A breakthrough in medicine is enabling people of all ages suffering from joint pain to regain their freedom and end their pain.
Stem-cell therapy, offered at Advanced Regenerative Healthcare under the direction of Dr. Teresa Cezar, a physician, Cynthia White, a family nurse practitioner, and owner and CEO Dr. Ren Halverson, is a groundbreaking new option for people with different types of joint, muscle, and cartilage-related pain.
“About eight years ago, I traveled to Europe with my wife, Crickett,” said Halverson. “During our visit, I heard from a German doctor about how stem cells can help joints.”
That’s when Halverson started researching regenerative therapy, and what he found was “eye opening,” he said.
By injecting living stem cells, health professionals can stimulate the regrowth of cartilage that cushions bones at their joints, all without complicated surgeries or medications that merely mask the symptoms of joint deterioration.
“This alternative is a direct, totally natural and more effective way of handling chronic pain,” Halverson said.
Stem cells, Halverson explained, are uniquely able to work with the body’s existing cells to encourage the regeneration of cartilage, which can reduce painful bone-on-bone erosion.
“A stem cell responds to the body’s alarm signal,” he said. “It answers that signal by going to the area of the injured cells, and that gives those cells the proteins, growth factors and other molecules it needs to bring those cells back to integrity.”
In a nutshell, stem-cell therapy can promote the body’s regrowth of cartilage, thereby decreasing joint pain. The National Institute of Health, a federal agency, reports stem-cell therapy “holds the promise of regenerating damaged tissues and organs in the body by stimulating previously irreparable organs in the body to heal themselves.”
Although the body produces stem cells naturally, their production numbers drop as a person ages, Halverson said.
“When we’re born, one out of every 10,000 cells is a stem cell,” he said. “By the time you’re 13, it’s one out of 100,000, and by the time we reach our 50s, it’s one out of a million or more.”
This means the body can use a boost to help targeting damaged cells that need repair or replacement, said Dr. Jamie Dahne, an associate chiropractor who works with Halverson at Advance Regenerative Healthcare.
He likens stem cells to aid agencies that serve people in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters. Aid workers don’t come in after a hurricane and completely take over recovery efforts, but act more as helpers providing for the immediate needs of havoc-stricken victims.
“Stem cells bring in the things needed to help the body regenerate on its own,” he said. “They don’t necessarily do the repairs, but they give the body what it needs to do the work.”
Advanced Regenerative Healthcare uses mesenchymal stem cells, which are more viable and effective for a longer period of time after being injected into the affected area of the patient’s body. Essentially, the stem cells stimulate the body’s own tissue for aiding in a regenerative process, like growing new cartilage.
The noninvasive, one-time procedure generally shows maximum results within 6-8 months, but every patient is different, Dahne said. Additionally, stem-cell therapy is a simple, safe and cost-effective alternative to surgery for patients concerned about the possibility of infection, blood clots or other complications associated with surgery.
Stem-cell therapy can be used to treat joint injuries, arthritis, torn tendons, chronic joint pain and even stubborn bone fractures that do not heal. Because surgery is not involved, patients can avoid the slippery slope of opioid-based pain relievers, which can be habit-forming and have led to a national health crisis. In 2016 alone, more than 42,000 Americans died by opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
For most patients suffering from joint pain, stem-cell therapy is a safe and effective solution, whether the condition was caused by a sports-related injury or natural aging, Halverson said.
“Essentially, if you have damage to a ligament, degeneration of cartilage or lingering pain to a specific joint, regenerative therapy can help,” Halverson said. “It’s a groundbreaking advancement in health care.”
Halverson’s office also chiropractic, physical rehabilitation, massage therapy and a variety of other services, including neurological treatments.
“We use a combination of things to treat our patients,” Halverson said. “This includes nutrition and diet education, exercise and rehab therapies. Our goal is not only long-lasting relief, but long-term self management.”
To learn more about regenerative medicine, visit regenerativehc.com or call Advanced Regenerative Healthcare at 912-262-9479. Appointments are available Monday through Friday at Advanced’s offices, 712 Mall Blvd., Brunswick.