Libbys on the Loose:2 Humans. 2 Great Danes. 1 RV.: Jeanine's Stem Cell Therapy

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Jeanine's Stem Cell Therapy

Since the beginning of December 2014, I have been undergoing treatment at The Osteopathic Center in Miami, Florida with Dr Sean Goddard.  While I wouldn't say that I've been healed, in the past six months my use of pain medication has dropped significantly.  Before my first stem cell procedure, I was in the process of being scheduled for more epidural steroid (pain blocker) injections. While the epidural had worked for me before (last injection was June 2014), the effects only allowed for a few months of physical therapy and as close to a "normal" life as I had been in over a year. Once they started wearing off, it was back to waiting for appointments, insurance approvals and taking up to 8 painkillers per day.  Needless to say, I was not looking forward to it.  I had built up such a tolerance to the painkillers (and disliked taking them) and they were only causing damage. The potential for addiction and the "fuzzy head" feeling was something that I couldn't continue to deal with.  The opiates were really only just a band-aid to the real problem - a temporary respite from the constant pain.  There had to be another type of more natural treatment.

Dr. Sean Goddard
Eric and I attended a wedding in Orlando in November 2014.  Two of our very close friends were finally tying the knot!  After the ceremony, I sat with another friend of mine that I hadn't had the chance to catch up with for a long time.  After telling me about everything that was going on in her family's world, she asked me how everything was going on with us.  I don't usually like to talk about when I'm in pain, but since she was a mom twice over (and an all-around great sensor of "energy"), she sensed that something was bothering me.  After my explanation of what was going on, she told me about a friend of hers that had been doing wonderful things for people that suffered from the similar problems to mine.  

Getting my "Myers Cocktail" vitamin therapy
Since my diagnosis of Degenerative Disc Disease with bulging discs and a torn annulus, I have been doing a lot of research into what it is and what the options are.  Degenerative Disc Disease is one of the most common causes of lower back pain and weakness.  While disc degeneration is a normal part of aging, in many people it is not something that affects their lives.  It is also something that is not normally diagnosed at my age (36 at diagnosis, 32 when I started my treatments for chronic pain).  In most people, the pain subsides relatively quickly, usually within 3 months.  Since the start of the chronic pain, I have tried chiropractic manipulation, acupuncture, active isolated stretching, medical massages, neurosomatic therapy, and steroid epidurals.  I am currently undergoing stem cell therapy along with prp injections, pemf, and vitamin therapy.

Degenerative disc disease pain is generally associated to be caused by inflammation and abnormal micromotion instability.  The use of stem cells in many ways is a growing field in the United States. Stem cells have been used for many years in other counties with great success.  It is still in clinical trials but there are providers like The Osteopathic Center in Miami that have used them with success for many different reasons - they are able to harvest a person's own stem cells and administer them back into the affected area.

Stem cell therapy is also known as a "regenerative" therapy because it is using your own body's most basic material to repair or replace damaged material.  There are a few different types of stem cells, adipose cells (collected from your fat), amniotic stem cells, and bone marrow cells.  At this time, I have undergone two bone marrow stem cell procedures.  (If you are considering a procedure like this, you will definitely need someone to drive you and also plan for someone to care for you for a few days afterward)  I was awake during the process (a local anesthetic was used) and it can be very painful.  So if you have pain medication, I definitely recommend taking one and learning to meditate beforehand.  Meditation has gotten me though many procedures!

PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma injections are used to speed the healing of damaged cells and tissues. Many professional athletes such as Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning, and Kobe Bryant have used this therapy when healing from injuries.  Blood is drawn and then put in a centrifuge to separate it.  The platelet rich plasma is removed and injected back into your body in the needed area - all in one
appointment.  Like the stem cell procedure, the PRP injections can also be painful so you will need to have someone to drive you and most likely will need a few days to recover.

PEMF or Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field can naturally influence electrical changes on a cellular level within the body.  It is FDA approved and helps to regenerate damaged and diseased tissue, repairs torn tendons and speeds healing of  bone material.  It improves circulation by opening and dilating the arteries and capillaries as well as increasing the cellular level of oxygen absorption by up to 200%. While I can't say that it does or does not help my back, I also suffer from plantar fasciitis and I use this therapy for my foot and have had much fewer instances of pain in my foot.

As of May 2015, I have been doing approximately six months of these therapies that I started the end of last year.  While my pain has not completely gone away, my dependence on opiate-based painkillers has decreased dramatically.  While I do still have bad days and sometimes weeks, the number of them has also gone down.  It took a very long time for my symptoms to progress to the point where they got unbearable.  The stem cell and PRP therapies can take a minimum of a few months to up to a year or more to have their full effects realized.  While I see improvement, I still have enough issues that it affects my everyday life.  I plan to continue the treatments at the Osteopathic Center, but am also seeking out other options.  I will do a follow-up in a few months on those as well as where I'm at in the healing and recovery process. Wish me luck!

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1 comment:

  1. I found this article very helpful. There is a treatment of this stem cell which is becoming very popular.stem cell therapy.