Over 15 million Americans are suffering from severe joint pain, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the numbers are rising every year. The main culprit: arthritis. Severe joint pain was reported in one of every four people surveyed who suffered from arthritis. This joint pain can be so debilitating for some that working becomes impossible, and simple tasks such as walking or picking up lightweight items can be extremely painful.
Dr. Ahvie Herskowitz, founder of San Francisco Stem Cell Treatment Center and Antara Medicine, believes stem cell therapy could be the key to relieving joint pain through regenerative medicine.
“The anti-inflammatory and healing effects of mesenchymal stem cells and growth factors make them an ideal alternative treatment option for patients suffering from joint pain,” he said. “These cells can differentiate into bone, cartilage, muscle tendon and even ligament tissue, which is why their use in damaged joints holds great promise for healing.”
Through his practice, Herskowitz offers stem cell therapy as a non-surgical option for patients with joint pain, degenerative diseases, cardio-pulmonary and ischemic conditions, neurological disorders, autoimmune conditions, and a variety of other chronic health concerns and diseases.
When it comes to joint pain, determining the cause can be the first step in finding relief from symptoms.
Arthritis Comes in Different Forms
The most common cause of joint pain in the United States is arthritis. When wear and tear on the joints occurs, often due to age, a patient may be diagnosed with osteoarthritis. If arthritis pain is caused by an autoimmune disease, then the culprit is likely rheumatoid arthritis. A third form of arthritis is called gout. The inflammation in this form of arthritis occurs when there are high levels of uric acid in the blood.
Pain With Aging: Osteoarthritis
When bone begins to rub against bone because of cartilage deterioration, stiffness, pain and a decreased range of motion can occur. At this time there is no known cure for osteoarthritis.
Autoimmune Disorder: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Flares of pain, swollen joints and fatigue can often be a sign of the autoimmune condition rheumatoid arthritis. It occurs when the body mistakenly begins to attack its own joints.
“The chronic inflammation in the joints does damage over time,” said Herskowitz. “We use stem cell therapy with the goal of promoting healing and reversing inflammation directly at the site of the joint pain.”
Uric Acid Buildup: Gout
Gout can cause sudden, intense flares of pain and swelling in the joints when crystals form from the excessive levels of uric acid in the blood. It’s actually often referred to as the most painful form of arthritis. According to the Arthritis Foundation, it’s much less common than the other forms of arthritis and affects about 4 percent of adults in the United States.
As stem cell therapies continue to be studied, more information on exactly how they work to help joint pain sufferers will come to light, according to researchers.