Scientific Review

Stem Cell Therapy For Chronic Pain Management

For your convenience, The Doctor’s Guide presents and summarizes selected key research from peer reviewed papers. The purpose is to help you identify future potential areas for patient management. As medical professionals, we don’t have the time to review as much as we like and here at The Doctor’s Guide we hope to make it a little easier for you. All summaries reflect our best ability to capture the essence of each paper in order for you to decide further review will benefit your practice. 
Title: Stem Cell Therapy for Chronic Pain Management 
Authors: Chakravarthy et al. 
Citation: Pain Physician. 2017 May20(4): 293305. 
Jeremiah Ockunzzi, Bart Rademaker, MD. 
For discogenic pain and degenerative joint disease there have been close to two dozen studies carried out looking at how different types of stem cells from both allogenic and autologous sources function as a treatment. In addition, stem cells have successfully been used to reduce pain levels and restore joint capabilities in patients with knee osteoarthritis. 
For the most common kinds of pain due to neuropathy both umbilical cord derived stem cells and bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells were shown to be effective in reducing levels of self-reported pain. Theses effects are believed to happen because both embryonic stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells reduce immune response signaling, lowering levels of certain cytokines associated with inflammation responses. 
Current trials both underway and recruiting for stem cell treatment for pain include trials for lumbar back pain, degenerative joint disease, herniated discs, diabetic neuropathy, osteoarthritis, rotator cuff disease, amputation stump pain, and knee osteoarthritis. 
Conclusion: Based on trial findings from dozens of trials utilizing stem cells for pain management as a treatment regimen it is reasonable to assume that stem cells are a viable treatment for certain pathologies of pain. Namely those related to muscular or skeletal injury, those with degenerative cartilage diseases, and those suffering chronic and severe pain. 


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