regenerative medicine is one of the fastest growing areas of medicine, and we’re beyond excited to announce that it’s now available at Dr. McSweeney’s holistic chiropractic office here in Reno! We’re currently offering free educational lectures and workshops, with our very first happening today, Tuesday, March 14, at 1 pm—just call our office to get on the attendance list. For a quick overview of regenerative medicine and its applications, keep reading.
WHAT IS REGENERATIVE MEDICINE?
The name is a clue—regenerative medicine, or stem cell therapy, is focused on regenerating tissues that have been damaged instead of focusing on treating the symptoms of that damage, which is the current clinical strategy. So what exactly does that mean?
Stem cells are what the Mayo Clinic calls “the body’s raw materials—cells from which all other cells with specialized functions are generated.” These are our primordial cells, and they’re unique because they can divide to become either new stem cells or specialized cells, including those used in the blood, brain, bone, or muscles of the heart. No other cell shares this unique ability, which is why stem cells are the cornerstone of regenerative medicine. They can be guided into becoming specific cells, which means they can help regenerate and repair specific tissues in people who have experienced damage or disease.
Our stem cells are how our bodies repair themselves, grow and develop, fix injuries, and maintain the body by replacing cells as they die. But stem cell production slows with age. We effectively use them up, and they simply aren’t able to regenerate as quickly as they did when we were young.
At birth, we have 1 mesenchymal stem cell for every 10,000 cells. By 16, that ratio has become 1 in 40,000. By age 50, it could be as low as 1 mesenchymal stem cell for every 400,000 cells, which means our healing power has diminished 40 times. By age 80, that ratio could be as low as 1 mesenchymal stem cell to 2,000,000 cells. This decline is part of why the body has a harder time repairing itself as we age. Fewer stem cells means less healing potential.
HOW DOES STEM CELL THERAPY WORK?
The process is quite simple. A licensed and trained medical professional, like our nurse practitioners here at Dr. McSweeney’s practice, inject human cellular tissue directly into the site of injury or inflammation. Unlike other treatments in use for issues like joint, shoulder, knee and arthritis pain, stem cell therapy does one thing—it grows new tissue. Whatever these cells come into contact with, they begin to replicate to make new, healthy cells.
A common question for people who are exploring stem cell therapy relates to where they come from. There are two legal sources:
- You. In some cases, stem cells can be drawn from your own hip bone marrow or belly fat. But if you’re over the age of 30, your stem calls are likewise older. The older you are and the more health concerns you have, the older and more compromised your stem cells. What’s more, these harvested stem cells are what’s known as hemepoetic. That means they’re lacking in cytokines and growth factor, both of which are key for healing tissues. Hemepoetic cells don’t have the necessary components to help tissue heal. Instead of targeted healing, this type of harvested stem cell is better used in an IV for whole-body rejuvenation.
- Donors. Stem cells can be obtained from donors, through what’s known as tissue allograft. They are sourced from donated umbilical cords. Once the cord has been clamped, it would typically be discarded as medical waste. But donated umbilical cords are processed within an hour of being clamped and frozen at -200 degrees Celsius. When thawed, the stem cells are fresh, viable, and rich in the cytokines and growth factors necessary for healing and regeneration.
APPLICATIONS OF REGENERATIVE MEDICINE
Increasingly, stem cell therapy is being used as an alternative to joint replacement therapy. It gives patients an alternative to the trauma of surgery and the daily mild to moderate pain that is all too common after these procedures. Stem cell therapy has also been used to treat autoimmune, neurological, inflammatory, orthopedic conditions, and traumatic injury. Studies have specifically looked at stem cell therapy in the treatment of lupus, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Crohn’s, ALS, CODP, and stroke recovery, among other health conditions.
People considering joint replacement surgery should explore stem cell therapy first. And in Reno, you can learn more immediately. Call our office now to join our free workshop on regenerative medicine, now offered at Dr. McSweeney’s holistic chiropractic office. We look forward to answering all of your questions about this exciting development in medical science. Stem cell therapy has the potential to significantly improve human health, and it’s something you can benefit from right here in Reno. Contact us today to get started.