Regenerative medicine is one of the most exciting developments to come out of the medical and wellness industries in decades. The media is filled with stories of top athletes using their own blood and stem cells to regrow injured tissues so they can salvage their careers and maintain their status as sports superstars.
But regenerative medicine is a young field, and not everyone who’s currently offering the service actually has expertise in the area. You may have read those stories, too, and are reluctant to move forward with regenerative medicine.
And yet, you suffer from chronic pain, or have an acute injury that’s just not healing fast enough. You’re looking for lasting relief that doesn’t require surgery or drugs.
At Nuvation Pain Group in Buena Park and Downtown Los Angeles, California, Phillip Lim, DO, MPH, has extensive experience using regenerative medicine, including cutting-edge exosome therapy, to heal injuries and alleviate pain in veterans, athletes, and women and men of all ages. Here, he breaks down some of the most important aspects of how regenerative medicine can be used to stop pain and regrow damaged tissues.
What is regenerative tissue and cell therapy?
Each of your body’s organs, tissues, and liquids is made of differentiated, or specialized, types of cells. Your heart is composed of heart cells, muscles are made of muscle cells, blood is composed of a variety of blood cells, etc.
Stem cells, in contrast, are often referred to as “blank” cells because they haven’t differentiated into any other type of cell. Unlike a skin cell, which is always a skin cell, they have the potential to turn into many different types of cells. That’s why stem cells are often referred to as pluripotent (i.e., multiple potential) cells.
Stem cells come in two basic types: hematopoietic stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells. Each can replicate themselves many times over, but each has a different set of potentials:
Hematopoietic stem cells
Hematopoietic cells have the potential to turn into any kind of blood cell, including platelets.
Mesenchymal stem cells
Mesenchymal cells (MSCs) can differentiate into a wide variety of cells, including nerves, muscles, cartilage, organs, and bone.
Stem cells also carry something called exosomes, which they use to communicate with other cells. The exosomes are basically packets of information, which one cell can transfer to another. At Nuvation Pain Group, we use the exosomes from MSCs for some of our regenerative medicine therapies.
What do MSC exosomes do?
When Dr. Lim injects exosomes from your MSCs or from healthy young cells into an injured area, they stimulate healing in nearby cells by transferring their information to that cell. You can use MSC exosomes to improve:
- Neck and back pain
- Other joint pain
- Degenerative disc disease
- Sprains and strains
- Pinched nerves
Many other types of pain and injuries also respond to exosomes.
Where MSC exosomes come from
Even though stem cells are most plentiful in babies, as an adult you still have plenty of stem cells in your body. Most adult stem cells are located in your fatty tissue and in bone marrow. At Nuvation Pain Group, we offer a number of cell therapies, including:
- Bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) — taken from your hip bone marrow in a simple procedure
- Adipose tissue derived MSCs — taken from an area of excess fat, such as your abdomen
- Amnio pluripotent cells — from donated amniotic fluid after a healthy delivery
- Wharton’s jelly cells — from donated umbilical cord after a healthy delivery
Dr. Lim advises which type of therapy is best for you based on the type of injuries or pain you have. If you’re donating bone marrow or fat for your therapy, Dr. Lim places the sample in a special centrifuge, where the MSCs are separated out and purified.
He injects the exosomes directly into your injured tissue, using fluoroscopy or ultrasound guidance to ensure the correct placement of the needle. This extra step, which many practices don’t take, optimizes the outcome of your stem cell therapy.
MSCs exosomes speed up healing
The MSC exosomes work with your body’s own healing mechanisms. These therapies can:
- Reduce inflammation
- Repair torn tendons and muscles
- Mend hairline fractures
- Regenerate cartilage
- Repair damaged cells
- Increase vasculature and circulation
- Subdue pain signals
To find out if your chronic pain or injury would respond to the healing powers of regenerative medicine, don’t just trust anybody. Come to a clinic that stays up-to-date with cutting-edge information and data on regenerative medicine. Contact us today by phone or online form.