Stem Cell Therapy for Pain
Stem Cell Therapy vs. Opioids
If you’ve been in serious pain recently, you have been around someone in pain, or you do much reading, you’ve probably heard about the opioid epidemic in the United States right now. Opioids are powerful painkillers, but they are also incredibly addicting, especially when people don’t have a lot of other options for treating their pain. Too many people get on these drugs and can’t get off them, though, so researchers have been looking for something new.
When people take opioids for pain, sometimes they get better. Other times, though, their bodies either need more and more of the medication for the same amount of pain reduction, or they end up with worse pain, no matter how many opioids they take. Both of these mean that people start searching for more medication, even if they have to do so illegally. Some even end up hooked on harder drugs because they were just looking for some relief.
One of the new therapies being studied utilizes the body’s own stem cells to fight pain, as well as to fight some of these other negative effects of taking opioids. The therapy involves injecting a person with their own mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). These are harvested, cultivated, then injected directly back into the person in pain. These are adult stem cells, so there’s no controversy about finding them or harvesting them, either.
Studies on this stem cell therapy are still ongoing, but initial results are positive. While the treatment may not work for everyone, it seems that people who used MSCs responded well to very low doses of opioid medication. They were able to continue responding to the medication even when they had to be on it for a while and were able to get off it when their pain was gone. In short, there was a much smaller chance that these patients were going to end up addicted to their opioids.
This new stem cell therapy could be revolutionary for people who deal with chronic pain or for those who have surgery or other one-time painful events. It’s practical because it seems to be effective, animal studies are showing that it is safe, and it’s easy to do in a clinical setting. Of course, the studies have to be completed before we know exactly how effective it is and before it’s even legal!
At Denver South Chiropractic & Rehab, we are watching the studies on this treatment carefully. The hope is that there will be clinical trials available within the next three years. If the treatment seems to be as effective as researchers are now hoping, we will bring this stem cell therapy to Denver as soon as we can!
In the meantime, you can already get stem cell treatment in Denver to help with a variety of conditions. These cells are already approved for anti-inflammatory purposes, and many former athletes use them to maintain a high quality of life even after they are done with their sports. If you’re interested in hearing more about Denver stem cell therapy for these purposes, contact us today.