Who Is A Good Candidate For Stem Cell Therapy?

One new but promising form of pain management and injury treatment uses adult stem cell to help stimulate tissue repair and growth of new cells. This is especially helpful for soft-tissue injuries, including those to the neck and back. Although the functions of different potential stem cell therapies are still being studied, this type of treatment has the potential to be helpful for a number of different types of patients.

How the procedure works: First, the patient’s own stem cells are harvested for use. Using the patient’s own cells rather than a transplant can help avoid potential complications. This can be done in two different ways. First, stem cells can be taken from the patient’s bone marrow. This is the same process used for bone marrow transplants between two different people. In some cases, cells from fat reserves can also be used.

Once these cells are developed into a solution and induced to form the type of tissue needed, the solution is injected directly into the treatment site. The stem cells then develop into new cells to replace damaged or missing tissue, and help to stimulate repair and growth in the surrounding cells.

Potential effects: Adult stem cells like the ones found in bone marrow are new cells that have the potential to form one of a different number of types of cells. Many of the stem Denver Pain Management Doctorscells found in adults are multipotent, meaning they can form multiple types of cells within the same family (such as nerve or muscle). However, these along with pluripotent bone marrow stem cells can still be induced to grow a wide variety of tissues.

The procedure has a gradual effect, as new tissue eventually grows and damaged tissue either is replaced or repaired. Over the next several months after their procedures, many patients reported significant and lasting pain relief and improved function.

The risk of complications from these procedures is quite low, particularly as no foreign tissue is used, eliminating the potential for rejection. There is some risk of infection at the treatment site.

Conditions it can be used to treat: Among other uses for stem cell therapy, it has been explored as a method for orthopedic healing, including for back injuries. It is currently being tested for a few different types of injuries and pain conditions, including:

Osteoarthritis: Research suggests that stem cells can help to regenerate cartilage that may have degenerated in knees or other joints.

Herniated or degenerated discs and lower back pain: Stem cells are thought to be helpful in repairing damaged spinal discs, which would relieve pressure on the surrounding tissue.

Musculoskeletal injuries: There has been experimentation with different methods for using stem cells to stimulate regeneration to replace scar tissue.

Sciatica/nerve pain: For impinged nerves causing pain, numbness, and other effects, stem cells may help repair damage once the pressure on the nerve has been relieved.

While the use of stem cells in any of these types of treatment is in the early stages and still experimental, for some patients it shows promise as a last resort when surgery and other pain treatments have failed. Pain managements doctors working on clinical trials or other types of studies can discuss whether this might be a good option for you.

What Are The Risks Of Pain Management Medications?

Pain management doctors are responsible for selecting and prescribing the correct medications for their patients. There are a wide range of pain medications available, but many have side effects that can be quite severe. It’s important for doctors to weigh the risks with the benefits before prescribing these to patients.

When problems arise, pain management doctors will revise the system used to manage pain. While this must be done as safely as possible, it is also important that the discomfort is minimal for the patient. It can take some time to find the exact dose and medication type for each patient’s needs.

Over the Counter Drugs

While over the counter (OTC) painkillers are generally considered harmless when taken in Pain Management Doctors Denverthe correct dose, they can actually cause problems. For patients with chronic pain, NSAIDs are a common choice. However, long term use of these drugs can cause kidney damage, as all the drugs are cleared from the blood through the kidneys. Any patient taking NSAIDs for more than six months should be tested twice a year to check for possible kidney damage.

Another issue with these medications is upset stomachs and ulcers. Any patient that has a history of stomach problems will need to be carefully checked before using these pills. Abdominal pain, black feces, dizziness and weakness when standing up can all be symptoms of something going wrong internally.

Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs for pain tend to be much stronger than OTC drugs, but they also carry an increased risk of side effects.

Opioids tend to cause addiction. For short term use, this is not usually a problem, but when the patient is dealing with chronic pain, addiction can be a real concern. These drugs include oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, morphine, codeine, meperidine, hydromorphone and propoxyphene.

When a patient is addicted to the drug, they have a physical need to take it and will experience withdrawal if the medication is stopped.

Reducing Addictions

Patients over 65 or under the age of 26 are at higher risk of developing an addiction, especially if they have a history of drug abuse in the family. Women tend to become addicted more easily to painkillers than their male counterparts.
Pain Management Doctors DenverDoctors will be on the lookout for symptoms of addiction. Someone who is having problems with addiction to painkillers may require more and more of the medication in order for it to work. The patient may be going to several doctors to get multiple prescriptions and then taking extra medication. In these cases, intervention may be necessary and another drug may be used to manage the pain.

Managing pain also means managing the reaction the patient has to the medicine. Doctors and patients have to work together to find a medication or combination of painkillers that can be used to reduce discomfort and addiction symptoms.

All painkillers have the potential to cause harm, but they are very necessary. It is important that patients work with pain management doctors to prevent as many side effects as possible and to keep the patient as comfortable as possible.