Dr. Joel Singer announced that he successfully treated Curtis Sliwa with stem cells at Park Avenue Stem Cells. Sliwa reports his recovery is going well.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, December 5, 2017 — After years of dealing with chronic rotator cuff pain Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the famed Guardian Angels, underwent stem cell treatment from Dr. Joel Singer at Park Avenue Stem Cell in New York City. This is a relatively new way to treat chronic pain, but the results have been encouraging. In Sliwa’s case he’s still pain free several months after the treatment and stories like his are becoming more common. Doctors are now considering stem cell therapy for a whole range of different illnesses.
It’s estimated that more than 100 million Americans live with some kind of chronic pain. That’s almost 1 in 3 Americans and it’s costing the healthcare system billions of dollars. Stem cell treatments are non-invasive day surgeries that could reduce these costs considerably.
Stem cell research has become a popular topic in the last few years for good reason. Numerous clinical trials and real world applications have yielded positive results. Cells are extracted from the patient needing treatment and then converted into stem cells that can be used to cure their chronic pain. Until recently, this involved a painful process that extracted cells from bone marrow.
There’s now a much less invasive method of extracting stem cells from patients by taking it from their own fat also known as adipose. Dr. Joel Singer at Park Avenue Stem Cell Therapy Center were Curtis Sliwa underwent his treatment was one of the first to introduce this technique into the US from Asia. This method is capable of generating millions of stem cells much like the bone marrow technique, but with a lot less pain for the patient.
After undergoing stem cell therapy, Sliwa has become one of its biggest advocates. He’s a colorful character who knows a thing or two about physical injury. He founded the Guardian Angels in 1977, a neighborhood watch organization that actively takes on criminal activity using an army of volunteers. Over the years, his body’s been through a lot of trauma, but several months after his stem cell treatment he’s still pain free.
His story is encouraging for anyone that’s tried other forms of physical therapy to treat chronic pain with little success. Before he tried this treatment, he’d assumed that the pain was something he’d have to live with. Other patients that have undergone stem cell treatment for pain have remained free of symptoms for more than two years.
Stem cell treatments aren’t just for rotator cuff injuries. We’re just beginning to understand the potential uses this type of therapy may have. The focus has been on chronic pain related illnesses such as rotator cuff injuries, arthritis, knee ligament damage, and even Alzheimer’s. Experts believe there may be numerous other medical conditions that can be treated by stem cell therapy as well. We’re only just beginning to understand the potential of this type of therapy.
Stem cell therapy has also been used with promising results to treat cancer and there is reason to be optimistic that it will be able to help with many cardiac related illnesses. It is still an experimental treatment option awaiting FDA approval in most cases, but it does provide hope for patients currently resigned to the fact that their chronic pain is something they can’t do a lot about.
Stem Cell Therapy Around the Globe
In addition to Dr. Singer's practice, Stem Cell treatment centers are now available in several different countries. There are also several ongoing trials in countries such as the UK, France, Canada, Australia, and Japan. Human trials are being conducted in the US in places like North and South Dakota that use the technique of separating stem cells from adipose mentioned above. The hope is that these trials will lead to final FDA approval in the next few years.
Obtaining full FDA approval for any new medical treatment can be challenging, so a time frame of several years is not unusual. That means patients undergoing this type of therapy are taking a calculated risk, but the volume of positive results around the world is hard to ignore. Any new medical procedure always involves some kind of risk. For patients that are dealing with untreatable chronic pain the benefits are often worth it.
A Work in Progress
It’s important to keep in mind that stem cell therapy isn’t a miracle cure for all known illnesses. Patients with aggressive forms of cancer are not normally candidates for the type of stem cell therapy in use today. Will that change in the future? Possibly, but we’re a long way from that point yet. For the moment, stem cell therapy is best used as a treatment for chronic pain that isn’t normally life threatening on its own.
According to Joel Singer, MD, This is still a big step forward for many patients. Chronic pain caused by arthritis and injury can be painful making it hard to live a normal life. In extreme cases, patients may find themselves confined to a wheelchair. With our rapidly aging population, chronic pain related illnesses will become even more common. These positive developments in stem cell research and treatments are a welcome development.
Joel Singer, MD
Joel Singer, MD, Park Avenue Stem Cell
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