What You Need to Know About Stem Cells

Stem cell therapy is one of the most effective non-narcotic, non-surgical solutions to chronic pain.  These low risk injection treatments allow doctors to target the source of pain and repair tissues in those specific areas.  These treatments have given patients a way to regain their quality of life without the dangers of other options.  Invasive orthopedic surgeries such as spinal fusion come with hospital stays, the risk of complications and months of recovery time.  Opioid pain medications do not treat the root of the pain and pose a high risk for addiction.  We have the incredible fortune of having one of the world’s premiere injection therapy doctors on our staff at the SCNM Pain Relief Center.  Klee Bethel, MD, is the former medical director of the Arizona Spine and Joint Hospital and has been exclusively practicing pain management over the last 16 years. 

Despite their life changing capabilities, there are many misconceptions about stem cells: where they come from, the risks of their use and the effectiveness of treatments. 

What are stem cells?

In adult multicellular organisms, stem cells are a key part of the body’s repair system.  Stem cells are precursor, undifferentiated cells that differentiate (change from one cell type to another) and then divide to produce more of the same types of cells.  Because of this unique ability, stem cells are able to repair specific tissues at the source of a patient’s pain.

Where do stem cells come from?

When most people hear the term stem cell, they immediately think “controversy.” This is one of the most common areas of misconception about stem cells.  There are two basic categories: embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells.  While use of embryonic stem cells has been a source of debate, SCNM and other reputable institutions that perform stem cell treatments strictly use adult stem cells.  Adult stem cells are extracted from bone marrow and fatty tissues and have nothing to do with the use of human embryos.

Who can benefit from stem cells?

Stem cells can treat a broad spectrum of patients suffering from a number of conditions.  We have had patients at SCNM suffering from debilitating chronic pain that have found great success with stem cell therapy.  This patient was able to cancel hip replacement surgery due to the effectiveness of Dr. Bethel’s stem cell treatments. 

In 2015 at the age of 75, legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus received stem therapy in Germany to relieve severe back pain he had struggled with his entire adult life.  When asked by CNN how long he wants to keep playing, Nicklaus, now 78, stated “As long as my stem cells allow me... Golf is a game of a lifetime, I hope to play for my lifetime.” Younger athletes, including hundreds of NFL players, have also utilized stem cells for both chronic pain and injury recovery. 

Be it a professional athlete or an everyday person, those suffering with pain can benefit from stem cell therapy. 

Watch the informative videos below to learn more about stem cells.  Click here to contact the SCNM Pain Relief Center.