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Combatting America's Opioid Crisis with Stem Cell Therapy

Posted by Douglas W. Stoddard MD, M Sp Med, Dip Sport Med, ES on 20 February 2018
Combatting America's Opioid Crisis with Stem Cell Therapy

The United States' opioid crisis has exploded into an epidemic.

In 2016, 2.6 million US citizens were suffering from opioid addictions, while opioid-related deaths increased by 28%. Consequently, life expectancy declined for the second straight year for the first time since the early 60s.

Could the rise of stem cell injection therapies coincide with an end to these alarming trends?

A Real Pain in the Back

Degenerative disc disorder accounts for 22 per cent of chronic back pain cases. The discs between our vertebrae absorb every bit of wear-and-tear we place on our lower back, shrinking and drying out as you age, reducing cushioning capabilities. The degenerative process can lead to trapped nerves, severe bouts of inflammation, and in many cases, a reliance on opioid-based pain pills.

The Power of the Precursor

An Australian medical research firm called Metoblast extracted mesenchymal stem cells from the bone marrow of donors before cultivating them in a lab.

Mesenchymal precursor stem cells (MSCs) can make several types of skeletal tissue cells, such as cartilage, bone, and fat. MSCs can also neutralize inflammation and rebuild damaged tissues. They aren't recognised by a recipient's immune system, meaning immunosuppressant drugs (drugs that inhibit or prevent activity of the immune system) aren't needed. This has always been one of the major hurdles of stem cell injections - compatibility between a donor's cells and a recipient's immune system.

Metoblast injected 6 million cells between the vertebrae of patients to rebuild damaged discs, with the hope of revitalizing dried out vertebral discs by trapping water in them.

For Metoblast's trial, 100 patients have shown substantial improvements in function and pain relief for two years or more. Nearly half of the subjects displayed increased mobility and decreased pain.

Why Stem Cells are the Healthy Alternative to Opioids

When you're prescribed pain pills to neutralize back pain, It's a short-term fix. Once the effects wear off, the pain eventually returns, and your only recourse is more pills. While minor injuries will heal up in due time, chronic and degenerative symptoms will always be there, forcing your hand with pharmaceuticals.

Stem cell therapy, on the other hand, is a natural healing method, simply employing your body's own regenerative capabilities to facilitate a safer, more permanent healing process.


Have you been prescribed pain pills to manage your degenerative back pain, and it's just not doing the trick?

RegenerVate's PRP and stem cell injection therapies are ideal for treating degenerative back pain - providing a natural, non-invasive alternative to prescription pharmaceuticals, and in many cases, surgery.

If you're looking for a way to alleviate chronic pain, call us at 1-855-712-9901 to schedule an appointment, or drop by one of our RegenerVate locations today!

Author: Douglas W. Stoddard MD, M Sp Med, Dip Sport Med, ES
About: Dr. Stoddard is a sport medicine and injection physician in Toronto and is the Medical Director of RegenerVate. After receiving his medical degree from the University of Toronto, he trained in Australia at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, obtaining his Master Degree in Sport Medicine. His injection training, including ultrasound, PRP and Prolotherapy, was primarily done in the USA. He is a diplomat of the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASEM), is married and a proud father of two boys. He is an avid triathlete and occasional guitar player.
Tags: Treatment Options Stem Cell Research

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