Stem Cell Treatments for Knee Arthritis
Here are some tips to help with your aching arthritis.
Stem cells are a growing business and an investigational treatment that can treat pain issues very well, pain issues such as osteoarthritis. Stem cells are grown into different types of cells. There are 500 stem cell clinics in the United States. Stem cells are used to treat autism, multiple sclerosis, and erectile dysfunction. Knee arthritis affects 30 million Americans. At these clinics fees can vary but the cost is $2,000 per treatment, per knee even if insurance companies deny coverage. The FDA has only approved umbilical cord stem cells for blood cancer and other disorders although there are negative stories out there such as the one about two people who became legally blind after trying to treat macular degeneration.
Stem Cells Are Promising
Treating knees with arthritis is possible today because of all the research that has actually been done. Doctors offer treatment with stem cell for knees because of arthritic knees with some current research being done today. There are few controlled trials, states Keith Bjork, MD, an orthopedist in Amarillo, TX, where 500 stem cells have been given to patients with knee arthritis, in the last 5 years. Results of treatment include joint stiffness and pain at the injection site with swelling, according to the results of one study. The stem cells for knees that have been given are taken from the patients’ bone marrow, fat tissue or blood. There are more studies needed and anecdotal evidence available along with before and after x-rays, which show an increase in cartilage.
Current Effects of Stem Cell Transplants Into the Knee
There are studies being done on whether stem cells are able to cut inflammation or if substances are released that affect other cells around the site in question. Stem cell transplants not only help cartilage grow back, the pain is lessened. More data is needed for researchers to make up their minds. Stem cells may yet be a safe treatment. A more invasive treatment for osteoarthritis is total knee replacement therapy. Doctors are testing other injected therapies, such as plasma with platelets, and steroids.
Ways to Maintain Healthy Joints
Sometimes people with arthritis resist any kind of exercise, because of their fear that it will increase pain or further damage to the joints. But this is a wrong assumption because the body needs to move. However, in order to decrease joint pain, you have to pay attention when it does get painful. You have to pay attention to how you move, and you have to limit your activity as there needs to be a balance of either activity or resting. You also need to check out mobility aids, as well as the act of losing weight. Losing weight reduces force on the knee when steps are taken.
Proper Exercises for Arthritic Knees
Low impact exercises such as aquatic sports or swimming itself, social sports such as golf. There is also walking and cycling. Joint muscles have to be kept as strong as possible. You can maintain your muscle strength by doing proper strength training. Arthritis means that you have a limited range of motion. An anti-inflammatory diet can reduce joint inflammation, as well as Vitamin D and calcium. It is also best to stop smoking because smoking can increase the risk of osteoporosis.