Stem cells have been a hot topic in the scientific community for several decades, but only recently have innovations in regenerative medicine allowed this biological technology to reach its current level of accessibility. It’s never been easier for individuals to experience the advantages of regenerative medicine, and here at Superior Healthcare we are always eager to tell new clients about the incredible services we can provide.
Below we discuss an overview of what this field of medicine encompasses, then delve into how our various regenerative medicine technologies work and how they can enhance your overall health and quality of life for years to come.
What is Regenerative Medicine?
Regenerative medicine is an area of healthcare whose processes aim to “regenerate” the naturally occurring cells, tissues, and vital organs of the human body in order to restore them to a state of optimal functioning. According to the National Institutes of Health, at least one out of every three Americans could benefit from regenerative medicine.
The primary source of biological material in effective regenerative medicine procedures is derived from stem cells, but some treatments may use an alternative organism called a progenitor cell. The primary difference between the two is that stem cells can divide an indefinite number of times, whereas progenitor cells are limited in terms of their reproductive abilities. Both varieties of regenerative cells, however, can be used to stimulate or supplement natural restoration of tissues, organs, and other biological structures in the body. This is because they share a similar and valuable characteristic: the ability to transform into virtually any cell found in the human body.
Stem cells and progenitor cells used in regenerative medicine are typically first cultivated in a laboratory setting. Once primed and tested for safety, they can be inserted into a targeted area of the patient. From here, the cells can be adapted to treat and diminish the symptoms of a number of complicated diseases and conditions, including Type 1 diabetes to neuromuscular degeneration to age-related tissue and muscle degradation.
Stem Cell Therapy
At Superior Healthcare, stem cell therapy is one service offered through our regenerative medicine program. As mentioned, stem cells are pluripotent, meaning they have the ability (or potential) to develop into any number of cell types found in the human body. If an individual has sustained a muscular injury like an ACL tear and needs to regenerate the cells in the ligament, stem cells can assist in that recovery process. Likewise, someone who recently suffered a heart attack may need cardiac tissue repaired, in which case stem cells could be cultivated to satisfy this medical need.
For the purposes of regenerative medicine, stem cells are largely cultivated in controlled and clinical settings, but they are organically sourced from bone marrow, blood, and from umbilical cords of newborns (the collection procedure does not cause the infant any harm). In much the same way that stem cells are necessary in developing organisms and growing bones, their biological mechanisms can be repurposed to create new, healthy tissue in grown individuals.
The medical applications of stem cells are virtually limitless, which makes them ideal for the diverse treatments that wellness clinics like ours provide.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
Platelet-rich plasma therapy involves the extraction of a patient’s unique biological material for the purposes of healing their own body. A patient in need of this regenerative treatment will have blood drawn, and a quantity of platelets will be isolated from this sample. Platelets are an effective tool in regenerative medicine because they are rich in growth factors and anti-inflammatory agents. Once extracted and processed, the platelets are then injected into a targeted site of pain or inflammation in the patient’s body, providing the nutrients and chemicals needed for successful repair and recovery.
PRP therapy can be used to reduce pain in tendons and ligaments, as well as minimize inflammation and pain in compressed or degenerative spinal discs. Inflammatory conditions like arthritis can also be mitigated with the use of platelet-rich plasma therapy.
What are the Advantages of Regenerative Medicine?
Aside from those already mentioned, regenerative medicine affords a wealth of benefits almost as diversified as the pluripotency of stem cells.
For one, all of the products used in regenerative medicine are derived from natural sources or directly from one’s own body, and there is no risk of damage or injury that might be present in a comparable (though less effective) synthetic substance. Additionally, many medical treatments that aim to restore tissues or cells or to minimize pain rely upon invasive procedures and surgeries with extensive recovery periods. By contrast, regenerative medicine is a 100-percent non-invasive method that is much faster to perform, requires little to no recovery time and restores functionality to healthy levels of physiological performance
Perhaps most interestingly, stem cells and regenerative agents like platelets are still being researched for more applications. If we already know that these biological materials can be used to alleviate pain, reduce chronic inflammation, and rebuild the very fabric that comprises the human form, who knows what else there might be discovered in 10 years’ time?
Superior Healthcare provides the community of Metairie with diversified and integrative approaches to wellness and optimized quality of life. To learn more about our regenerative medicine services and alternative treatment options, please contact us today for a no-obligation consultation!