Stem cell therapy has received a lot of attention due to its controversial nature, including perceptions on how it is accessed and administered. However, stem cell therapy has gained in popularity with patients due to its ability to offer profound relief in many areas – from treating leukemia to relieving back pain. The sheer amount of information can be mind-boggling, and wading through the various facts and opinions can seem daunting.
“We are fortunate to have access to this incredible medical technology, but unfortunately we do have patients who are relying on outdated information as they seek treatment options,” said Dr. Ed Nash, a certified Diplomat of the American Board of Physical Medicine and a physiatrist who treats numerous medical conditions that can cause pain or limit function.
“The truth is that stem cell therapy is a long way from the research that began a decade ago,” said Nash. “In the ten years since we first started hearing about stem cell therapy, it has advanced dramatically, and we are now able to use stem cells to treat a wide range of ‘everyday’ problems.”
The following are the top three myths about stem cell therapy that Dr. Nash sees, and the truths about how it can help patients experience relief:
MYTH 1: Stem cell treatment causes disease transmission. In fact, stem cells go through the same rigorous vetting process as blood and organ transplants. “Stem cells are checked for bacterial, fungal, viral and immune dysfunction, and a host of other issues,” said Dr. Nash. “Patients can be assured that the treatments are safe and free from disease.”
MYTH 2: Stem cells come from embryos. In the very early stages of stem cell research, the stem cells were harvested from embryos used during fertility treatments to perform tests. However, stem cell therapy nowadays is very different. “We use only stem cells from the amniotic fluid from non-emergency C-sections in our therapy, which means they are donor-based stem cells. This eliminates the ethical concerns while also giving patients the added benefit of having the best chance to be covered by insurance.”
MYTH 3: Stem cells do more harm than good. “The worst that can happen is that the stem cells don’t ‘take,’ which occurs for less than two out of every ten people,” said Dr. Nash. “In some cases the patient may have soreness at the injection site, and trials have demonstrated some patients may experience a brief period of increased pain before healing begins.”
Stem cell therapy has many proven benefits in various medical areas, including musculoskeletal treatment, with positive results for the spine, knees, shoulders, hips as well as small joints. “The fact is that many of my own patients are finally experiencing a better quality of life after trying other failed methods,” said Dr. Nash. “Stem cell therapy offers us hope in the way of happy, healthy patients, and that’s the best outcome we could have.”
For more information about how stem cell therapy can help you, visit www.drnashcares.com or call (281) 440-6960.
Dr. Nash is a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) physician, or physiatrist, based in North Houston. He specializes in treating medical conditions that can cause pain or limit functions. To learn more about Dr. Nash, visit his website at www.drnashcares.com or call (281) 440-6960.