Chronic Joint Pain and Stem Cell Therapy: What You Need to Know

Stem Cell Therapy

Aches and pains are a fact of life for many of us, and can not only cause discomfort, but they can also lead to ongoing issues and health concerns. The longer you leave joint pain untreated, the worse your condition can get. 

On top of that, many people find traditional joint pain difficult to treat. What’s supposed to be a standard knee pain treatment simply doesn’t give them the relief they’re hoping for. 

The good news is that regenerative medicine techniques such as stem cell therapy have been on the rise. And, it’s been shown that these could be an effective alternative for chronic pain. 

If you suffer from joint pain, it might be time to look into stem cell injections as an option. We’re here to break down joint pain stem cell therapy so that you can make an informed decision!

What Is Stem Cell Therapy?

To understand stem cell therapy, you need to understand what stem cells are. Stem cells are the building blocks of other cells with specialized functions. 

Under the right conditions, stem cells can create new cells or specialized cells. For instance, they’ll create brain cells, bone cells, blood cells, or heart cells that will carry out a specific function.

Stem cells are the only kind of cells in the body that have the ability to regenerate in this way. Because of this, doctors and scientists have been exploring the use of stem cells to create new cells that a patient needs to help regenerate tissue.

In the case of stem cell therapy, this is more or less exactly what it sounds like. It’s a therapy that uses stem cells to help reduce symptoms caused by common inflammatory conditions and other diseases. 

A few typical uses of stem cells include:

  • Repairing cartilage damage
  • Therapy for tendonitis
  • Reducing joint pain from arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis therapy

While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, it gives a good understanding of how doctors are using stem cells today. Many people who suffer from these types of diseases have seen improvements just from receiving stem cell therapy.

Where Do Stem Cells Come From?

There are several different places in the body where you can gather stem cells. And, each of these stem cells is a little bit different. A few different types of stem cells include: 

Hematopoietic Cells: Adult stem cells which are found in bone marrow.  They’re slightly more limited than other types of stem cells in the types of cells they can create. However, new research has been showing that they may be able to offer healing in more ways than we thought.

Adipose Stem Cells: Adipose stem cells are stem cells that are collected from fat tissue. They’re currently limited by the FDA to be used exclusively for cosmetic procedures.

Perinatal Stem Cells: Perinatal stem cells come from the Wharton’s Jelly in the umbilical cord and the placenta after a live healthy full-term delivery.  These stem cells have matured and are considered adult stem cells.  These stem cells can turn into all different types of human tissue that are needed for regeneration and have many different uses in regenerative medicine. These stem cells are the most recently discovered of the three.

The potential for stem cell therapy is huge, and doctors are currently discovering new ways that it can be used. The type of stem cells that your treatment requires will depend on what is being treated and the patient’s personal medical history, among other factors.

Why Are Stem Cells of Such Interest to Doctors?

Stem cell research is a relatively new field. However, in just a short time this area of regenerative medicine has come leaps and bounds and is being considered as a potential therapy for a number of different maladies. 

Doctors and researchers alike are hoping that stem cell therapy will help in a number of other ways, too. They see the potential for stem cells to provide a better understanding of how diseases arise in the body and how we combat them. 

Stem cells also offer the potential to assist with testing new drugs before going to market. Stem cells offer a great way for researchers to see the effects of a new medicine before it’s used on humans. This can help improve the safety of drug testing as well as provide greater insight into stem cells and their function. 

With so many uses for stem cells and the incredible amount of information they can provide to us, this has become a hot topic in the world of medicine. Doctors and researchers are constantly discovering new uses and benefits of stem cells and stem cell therapy. 

Who Should Get Stem Cell Therapy?

Because stem cell therapy has a powerful effect on the body, it’s typically used for conditions that aren’t responding well to other treatments. Or, it can be used to help rebuild damaged tissue or work as an anti-inflammatory.

Doctors tend to consider patients for stem cell therapy if they meet any of the following conditions: 

  • Their current treatment has stopped working
  • They aren’t showing results from their current treatment
  • Their body cannot withstand the recommended treatment
  • They don’t want to undergo surgery
  • They have tried other treatments that haven’t worked

Anyone who fits into this category may find that using a stem cell therapy can help improve their symptoms. And, the field of regenerative medicine is constantly growing and uncovering new uses for stem cell therapy.

How Does Stem Cell Therapy Work?

Receiving stem cell therapy is fairly straightforward. There are several different ways of administering stem cells to ensure that they are delivered to the patient in a way that will help them. 

One of the most common ways to administer stem cell therapy is through injection. In these cases, the stem cells are injected into a joint. Or, they can be applied after surgery to repair and treat knee pain or other joint injuries.

Another common method of administering stem cells can be through an intravenous treatment, or IV. This type of therapy can be used for overall wellness.  Please ask your doctor if this type of therapy could help you.

During stem cell treatments, doctors will often use ultrasound guidance to ensure the correct placement of the stem cells. This way they can more accurately administer the cells and help improve patient outcomes.

As you speak with your doctor about stem cell therapy, you’ll be advised on the best method to use for your particular needs. Each patient is different, which is why it’s so important to consult with your doctor before you make a decision. 

Is Stem Cell Therapy Safe?

As with any kind of medicine, there are always a few risks to be aware of.  However, stem cell treatment is generally considered extremely safe.  This is especially true when using stem cells from the sources mentioned above.  By using adult stem cells, doctors avoid negative reactions and limit side effects to minor pain from the needle poke.  

The reason these types of treatments are so safe is that the body won’t reject the cells because either they come directly from the patient, or the cells have no immune system of their own.  Perinatal tissue operates under the same principle by which a surrogate mother gives birth to a child which is not her own.  Stem cells from perinatal tissue can be given to anyone without the need for blood or genetic matching.  

Where stem cell therapy gets a little more complicated is when stem cells other than adult cells are used.  These types of treatments are not allowed by the FDA but can be found in other countries.  A few examples that carry a higher risk in stem cell therapy include:

  • Using a mixture of stem cells and other chemicals
  • Using stem cells that were grown in a lab
  • Using embryonic stem cells


Final Thoughts on Stem Cell Therapy for Joint Pain

Stem cell therapy offers huge potential for people who are suffering from chronic pain or from joint troubles. It offers promising potential to use noninvasive and regenerative therapy to target problematic areas in the body. 

If you’re considering getting stem cell therapy, you’re in the right place. The Stem Cell Institute of Hawaii provides the islands with stem cell therapy that can serve a number of different patients. Reach out to our team today and we’ll help you identify whether stem cell therapy might be the right option for you. 

Stem Cells for Knee Pain: Everything You Need to Know

stem cells for knee pain

In America, more than 15 million people suffer from joint pain related to arthritis. Over 50 percent of those people deal with pain on a regular basis, especially on weight-bearing joints such as the knees.

In the United States idea of using stem cells for knee pain is recent. This form of regenerative medicine is effective at addressing both short and long-term pain. It also carries the possibility of eliminating knee pain altogether. Are you interested in learning more about stem cell therapy and how it can work for you? Keep reading to find out. 

What Is Stem Cell Therapy and How Does it Work?

We all have stem cells in our bodies.  They are responsible for tissue growth and repair.  In our youth our stem cells are abundant and very active, however as we reach maturity, they significantly decrease in quantity and activity.  The older we are, the less stem cells we have.  This is why as we age we start to notice aches and pains we didn’t feel when we were younger.  When there are not enough stem cells to respond to the damage or wear and tear we have sustained, tissue degeneration occurs.

Stem cell therapy is a minimally invasive procedure where stem cells are injected into a joint or other area of the body.  Stem cells can sense inflammation and will begin to recruit the other cells in your body to begin working on the regeneration of new tissue.

Using Stem Cells for Knee Pain

Stem cell therapy is one of the many services people with joint conditions can use to aid with the regeneration of new cartilage in the knees while addressing pain. Stem cell therapy has the ability to repair organs and nerves in the body. People with acute knee injuries, like runners and hikers, can benefit from stem cells for pain as well.

In regards to knee pain therapy, it can decrease inflammation and delay or eliminate the need for knee replacement therapy. This is because it can maintain the original position of the ligaments and restore the function and motion in the area. 

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are the primary types of stem cells doctors use to treat knee pain. Stem cells go to work to rebuild damaged cartilage and the surrounding area. MSCs, in particular, have the ability to reduce scarring, inflammation, and strengthen the immune system. 

Doctors may also use platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy in conjunction with stem cell therapy to boost its positive effects. PRP can be an effective booster after stem cell therapy because the plasma is a rich source of growth factors which are essential to the regeneration of new tissue.

Does Stem Cell Therapy Work? What Are the Side Effects?

Stem cell therapy for knee pain works for those dealing with acute or chronic joint conditions. The procedure is quick and you can return to your normal activities within a day or two. For some people, clinicians will recommend you take stem cell injections over a course of time in order to get the best results.  

There is no such thing as any treatment being 100 percent effective for everyone. However, many of those who do opt for stem cell therapy notice a difference. There are many studies that find it does indeed improve joint function.

Patients also view it as an effective alternative to other, more invasive options. Follow-up MRI tests prove that stem cell therapy is able to restore and rebuild cartilage. Bone-on-bone friction is reduced as the subchondral bone recovers. Patients can notice positive changes within a few months following therapy. 

Potential Side Effects 

Still, it is important to understand the side effects and risks so you can be fully informed and decide whether or not stem cell therapy is for you. The procedure is non-invasive so side-effects are minimal.

There is a chance you may experience swelling, tenderness, and pain around the site. Another less common side effect is stiffness at the injection site. This is often transient and resolves on its own in a few days. 

Looking Into Stem Cells for Treatment 

There are many conditions stem cell therapy can treat when you are dealing with joint conditions. Using stem cells for knee pain, cartilage degeneration and acute issues such as a torn MCL or ACL can be a great alternative compared to other options that are more invasive. 

If you are suffering from debilitating pain, whether acute or chronic, book an appointment with us to work with a trained provider who can help you determine if stem cell therapy is right for you.

They will evaluate your injury to build the best treatment recommendation. It is possible to address knee pain without having to consider knee replacement. 

Stem Cells Offering Hope for Sufferers of Arthritis in Hands, Knees

stem cells

There’s still a good amount of controversy surrounding the topic of stem cell research and usage. However, despite these ethical issues, stem cells do show fantastic promise as a potential treatment for several conditions, including arthritis.

However, before you can safely invest in stem cell therapies, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the concept of stem cells. It’s also essential to educate yourself on their benefits and potential risks.

Without further ado, let’s explore stem cells to discover how stem cell treatments might help lessen pain associated with arthritis in the hands and knees.

What Are Stem Cells?

While you’ve likely heard of stem cells, you may not be aware that there are two primary types of stem cells.  Embryonic stem cells (also called fetal cells) tend to be more controversial than adult stem cells, which is why they’re not used in the US.

As such, we’ll focus on adult stem cells.  These can be found in perinatal tissue, such as the placenta or umbilicord from live healthy births, or in our own bone marrow, blood, or adipose tissue.

In a way, stem cells are carte blanche cells. Embryonic stem cells are known to be able to morph into any human cell, and adult stem cells aren’t far behind. For this reason, stem cells are often used to help treat degenerative diseases, like arthritis.

Stem cells are also used being used to treat otherwise untreatable conditions, including Parkinson’s Disease. Still, treatment options do vary from clinic to clinic, which is why it’s crucial to spend a little time researching your treatment options.

Perinatal Stem Cells

When a woman gives birth, she delivers a child and a placenta. The placenta is often attached to the infant via an umbilical cord. While these types of tissues are crucial to a child’s early development and gestation, they’re not needed after birthing.

As such, most hospitals simply toss amniotic remnants into the biological waste bin. However, placentas and umbilical cords are chock-full of perinatal stem cells. These special cells are classified as progenitor stem cells.  Even though they have matured to the point where they are considered adult cells, they have not yet differentiated and can still become various types of tissue.

What Are Stem Cell Treatments?

Typical stem cell treatments include injections. However, injection sites are bound to vary among patients. That’s because stem cells are injected into the joint, or tissue that requires regenerative help.

Those with painful chronic arthritis in their knees or hands may receive stem cell injections directly into their joints. This process can be painful depending on the amount of inflammation in the joint, but the pain typically wears off after a few minutes.  It may take a few months before the benefits of stem cell therapy are noticed by the patient as it takes time for the new tissue to generate.  Stem cell therapy is not a quick fix solution, but it has many advantages over surgery.

For many patients one stem cell injection can provide lasting relief for years provided the patient does not reinjure the area or do anything to cause further damage.  

Potential Benefits of Stem Cell Treatments

Stem cell treatments, or stem cell therapies, pose several potential benefits. While we’ve touched on the regenerative qualities of stem cells, we haven’t truly focused on their outright benefits.

This is because stem cells are still a novel treatment method. Research is ongoing, so the potential benefits of stem cell therapies will likely increase as time goes on. 

Still, some of the benefits that are most often reported include:

  • Lessened pain in joints
  • Regeneration of neurons
  • Increased natural insulin production
  • Tissue and organ regeneration

In general, stem cells are powerful tools that may help treat a wide variety of illnesses and diseases. That’s because adult stem cells can transform themselves into almost any human cell. Stem cell therapies are often used to treat:

  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Hemophilia

As stated above, clinical research is still being conducted. As such, stem cell treatments may also be used to help treat organ damage, premature aging, and other types of physical illness and deterioration.

For now, stem cells seem to be most helpful for those suffering from blood-related disorders or conditions stemming from aging. Still, the federal government and its related agencies are on the fence when it comes to stem cell usage.

Stem Cell Treatment Safety Risks

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has listed some potential safety risks that could affect patients who attempt stem cell therapies or injections. Some of the most commonly reported side effects of stem cell treatments include:

  • Skin irritation or redness near the injection site
  • Inappropriate stem cell travel

Some treatments may also fail to produce any kind of noticeable effect, which can be disappointing. Considering the relative cost of stem cell injections, it can be emotionally and financially debilitating to experience an ineffective treatment.

Fortunately, consulting with a reputable organization or medical provider can help reduce the chance of experiencing unwanted stem cell treatment side effects.

Learn More About Stem Cell Injections

As we age, our natural cartilage and joint fluid levels decrease and wear away. Eating a nutritious diet, getting plenty of rest, and exercising each day could help you prevent several conditions, including debilitating arthritis.

The subject of stem cells is still somewhat contentious. But stem cell treatments are quickly becoming more accessible and accepted. Individuals with chronic arthritis in their hands or knees may benefit from stem cell injections.

If you’re eager to learn more about stem cell therapy, be sure to reach out and contact us today!

This Is How Stem Cells Are Turning Back the Clock on Sports Injuries

sports injuries

Do you ever wonder how world-renowned athletes such as Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, and Peyton Manning kept their careers going for so long? Did they do it just by eating healthy, working out, and getting plenty of rest?

These professional athletes owe much of their success to following a champion’s routine. But they also benefitted from a multibillion-dollar industry that’s set to exceed $50 billion by 2024. If you’re thinking of the traditional sports industry, think again.  

Stem cell treatments have helped sports titans overcome sports injuries and go on to lead fulfilling careers. Now, you no longer have to stand on top of the sports world to access these new treatments.  

Whether you’re looking to feel better on the tennis court or stay solid on the golf course, stem cells can help you keep your active lifestyle.  

You may have accumulated injuries over the years, but this doesn’t mean you have to give up the things you love to do. If you’re determined to live a life in motion, then read on to see how stem cell treatments can get you back in the game. 

What Are Stem Cells? 

Before cells fully develop into specialized cells, such as bone or skin cells, they remain in a state where they can become anything. Cells in this early stage of development are called stem cells.

Unlike mature cells, stem cells don’t have a specific purpose and offer a great degree of flexibility. They have the potential to grow into different types of cells, and they also have the power to generate new stem cells on their own.

Stem cells are most prominent during the early stages of pregnancy when an embryo is still growing inside the mother’s womb. Embryonic stem cells can develop into any cell, allowing human embryos to adapt and mature.   

As your body develops and your cells become more specialized, a few adult stem cells stick around. While they are unable to become any type of cell, adult stem cells can still regenerate and develop into closely related types of cells.

However, stem cells that are found in the placenta and umbilical cords from live healthy births are full of adult stem cells that have not yet differentiated.  They can become any type of tissue and are found in great abundance in this perinatal tissue.  

As a result, stem cells offer hope for treating many injuries and the promise of a better life for those suffering from health issues. 

Stem Cell Treatment for Sports Injuries

If you’re suffering from a sports-related injury, then you might want to consider a stem cell treatment.

You may hesitate to think of stem cells as a possible health treatment. But the field of regenerative medicine is far from unexplored terrain. Consider these health benefits as you continue to learn about the possibilities that stem cells offer. 

Joint Pain

Intense physical activity and natural wear and tear can harm your tendons, cartilage, ligaments, and muscles. Each type of joint pain stem cells treat can be found all over the body, which makes stem cells the perfect solution.   

The versatility of stem cells allows them to tackle almost any kind of joint pain. Whether you’re suffering from shoulder arthritis, tennis elbow, or runner’s knee, stem cells can help your body recover.

Knee Pain 

While stem cells can be used to treat different types of joint pain, they have shown promising results when addressing knee pain. 

A condition known as osteoarthritis can develop when your knee cartilage wears away over time. Once the cartilage disappears, your knee joints rub against each other, causing severe pain. 

Due to their regenerative powers, stem cells serve as the perfect knee pain treatment by restoring lost cartilage. They have also displayed a positive effect on targeted areas after initial contact, hinting at improved health over time.

The Treatment Process

So how does this work? You may imagine complicated surgeries or risky maneuvers. In reality, you’ll be surprised to find that stem cell treatments are quite the opposite.

Where Do Stem Cells Come From?

While many stem cell providers have a history of harvesting stem cells from the patient’s bone marrow or adipose tissue, they are beginning to see the obvious benefit of using stem cells from perinatal tissue from umbilical and placental tissue.  Stem cells from perinatal tissue have no immune system and can therefore be given to anyone with no need for genetic matching and no fear of rejection.  As a result more and more doctors are using perinatal stem cells to treat injuries and arthritis.

How Do You Apply Stem Cells?

There are different methods that doctors can choose from to place stem cells in a specific area of your body. While surgical and suture options do exist, stem cell injections are the easiest way to go.

Doctors locate the area that they want to place the stem cells, then they inject the stem cells through a non-invasive method. Quick. Painless. Simple.  

The Stem Cell Effect

Stem cells not only treat damage, but their regenerative nature rubs off on the area they enter. While it may take some time for stem cells to work their magic, patients can begin to feel relief in as soon as a few weeks after a stem cell treatment. 

Because stem cells go to work on improving your body, you don’t have to worry about constant pain medications, treatments, and surgeries. Stem cells stay busy long after they enter your body, making treatment a process rather than a single event. 

Stem cells are starting to generate buzz in the medical world, and it’s no surprise why. There are many reasons to get excited about stem cell treatments as you continue to explore the world of regenerative medicine. 

Get Back in the Game

Stem cells don’t act as a bandaid that covers up sports injuries. They pinpoint sources of pain and transform them into sources of progress. They don’t just turn back the clock. They breathe new life into your body.

Give your body the treatment it deserves, and you can have the life you deserve. A life filled with experiences and fun. A life lived in motion. 

If you’re ready to get back in the game, feel free to check out our research to learn about the ways stem cells can help your body grow with you.  

7 Questions to Ask Before Considering Stem Cell Injections

stem cell injections

Do you find yourself struggling with joint pain? If so, you’re definitely not alone.

In fact, joint pain is one of the leading causes of physical discomfort for millions of people around the world. Fortunately, over the last few years, science has made some incredible breakthroughs in the area of pain relief.

One of these breakthroughs involves stem cell treatments. If you’re not familiar with the benefits of stem cell injections, you’ve come to the right place for answers.

This article takes a look at the most important questions you should ask before receiving this type of treatment. Keep reading to discover insight into how to make sure stem cells are the right avenue of treatment for your pain.

1. What is Your Medical Specialization?

Believe it or not, most physicians have a specialty. That’s right, doctors aren’t created equal. This is actually great because focusing on a specific area of medicine enables a physician to become incredibly knowledgeable in that particular field.

That’s why it’s so important to find a physician with extensive training in fields such as guided injections, including fluoroscopy or ultrasound.

Look for board-certified physicians who specialize in interventional pain treatment, sports medicine, physical medicine, and are trained to perform injection-based treatment for joint pain.

2. What is Your Method for Harvesting Stem Cells?

Another important consideration is how the physician harvests the stem cells they intend to use for the injections.

After all, harvesting stem cells is a crucial step in the process. Also, keep in mind that the technique used in harvesting will differ based on the source of the stem cells.

The harvesting process requires a great deal of experience. Otherwise, there can be a significant risk of the blood aspirating without stem cells. And if they harvest from only one site, there’s a possibility of a low yield of the targeted cells.

3. How Do You Track Outcome Data?

It’s important to understand that no one can guarantee a success rate of 100 percent. Because of this, you should inquire about the method the physician uses to collect and report data regarding their treatment outcomes.

Be very specific in asking about their success rate and where those results can be found. This data should include reporting on pre and post-op pain, as well as any complications that patients might have experienced.

Make sure that the information includes both positive and negative outcomes. After all, not every procedure will be successful. The reported results should be indexed in a registry, enabling physicians and potential patients to review the data, and for the medical community to be able to study the results in order to make improvements.

The more data they are able to collect and report, the better. This will help both patients and the medical community remain as informed as possible.

4. How Many Procedures Have You Performed?

When it comes to stem cells, the surgeon’s experience is a significant factor. That’s why you need to find a physician with plenty of experience with treatments.

This is another reason why reporting is so important. After all, you need to be able to see their track record and study their success rate.

For stem cell surgical procedures, a surgeon generally won’t consider themselves an expert until they’ve completed a specific procedure at least two hundred times.

This information is crucial so that you can gauge whether or not they are the right physician to perform your stem cell injection.

5. How Do You Count the Stem Cells Being Injected?

Dosing is one of the most important aspects of effectively practicing medicine. This is especially true when it comes to harvesting and injecting stem cells. After all, proper treatment requires highly-controlled dosing methods.

Prior to injecting stem cells into a patient, the cells must be processed to remove less useful cells. Clinics typically use small centrifuges in order to isolate which cell stem cell concentrations are of lower quality.

Be sure to ask your healthcare provider which method of isolation, concentration, and cell count they typically utilize for the processing of stem cells before treating patients.

The clinic should be able to provide detailed information so that you have a full understanding of what to expect prior to treatment.

6. What is Your Method for Ensuring Correct Stem Cell Placement?

Even though stem cells have the ability to migrate to the source of inflammation in the body,  your practicioner needs to have plenty of experience with these types of injections in order to ensure the best possible outcome for the patient.

There are a couple of different ways stem cells can be injected.  Experienced physicians can effectively perform what are called blind injections.  With this method the physician evaluates the joint, locates the correct point, and injects the stem cells.  Blind injections are used in over half of all stem cell clinics.  The second method is to employ image guidance technology using either flouroscopy or ultrasound.  This method allows the practitioner to view the needle going into the joint space and can provide a greater measure of accuracy as well as reasurrance for the patient.

Be sure to ask your physician what method they use for injections before moving forward with the procedure.

7. How Will You Determine if Stem Cell Treatments are Right for Me?

Keep in mind that stem cell treatments aren’t for everyone. The simple truth is that one size doesn’t fit all. Thus not every patient with an interest in this type of procedure will make a good candidate.

The key is to talk with your physician about the possible benefits of using stem cells to treat your condition following a complete medical evaluation.

A Guide to the Questions You Should Ask Before Committing to Stem Cell Injections

There’s nothing fun about living with joint pain. Fortunately, stem cell injections provide a solution that can offer much-needed relief for people living with this type of chronic discomfort.

Please feel free to contact us for more information about our stem cell treatments.

Guide to Stem Cells: What They Are and What They Do

where do stem cells come from

People have been debating stem cells and their use for years. But now, amid COVID, the debate is at a fever pitch.

Large scale trials using stem cell therapy to treat COVID complications have people wondering what stem cells are and how they’re used to treat disease. Even though the debate continues, the average person doesn’t know what stem cells are.

So, where do stem cells come from? Read on to learn the basics.

Where Do Stem Cells Come From?

Stem cell therapy has many uses. Scientists use stem cells to lay the groundwork for scientific breakthroughs and effective treatment methods. The wide range of applications makes stem cell research an essential tool for the worldwide scientific community.

But where do stem cells come from? The answer to that question depends on the type of stem cell you’re examining. The two main types of stem cells are adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells.

Scientists extract adult stem cells from living humans. Embryonic stem cells, however, come from human embryos. Adult stem cells are approved for stem cell treatments and have a wide range of benefits. Embryonic stem cells are much more controversial and are not approved for treatment in the US

What Are Adult Stem Cells?

Stem cells exist everywhere in the human body and are the building blocks of our organic tissue. Initially, scientists deemed adult stem cells inferior to embryonic stem cells because they thought embryonic cells were more versatile.

But that’s not true.

Even though adult stem cells can’t morph into all 200 human cell types, evidence suggests they are much more versatile than scientists believed. Adult stem cells can also repair cells through mechanisms embryonic cells can’t.

“Adult” is not an entirely accurate descriptor for adult stem cells since they can come from children. The term’s primary purpose is to distinguish adult stem cells from embryonic cells.

IPS Cells

Since adult stem cells have limitations, scientists created a reprogramming method. This reprogramming method turns adult stem cells into IPS cells. IPS stands for induced pluripotent stem cells.

These reprogrammed cells carry the potential to blend the uses of adult and embryonic stem cells.

Perinatal Stem Cells

Perinatal stem cells are the most underutilized and useful stem cells, and their benefits could significantly advance the field. Perinatal stem cells are unique because they possess both adult and embryonic stem cell benefits without their drawbacks.

Despite their numerous benefits, they are still classified as biological waste and discarded after the mother gives birth. Perinatal stem cell therapies range from inherited disease treatments to stroke treatments. Because of their benefits and limited drawbacks, the scientific community sees perinatal stem cells as the future of stem cell therapy.

What Can Stem Cells Treat?

Stem cell treatments grow every year, and stem cell treatments are the foundation of regenerative medicine. Regenerative treatment methods use stem cells to replace diseased cells.

Stem cells can also travel through the bloodstream and use signaling methods to other cells. For example, mesenchymal stem cells exert anti-inflammatory and anti-scarring signals that can impact the immune system.

Some examples that stem cell regeneration therapy might help are Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, cancer, and stroke victims. Stem cell transplant therapies can treat diabetes, spinal cord injuries, and osteoarthritis.

But another important potential use for stem cells is its potential to treat COVID-19. Stem cell therapy may be able to regenerate patients damaged lungs after COVID-19, and it might have useful immune system benefits.

Stem Cells and Nerve Repair

Injuries to the peripheral nervous system, unlike the central nervous system, have the potential to benefit from stem cell therapy. Studies show that stem cells can be used as an alternative to surgery in some cases.

Whether or not stem cell therapy can repair peripheral nerve damage depends on the severity of the injury as well as other factors, but the data is encouraging nonetheless. Stem cell transplantation provides essential support to the existing cells.

Anti-Aging Stem Cell Therapy

As previously mentioned, stem cells carry regenerative qualities. These regenerative qualities aren’t limited to the nerve system or organs. Stem cells can also slow the aging process. Reported anti-aging benefits from stem cell therapy include increased energy, wrinkle reduction, reduced joint pain, and boosted immunity.

The other benefit of anti-aging stem cell therapy is the lack of side effects and dangers. With no chemicals and a non-invasive treatment method, anti-aging stem cell therapy could be the best way to introduce the public to stem cell therapy’s numerous benefits.

Testing New Drugs Using Stem Cells 

In addition to the long list of therapies, researchers plan to use stem cells for new drugs. Scientists can use stem cells to test experimental drugs. For example, if a company wants to test an experimental immunotherapy drug, it can study the effects on stem cells before going to human trials.

By harvesting stem cells from the heart, lungs, or any other area of the body, scientists can study how cells respond in different environments and to various substances.

Stem Cell Therapy Survival Rate

As the science of stem cell therapy advances, the survival rate rises. A Journal of Clinical Oncology study showed a steady increase in survival rate over twelve years.

One hundred days after stem cell transplant, the scientists saw a spike in the survival of patients with myeloid leukemia. The study was a landmark breakthrough that shows the potential of stem cell therapy.

An Evolving Field

Stem cell therapy’s benefits are too many to ignore. Now that you have a better answer to the question, “where do stem cells come from,” you understand the full range of medical issues they can solve.

Understanding the basics of human stem cells is just the beginning. To fully understand stem cell therapy, it’s wise to continue searching for information.

At the Stem Cell Institute of Hawaii, we can answer all your questions regarding stem cell research and therapy. Click here to learn more about what we provide!

The Impact of Stem Cell Therapy For Osteoarthritis

If you’re dealing with arthritis, your diagnosis may seem hopeless. Osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative disease caused by the breakdown of cartilage over the ends of your bones, resulting in pain, decreased range of motion, and stiffness. But what if we told it may be possible to grow that cartilage back?

While it may not be for everyone, stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis is a promising treatment option. To some, the approach may seem relatively new, but some studies have shown that it may be possible to reverse the effects of osteoarthritis. Read on to learn more about this therapy and how it can help you with your arthritis.

What Is Stem Cell Therapy?

Stem cells are sometimes refered to as the body’s master cells.  They are simply cells that can become the different types of tissue our bodies need as we grow and can help repair damaged tissue when we are injured.  These cells can form into many different types of cells: stomach, hair, liver, and even bone, etc.  Because of this ability, they have enormous potential to treat degenerative conditions in instances where our bodies can’t regrow those cells fast enough to keep up with the degenerative effects of aging or injury.

In the past stem cell therapy was negatively associated with the destruction of embryos or even abortion.  But these days, stem cells can be harvested from the perinatal tissue that would normally be discarded from healthy births.  In this process, the mother is rigorously screened for disease and lifestyle history, and once collected, the tissue is also screened for disease.  All donations are completely consensual, and neither the mother nor baby are harmed during the collection of this rich source of regenerative tissue.

Osteoarthritis Symptoms and Current Treatments

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and it affects the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones. Over time, this wears down, causing the bones to grind together. This condition can be painful, cause swelling, and limit mobility.

Until now, there have been ways to mitigate the symptoms of arthritis, but no way to reverse the damage.  Physical therapy can provide relief to a point, and some may elect to receive cortisone or lubrication injections to ease the pain.  The last option for many people with advanced osteoarthritis is a joint replacement surgery.

How Stem Cells Can Help

With stem cell therapy, we may be able to reverse osteoarthritis and help avoid joint replacements.  Because stem cells have the ability to become many types of tissue, they can develop into cartilage cells. This can help provide relief from pain and inflammation and reverse the damage from osteoarthritis.

According to one study, patients who received stem cell treatments for arthritis in their knees reported they were still in better shape five years after the study than before their treatments.  For a degenerative disease that has previously had no cure, this is an enormous step.

What to Expect During Treatment

One great benefit of stem cell injections for osteoarthritis is the treatments are noninvasive. Most can be managed with a simple injection into the affected joint. In some cases they may also be administered through an IV.

After a preliminary examination, the doctor may use ultrasound to evaluate the joint and after sterilizing the area may use the ultrasound to guide the needle into the correct location. Treatments are usually peformed in less than an hour and sometimes can be performed in as little as fifteen minutes.


Stem cell therapy, while promising, is not cheap.  Because it falls outside the traditional “prescription to surgery” model of treatment, many insurance companies do not cover it yet. But as the effectiveness of stem cell therapy gains more attention, that will change, so it may be worth checking with your insurance company just in case.

Stem cell therapy treatments for knee arthritis can run between $3,000 and $8,000 per knee. This may depend on where you live.  It may be more expensive in some areas of the country, so talk to your doctor about how much you can expect to pay for this treatment.

Side Effects

Because stem cell therapy is so noninvasive, the side effects are limited. The most common complaint after a stem cell therapy injection is pain at the injection site. You may also experience a little swelling or some stiffness in the joint for a day or two after.

Because perinatal stem cells are immune privileged, they can be given to anyone without risk of rejection.  If the pain and swelling persists, you may need to consult your provider.  With any injection, there is a small risk of infection at the injection site.


If you’re receiving stem cell therapy, be sure you’re working through a clinic or medical provider who has experience in these therapies.  Medical providers who have experience in orthopedics or intra-articular injections may be most qualified to peform your treatments.

Learn More About Stem Cell Therapy for Osteoarthritis

While it may not be for everyone, stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis is one of the most promising treatment options available today. Stem cells can help regrow lost cartilage and reverse the damage and pain associated with arthritis.

If you’d like to learn more about stem cell therapy for arthritis, or find out if you might be a good candidate for this type of therapy, come see us at the Stem Cell Institute of Hawaii. We address joint pain, osteoarthritis, and injuries with cutting-edge, regenerative treatments. Book an appointment today and get your questions about stem cell therapy treatment answered.