Stem Cell Therapy for Osteoarthritis & Rheumatoid Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. This degenerative joint disorder affects mainly the lower back, small joints in the hands, the knees, hips, and neck. Osteoarthritis mainly occurs due to repetitive actions which then cause injury. The injury eats away cartilage which cushions the joints and causes friction to occur between these joints. Osteoarthritis can be painful and could even immobilize the patient.
Rheumatoid arthritis mainly affects the ankles, feet, knees, elbows, shoulders, wrists and fingers. This is an autoimmune inflammatory condition which occurs when the body’s enzymes attack their healthy tissue. These enzymes destroy the synovial membrane which lubricates and protects the joints leading to inflammation, swelling and pain. Joint erosion could also come about if the condition is left untreated.
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are different conditions, but for some reason people keep confusing the two. The causes are different and so are their symptoms. Diagnosis of the conditions is conducted differently and doctors also pursue different treatment options with both conditions. In other words, despite the fact that they affect the joints the conditions have no similarities.
Different Characteristics of Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
One of the major differences of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis is the age that that the conditions start. Osteoarthritis mainly affects the aging while rheumatoid arthritis can begin at any stage in life. Rheumatoid arthritis develops rapidly and patients can identify the symptoms within a few weeks or months while osteoarthritis slowly develops over the years. Patterns of the joints affected are also different.
With rheumatoid arthritis, small and large joints are affected symmetrically. In osteoarthritis, the symptoms mainly affect one side before gradually spreading to the other side. Systemic symptoms of illness are evident with rheumatoid arthritis and the patient will experience fatigue. On the other hand, osteoarthritis symptoms do not affect the entire body.
Like we mentioned, these conditions are treated differently and we will begin with osteoarthritis treatment. To relieve pain and inflammation, cold and heat packs are used. Physical exercises are also recommended. Swimming is especially recommended on osteoarthritis patients and this is because buoyancy helps soothe achy joints.
Muscle strengthening exercises are also encouraged as well as stretching exercises. Pain relief medication could also be recommended and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed. Cortisone injections could also be used to provide pain and inflammation relief. Though the relief is temporary it can last for a few months or weeks.
Rheumatoid arthritis has no cure but there are several treatments that can help provide relief from the symptoms. Certain diets have been known to be useful in treating rheumatoid arthritis and fish oil is one of them. Curcumin which can be sourced from turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce the symptoms.
Pain relief medication could be prescribed and just like in osteoarthritis certain exercises could help swimming being one of them. The joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis are individually treated with cortisone injections and other medications. Joint replacement is a surgical procedure that could be pursued.
Stem Cell Therapy for Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Stem cell therapy is now been used to treat degenerative conditions such osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Research shows that adult stem cells can produce healthy cartilage and this can help to accelerate the body’s natural healing process. Stem cell therapy could reduce the number of knee replacement surgeries. The treatment is safer and comes with fewer complications.
Published research has shown excellent results for stem cell therapy for rheumatoid arthritis (Snowden et al, Journal Rheumatology, 2004). Stem cell therapy for rheumatoid arthritis may be used directly into the painful joints. This treatment helps to decrease inflammation significantly. For RA affecting numerous joints, IV stem cell therapy may be very effective as well.
The same can be said for osteoarthritis. Numerous studies, such as the recent one out of Hospital for Special Surgery, are showing that stem cell therapy and platelet rich plasma therapy are effective for osteoarthritis. Pain is often relieved and cartilage is preserved. Larger studies will show us the extent of cartilage restoration, while animal studies show it is impressive.
Contact NuStem today for an Appointment regarding osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis treatment with stem cell therapy!