In some ways, regenerative medicine almost seems like science fiction. Harnessing your body’s ability to heal itself is an amazing proposition. Since regenerative medicine operates from such a fantastic foundation, it’s not surprising that there is a significant amount of misinformation about it.
In this post, we offer a few of the myths regarding regenerative medicine that we’ve encountered, along with some facts to counter them. It’ll help you understand this cutting-edge branch of medicine a little better.
Myth 1: Regenerative medicine uses materials from embryos
Some forms of regenerative medicine make use of a special type of cells, stem cells, and there are stem cells in umbilical cord blood. However, not all regenerative medicine involves these cells or embryonic cord blood. At Revive Medical, we don’t offer any services using embryonic stem cells.
The fact is, nearly every organ in your body contains its own specialized stem cells. Researchers have known about the regenerative properties of stem cells found in your bones, fat tissue, and other parts of your body for some time. More recently, research has shown that some adult stem cells can be genetically reprogrammed to behave like embryonic stem cells.
Myth 2: Regenerative medicine is only for certain conditions
A good bit of research has been done on the uses of regenerative medicine in treating spinal cord injuries and Parkinson’s disease. Perhaps as a result, there seems to be a common misconception that those are the only uses of regenerative medicine.
In fact, regenerative medicine is being used to treat a host of conditions, particularly those that involve damage to your soft tissues. For example, regenerative medicine has produced positive outcomes for people with osteoarthritis of the knee and has been used during surgeries to help repair tendons.
Research is underway to investigate whether regenerative medicine can help with heart problems, Type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and many other conditions.
Myth 3: Regenerative medicine is risky
New therapies and procedures are often seen as being risky, but in the case of regenerative medicine, it’s simply not true. One of the most exciting things about regenerative medicine is that it uses materials harvested from your own body to stimulate your natural healing processes.
A small amount of your blood is drawn, and processed through specialized equipment, which separates the various components. Those that stimulate your body to regenerate and repair are then injected precisely where they are most needed.
Because the material comes from your own body, there’s extremely little risk of any kind of adverse reaction. With any procedure involving even so much as needle stick, there’s a minimal risk of infection. Overall, however, regenerative medicine is extremely safe and has very few risks associated with it.