It’s easy to think of regenerative medicine as a new and exciting field. There’s no doubt of the excitement about the new range of treatment possibilities emerging from research; but with the 60-year history of bone marrow transplants, the idea of regenerative medicine is already in practice.
The concept behind the principle is that, by aiding the body’s natural healing abilities, medical science can better treat symptoms and causes of conditions that, currently, can’t be cured or improved. Controversy and misconception surround the use of stem cells as a regenerative medicine technique, but this is largely old news that persists. Our understanding of the role and function of stem cells continues to grow, unlocking new potential for treatment and healing.
Understanding stem cells
Essentially, stem cells are the building blocks of healing. Scientifically referred to as undifferentiated cells, these astonishing cells can morph into differentiated cells. That is, on their own, they have no function, but once triggered by the body, they turn into the tissue the body needs for its current repair needs. If this gives you the impression of a piece of clay that can be formed into whatever shape you imagine, you’ve got the idea.
There are different types of stem cells as well as a variety of sources for them. There’s still much we don’t know about stem cells and how they function. However, stem cell therapy has little risk with a high potential for results that aren’t available through other treatment methods, making it an excellent complementary treatment for many conditions.
Types of stem cells
All stem cells share two abilities. First, they can make copies of themselves, and second, they can change into other types of cells. However, not all stem cells have the same conversion ability. Some cells can change into any type of cell your body needs. These are called pluripotent stem cells.
There are also more specialized cells called tissue-specific, or somatic, stem cells. An excellent example of those are bone marrow stem cells, which can generate a variety of components in your blood, such as red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
Stem cell sources
Harvesting stem cells is possible from several sources, including your own body, which are tissue-specific cells. Perhaps the best source of pluripotent cells available today are those derived from umbilical cord blood.
These are the most versatile stem cells and cord blood carries a very high concentration of stem cells, compared with other sources. There’s now a system in place to ethically collect and market stem cells sourced from cord blood.
The advantage of cord blood stem cells
The key benefit of cord blood stem cells is the concentration factor. Remember that your body depends on the resources provided by stem cells to perform its natural healing functions. The theory behind stem cell therapy is that the greater the available stem cell supply, the faster your body can work its magic.
Dr. Small chooses cord blood stem cells to treat his patients suffering from:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Back pain
- Hip and knee pain
- Neck pain
- Parkinson’s disease
- Shoulder pain
- Spinal cord injuries
- Sports injuries
To learn more about stem cell therapy and its suitability for your treatment, call or click to schedule a consultation with Dr. Small. There’s a good chance that stem cells can help you.