The Difference Between Stem Cell Therapy and PRP Therapy

The Difference Between Stem Cell Therapy and PRP Therapy

When you have a condition that’s causing you pain or altering the way you live your life, you want a treatment that works. Many treatments may work quickly for temporary relief, but they don’t actually fix the problem. Stem cell therapy and PRP therapy are two options that not only relieve your pain, but also address the actual problem.

Our team at Delmarva Pain and Spine Center has all the tools and knowledge to help you relieve your pain with a number of different treatments. Dr. Shachi Patel is our specialist in pain management who offers both stem cell therapy and PRP therapy, depending on your condition.

Understanding how regenerative medicine works

Believe it or not, your body actually repairs itself continuously, but especially when you’re hurt. Think of when you get a cut — it bleeds for a little bit, but after a few minutes, your body stops the bleeding and a scab forms.

Regenerative medicine is a term used for several different treatments that use your body’s natural ability to repair itself. This type of treatment promotes new cell formation in areas of degeneration or injury to heal tissues and bone.

Dr. Patel uses regenerative medicine to treat a number of different conditions, by stimulating your body to produce specific cells that amp up the body’s healing response. This not only addresses your pain, but also can correct the underlying problem that’s causing the pain.

Both stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma are forms of regenerative medicine. Even though they’re different treatments, the main goal is to help your body repair damage so you can get back to your life.

PRP vs stem cell therapy — what’s the difference?

Both stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma therapy are considered regenerative medicine. The aim of both of these treatments is to help your body accelerate its own healing properties to address the real issue behind your pain.

However, while these treatments both have the same goal, they also work very differently to get to that goal. Below is a comparison of the stem cell therapy and PRP therapy:

Stem cell therapy

Stem cells are very specialized cells in your body that can transform into any type of cell that your body needs. They are basically the first cell that every other cell starts out as, and they’re also able to divide when needed, creating more stem cells.

When the stem cells divide, they form daughter cells, which are able to transform into specialized cells such as:

No other cell in your body has the ability to morph itself into any other type of cell. So how does this help you get pain relief?

In a lab, stem cells can be grown into specific types of tissue, which is then put into your body to repair and replace damaged areas. For example, if you have osteoarthritis, stem cells may be injected into the area of concern to help regenerate bone and cartilage to help ease your discomfort.

This is also true if you have a degenerative condition in your spine or spinal cord damage. The stem cells are either injected into the problem area or grown in the lab to be implanted into damaged tissue. 

Stem cell therapy isn’t immediate; the cells start a healing cascade that does take time. However, once the new tissue takes hold and grows, you’ll feel like a whole new person.

PRP therapy

While stem cell therapy uses specialized cells to help you heal, PRP therapy uses your own body’s platelets to repair tissue damage. Platelets are the key component to your blood clotting; but they also have specialized proteins that give them healing properties as well. 

Platelets contain growth factors, which are specialized proteins that trigger a healing response in your body when you suffer an injury or have damage in your joints. The idea behind a PRP injection is to ramp up your body’s healing response in the damaged area to speed up your recovery.

The platelets used in this therapy are extracted from your own blood using a centrifuge. The platelets and plasma are then injected into the problem area to promote healing. Some of the conditions that this type of therapy helps include:

PRP therapy is also used after surgery to help increase healing at the operative site. This is true for many different types of orthopedic surgery, as the growth factors in the platelets help to speed up healing in that area.

If you’re interested in learning more about regenerative medicine, call our office at 302-355-0900. You can also book an appointment with us online today. 

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