Stem Cell Solution

Specialized therapy regenerates arthritic hips.

Richard*, 64, has worked in construction since his teens. During his nearly 50-year career, he performed just about every task in the business, but these days, he’s highly specialized, focusing on building staircase railings. When pain in his hip joints began impacting Richard’s daily routines, he relied on a highly specialized treatment for relief.Dr. Edward Pearson of Back In Action Medical Center in Palm City treated Richard’s (alias) painful hips with stem cell therapy.

“My hips started bothering me when I was about fifty-nine, and they got worse over time,” shares the New Jersey native. “I was in a lot of pain. It was sharp pain at times, depending on how I got up and moved. Then it ached for a while until it subsided enough to where I could maintain.”

When Richard’s pain began intensifying, he traveled from his home in New York to Florida, where his son is a chiropractor. His son took x-rays and discovered Richard had arthritis that had severely damaged the cartilage cushioning Richard’s hip joints. The lack of protection for the bones of his joints led to Richard’s pain. It appeared joint replacement surgery was in his future.

“My son told me my hips were bothering me because they were nearly bone-on-bone,” Richard remembers. “I had almost nothing left to cushion my hips. He said the problem would get worse, and I would have to do something about my hips down the line.

“As time went on, the pain did get worse and eventually reached a point where I couldn’t bend over to put on my socks, and it became hard for me to go to work. I didn’t stop any of my activities, but I definitely couldn’t do them as well. Finally, the pain got extremely intense. On a scale of one to ten, the pain was a nine, sometimes ten.”

As Richard’s condition deteriorated, his son became interested in a specialized treatment for arthritic joints called stem cell therapy. He studied it and was impressed. He also learned that a practice he often collaborated with, Back In Action Medical Center in Palm City, was offering the revolutionary therapy.

The Body’s Building Blocks

“Stem cells are the building blocks of the body,” explains Edward W. Pearson, MD, a board-certified integrative physician who practices functional and holistic medicine at Back In Action Medical Center.

“When people are conceived, stem cells are the first cells that are created. These cells can then differentiate and become almost any other type of cell in the body and regenerate tissue. We use them as a therapy to treat arthritis and other conditions. We call it regenerative medicine.”

Stem cells have been a topic of conversation for at least ten years, Dr. Pearson relates. In the beginning, there was intense debate because the main source of stem cells was unused fetal tissue, including that from abortions. That’s not the case today.

“We have learned over the years how to harvest stem cells from the material that’s left over after a baby is born, such as the amniotic tissue, placenta and umbilical cord,” Dr. Pearson notes. “Once we harvest the incredible cell material, we purify it, sanitize it and make sure it’s safe to use for treatment.

“There’s actually more than stem cells in the products we use for therapy. There are also growth factors that tell the body to regenerate; cytokines, which are important signaling compounds; and other rejuvenating substances. These factors are incredibly useful for treating people’s ailments.”

There are various applications for stem cells, but Dr. Pearson and his staff at Back In Action Medical Center use them primarily to treat arthritic or injured joints. This is done to regenerate worn-down cartilage and repair damage to soft tissues such as ligaments and tendons.

“Often, people with painful joints try several medications and cortisone injections to alleviate pain,” Dr. Pearson asserts. “With our therapy, we inject those amazing substances – stem cells, growth factors and cytokines – which are all natural. They’re not synthetic and toxic like cortisone. And they don’t just regenerate the joint; they have an incredible impact on inflammation, which results in pain relief.

“For example, there are many people with severe arthritis or injury in a joint who have been told they need joint replacements. And when they’re done well, those surgeries can be extremely effective. But they have many risks and a long recovery period.

“We’re finding that by using stem cell therapy, surgery can be significantly delayed or avoided completely. And people who have had pain in their joints for years are finding themselves pain free after one or two stem cell injections. Their pain goes away, their joint function returns and they’re able to be active without hurting.

“There’ve been very exciting results with this treatment,” Dr. Pearson observes. “We are even seeing inflammatory conditions disappear and immune system problems improve dramatically with stem cell therapy.”

To see what research is being done and how stem cells might help various conditions, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.

Gradual and Steady

“My son traveled all over the country learning about stem cell therapy,” Richard relates. “I heard about stem cells years ago but didn’t know too much about them. When my son came to a positive conclusion about the therapy, he said, You might as well give it a try. I said, Why not. By then, my hips were really bad, so I flew to Florida to have the therapy at Back In Action Medical Center. My son had it all set up for me.”

When Richard arrived at Back In Action Medical Center last fall, he met with Dr. Pearson. The doctor evaluated Richard’s hip condition and determined he was a good candidate for stem cell therapy.

“Richard was an active guy with arthritis and bilateral hip pain who was told he needed hip replacement surgery, but he had some cartilage left in his hips,” Dr. Pearson reports. “We want to see something left in the joint so there’s material to regenerate with the stem cells. Richard fit the bill.”

Stem cell therapy at Back In Action Medical Center begins with an evaluation and review of imaging, such as x-rays or MRIs. This gives Dr. Pearson a clear picture of the state of the joint. There are various stem-cell-based
products available, and the doctor will choose the appropriate product based on the patient’s condition.

“Sometimes, we combine products to achieve a certain impact on a particular joint or disorder,” Dr. Pearson informs. “A skilled medical professional will perform the actual injection of stem cell products using ultrasound guidance.”

Following the injection, patients are instructed to ease back into activities with gradual exercise and rehabilitation. The exercises are performed to strengthen the joints and establish full range of motion.

“Recovery occurs rapidly,” Dr. Pearson assures. “Typically, the onset of improvement is within days and ongoing. Patients feel better quickly, but the lasting effects of the therapy are realized gradually and steadily over several months.”

“After I had the stem cell procedure, Dr. Pearson said I shouldn’t lift anything over five pounds for two weeks,” Richard recalls. “He told me that’s when the stem cells build something like a scaffolding inside the joints, and I didn’t want to damage that. But I had to get back to work, so I hired a person just to carry my tools.

Dr. Edward Pearson of Back In Action Medical Center in Palm City treated Richard’s (alias) painful hips with stem cell therapy.

“My hips are one hundred
percent better. Within the first two weeks…I began to feel pain relief.” – Richard

“Dr. Pearson also told me not to climb up and down steps. I said that would be difficult because I worked on stairs. He said, Well, crawl up them. So, that’s exactly what I did for two weeks.”

Wonder Worker

In the end, stem cell therapy at Back In Action Medical Center worked wonders for Richard. He achieved an excellent outcome, and he’s pleased with how quickly he was back in action at his job.

“My hips are one hundred percent better,” Richard raves. “Within the first two weeks after the stem cell procedure, I began to feel pain relief. Going into the third week, I started gingerly walking up stairs at work. Then, after a month, I could go up and down with no difficulty.

“I’m still trying to be careful. Even now, I don’t carry real heavy tools. And instead of carrying three or four things, I only carry two.”

The pain relief Richard felt right after his stem cell therapy just got better as the weeks progressed. Today, he feels nearly complete liberation from his hip pain. And he can now perform his work tasks without discomfort. 

“Where the pain used to be a nine or ten, it’s now zero,” Richard enthuses. “I might feel a twinge when the weather changes, like when it rains, but otherwise there’s no pain.

“I feel very good now. I work every day, up and down stairs all day long, and everything’s fine. I don’t have any pain in my hips.”

As a specialist in his field, Richard’s grateful for the opportunity to have a highly specialized treatment for his hips. And he’s happy he traveled to Florida to get it at Back In Action Medical Center.

“My stem cell therapy is an absolute success,” Richard stresses. “I’d do it again if I had to. I recommend it to anyone with joint issues who talks to me about it.

“I’m really happy with everything about my experience at Back In Action Medical Center, and I absolutely recommend it. Dr. Pearson and the staff are wonderful and very professional. They’re great!”

*Patient’s name withheld at his request.
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