Frequently Asked Questions About Stem Cell Therapy for Pain


Stem cell therapy can be used to treat chronic pain for many patients in the Ann Arbor area and throughout Michigan. Since it is a newer procedure compared to the more traditional therapies we offer, patients often have important questions about the procedure.

Stem cell therapy is one of many potential types of regenerative treatments available for back, shoulder, knee, joint and other types of chronic pain. It is an option for some patients but is not necessarily the best one in all situations. Below is a list of questions that we often get and corresponding answers to help patients understand the process.

Question: What is stem cell therapy for pain?

Answer: Stem cells are defined as undifferentiated cells that have the ability to replicate and differentiate themselves into various tissues cells. Stem cell therapy is a minimally invasive treatment that involves the harvesting of stem cells from a person’s own bone marrow. Those stem cells are then redirected to the location in a person’s body where the stem cells are most needed – wherever the pain is originating from. By focusing the person’s own stem cells at a single location, damaged tissues can be repaired, which in turn will alleviate pain. Learn more about the stem cell therapy procedure here.

Question: Does stem cell therapy for pain actually work?

Answer: Stem cell therapy is a type of regenerative treatment whereby the stem cells that a person has are used for a specific purpose — to heal or replace his or her diseased or degenerated tissue. Stem cells themselves are undifferentiated cells that can replicate and differentiate themselves into various tissues cells. The concept of applying stem cells to chronic musculoskeletal pain is based on the ability they have to possibly reverse intractable chronic musculoskeletal pain.

Successful stem cell therapies thus far have been shown to provide relief and improvement in function or quality of life for many patients with certain types of chronic pain.

Question: What types of chronic pain can be treated with stem cells?
Answer: Stem cells have been shown to create the opportunity for tissue regeneration for many parts of the body, including cartilage, bone, ligaments, muscle, and tendons. It can help regenerate arthritic tissue for patients who have pain in their spine, back, knees, hips, pelvis, shoulders, hands and feet and joints. Conditions treated with bone marrow stem cell therapy include painful joints with cartilage damage, osteoarthritis- especially in the knee and hip- but can be used in other joints and used to treat tendon injuries as well.
Question: Where do the stem cells come from for pain management?
Answer: It is important to stress that “outside” stem cells (from a source other than the patient’s own body) are never used for this treatment. Our professionals will use a bone marrow aspiration method to collect the stem cells that a patient already has.
Question: Is stem cell therapy recommended for acute or chronic pain management?
Answer: According to many leading medical experts, stem cell therapy has shown promising results in helping patients to effectively manage their neuropathic, discogenic back, osteoarthritis, and musculoskeletal pain. There are many studies available that show such procedures are safe and effective, such as 2021 study released in Stem Cells Translational Medicine. That study confirmed the safety of a novel type of cellular therapy for knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. Many other studies show similarly positive results. You should discuss whether stem cell therapy may be recommended for your chronic pain with your team of experienced alternative pain treatment professionals at Krasnick Regenerative Medicine.
Question: What is the cost for stem cell therapy for pain?
Answer: The cost of stem cell therapy can vary based on its complexity and the type of pain that it is designed to address. We estimate that most procedures will cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3,500 but more information will be available after a consultation.
Question: Does insurance cover stem cell therapy for pain?
Answer: Stem cell procedures are generally not covered by insurance. This could change in the near future as these procedures become more common. Team members at Krasnick can provide additional guidance for families and individuals who have questions about methods of payment.
Question: What does the Mayo Clinic say about stem therapy for pain management?

Answer: The Mayo Clinic has successfully conducted many stem cell therapy procedures through its Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine. The leading health care provider recommends that the first step is for patients to meet with a clinical consultant who has expertise in regenerative medicine and is familiar with the patient’s specific conditions. Mayo Clinic’s website also indicates that stem cells offer great promise for new medical treatments to support pain management. Learn more at the Mayo Clinic website.

Question: Are there side effects of using stem cell therapy to manage pain?
Answer: A minimal number of side effects are possible with stem cell therapy. By using the patient’s own cells in a minimally invasive nature, it helps to limit the types and duration of side effects for most patients. Mild tenderness for a few days following the procedure is possible and unlike surgery, patients are generally able to retain much of their mobility during recovery. There is a very low rate of infection and blood clots are extremely rare.
Question: How long does it take to see results from stem cell treatment for pain?
Answer: Every situation is different so the time it takes for a stem cell procedure to show noticeable results varies from patient to patient. Some of our patients have indicated they have started to feel better in just a few days. Many patients have told us that pain has been significantly reduced or virtually disappeared within one to two months.

Discover if Stem Cell Therapy is Right for You

The process of relieving your chronic pain starts with visiting the professionals at Krasnick Regenerative Medicine. We can help determine what is causing the pain in your back, knees, shoulders, or anywhere in your body. Dr. Robert Krasnick and his team use a holistic approach and consider all treatment options, including stem cell therapy, to provide you with relief.

Set an appointment by filling out our online form or calling 734-585-5653. One of our professionals will be in touch to set up a free consultation. We welcome any questions you have. Live your best life with the help of Krasnick Regenerative Medicine!