Arthritis affects over 50 million people in the United States, including men, women, and children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is believed to affect 23% of adults living in America.
While arthritis can refer to more than 100 different types of conditions and diseases that affect the joints, some of the most common types include osteo and rheumatoid arthritis. Symptoms from these diseases range in severity and may come and go, in some cases worsening over time.
Stem cell therapy seeks to address common symptoms related to severe forms of arthritis that often result in chronic pain and make it difficult to perform daily activities. Stem cell therapy works by reducing inflammation and regenerating the tissue in affected joints.
What is Osteoarthritis?
To understand arthritis it helps to understand the anatomy of a joint, which is the meeting of two bones. At this junction, the ends of these bones are covered in a cushioned material known as cartilage. This cartilage helps to provide a smooth surface from which the joint can glide, while also acting as a buffer. The joints are surrounded by a watertight tissue known as the joint capsule, which ensures a viscous fluid known as joint fluid remains within the joint space. This fluid again helps to lubricate the joint and to act as a shock absorber.
Osteoarthritis forms when the protective cartilage breaks down either from reduced blood perfusion or damage to the cartilage itself. This degeneration of cartilage is painful and causes the joint to swell, leading to discomfort and reduced mobility of the joint. Over time, bits of cartilage and bone may chip off and float around the joint fluid. This causes an inflammatory process, which can further increase the pain felt in the joint.
As osteoarthritis progresses, bony spurs known as osteophytes develop, which cause the joint space to narrow and reduce joint mobility further. In the end stage of osteoarthritis, the cartilage is completely worn away causing bone to rub against bone.
Osteoarthritis affects up to 31 million Americans, according to the Arthritis Foundation. It can strike at any age but most commonly affects those in later life. While any joint can be affected, it is generally the most mobile and dexterous joints that are impacted, which include the fingers, knees, and back.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis differs slightly to osteoarthritis as it is classed as an autoimmune disorder. It is estimated that just over a million people suffer from this affliction within the United States.
It usually affects younger people, unlike osteoarthritis, with the most common age range being between 30 and 60 years old. Men are also more predisposed to developing this form of arthritis and if you have a close family relative that suffers from it you are more likely to develop the disease.
With rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system attacks the cells within the joint capsule, which make the fluid that lubricates the joint. This causes the joint capsule to thicken, resulting in pain and reduced mobility of the joints.
If this inflammation continues unchecked it can lead to the cartilage becoming damaged, causing a similar outcome to that of osteoarthritis. As rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, the joints affected are usually symmetrical, i.e. both hands or knees.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy is a new and emerging form of medicine called regenerative medicine. This branch of medicine has exciting potential for the treatment of degenerative disorders such as arthritis and offers potential hope for the alleviation and cessation of symptoms associated with the disease.
Stem cells are the body’s building blocks and hold the key to developing into a multitude of different cell lines. Our entire body was formed from this one basic cell that was shaped and molded to become everything from your heart to the hair on your head.
Stem cell therapy seeks to use your cell’s natural capabilities of regenerating tissue, seeking out and decreasing inflammation, and modulating the immune system to help those suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
At Chronic Care of Richmond & Regenerative Medicine, we use human umbilical cord-derived stem cells, specifically, Wharton’s Jelly, that come from FDA approved and monitored tissue banks, as they contain the most potent mesenchymal stem cells available and offer the safest option in stem cell therapy.
To find out if stem cell therapy is right for you, contact us by calling 804-740-7105 or visit our website chroniccareofrichmond.com to fill out our online form. We will be back in touch as soon as possible to discuss how we can help you!
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