Expectations Following Stem Cell Therapy
Imagine that you’ve done your homework concerning stem cell therapy and are counting down the days until your procedure, so you can enjoy a better quality of life and health afterward.
Every situation is different, but the following paragraphs give you a general idea of what you might go through in the many weeks and months following your procedure.
Immediately Following Your Procedure
It’s essential that you strictly follow any post-op procedure instructions or restrictions that your doctor gives you.
If you want to give yourself the best chances of long-term benefits, you need to rest your treated area for a day or two and avoid any anti-inflammatory medications.
Wait for the doctor to give you an all-clear before you start physical therapy, but once he or she does, do so promptly. Your first day or so after the treatment might mean various levels of pain, but it’ll likely go down over time.
Weeks One to Two
The treated area might have noticeable inflammation during this early stretch, but that’s normal, given what your immune system is doing.
Your body will stimulate swelling in the area by rushing white blood cells and other substances there, but that’s just setting the stage for stem cells to start regenerating the damaged tissue around that part of your body.
Once you rest the treated area for however long your doctor indicates, then natural and light movements might be suggested; still, let your discomfort or pain guide you.
For instance, you might want to skip going up and down stairs too many times, mainly if you went through the knee or hip injections. Also do minimal lifting, particularly in cases of shoulder or rota tor cuff injections.
Spinal patients might find some walking helpful in minimizing their soreness. Muscle spasms or soreness are manageable with applications of heat via a pad or warm shower. Treat inflammation with ice. Don’t overdo it though.
If you have a high pain threshold, go easy on thermal applications. You don’t want to hurt yourself without even knowing it. Now isn’t the time to be a superhero.
You need to stop taking or avoid using aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen, along with any other anti-inflammatory medications.
That also means not using over-the-counter or natural supplements and remedies like arnica or turmeric.
Avoid anything that claims to have anti-inflammatory properties at all. The reason for this is because stem cells won’t function at their best if such substances are present in your system.
There are other kinds of medications you can use for pain management, as well as using kinesiology tape.
Talk to your doctor to learn what might work for you safely without setting you back.
Weeks Three Through Four
At some point, your physical therapist and doctor are likely to start you off on a set of non-impacting range of motion exercises that might involve pool jogging, gentle walking, or an elliptical machine.
Non-impact is the key word here because stem cells will need time to turn into the various specialized cells which heal an area. Whatever you’re instructed to do is not something you should overdo.
You might look forward to the day you can sprint, but the healing process is a marathon.
Weeks Five Through Six
By the time you get to this part of the calendar, you might mentally feel prepared for a challenge. If so, hold that thought.
You might be able to put in more time on your elliptical machine or even use light weights for resistance training, but you still have to move ahead cautiously.
Your new stem cells are still building up new tissue, and they need the blood flow and oxygen that gentle exercise provides, yet the tissue also shouldn’t be overly stressed.
You might be able to expand your routine of physical therapy to include the gentle stretches of yoga or Pilates, but you still need to avoid comprehensive exercises like leg lifts, squat thrusts, calf raises, and any twisting.
Weeks Seven Through Eight
In time, you can add in aerobic activity to your routine without risking injury to maturing stem cells. Still, you need to stop activity whenever the treated area hurts. Keep using heat and ice to deal with inflammation and pain as you need to.
Months Three To Six
By this time, stem cells should be at the pinnacle of their healing power. Let them work by not overtaxing them.
Keep making your joints stronger by stretching, biking, and walking, but also heed caution when doing anything around the home or going to the gym.
Proper Communication is Essential
For the majority of patients, going through stem cell therapy is an entirely new thing, giving them a fresh alternative to surgery for recovery and healing. It’s not just acceptable to ask plenty of questions both before and after your procedure, it’s a perfect idea!
If you’re going to be working alongside a physical therapist, be sure they’re familiar with any post-op protocols involved with your stem cell procedure. It’s essential to communicate things like this with them because some exercises that are typically common and effective might hurt your treated area.
The most important person to communicate with is your doctor. You’ve already made the crucial choice to let stem cell therapy enhance your health and general quality of life.
At SHCG, we have onboard experts you can talk to about the advantages stem cell therapy might offer you.
Contact us right away to learn if you’re an ideal candidate to get stem cell therapy.
Call us to schedule a free consultation.