When living a life of pain, one desperately looks for answers. Fortunately, Dr. Jennifer Heller you.
The owner of Heller Healthcare-Heller Chiropractic and Golden Isles Regenerative Medicine receives countless questions from those looking for a way out of their suffering. And it’s fascinating to hear Heller discuss available options and the latest technology.
We met with Dr. Putting it together lighter to identify the most frequently asked questions and the direction they take when all other methods have failed.
Question: Why are you doing what you are doing?
Dr. Brighter: I started physical therapy in 2001 to strengthen the body, but I’ve found that I can do more. I entered chiropractic in 2009 to correct the structure and joints of the body (as much as the patient’s body can adapt). I realized that at some point I just need help to change what has changed. I saw the scoliosis curves change 15 degrees. I’ve seen arthritis go back to 1 stage of degeneration. I’ve even seen patients rise, decompress, and straighten out from compressed, hunched backs, but when I get a patient who has bone to bone or who has failed back, neck, shoulder, or knee surgery , I know that I will need help (stem cells) to modify and adjust this injury or injuries, to make the patient functional and pain free, or at least to achieve a significant reduction in pain.
Our mission for Heller Healthcare is to help our patients live their best lives. We do this by combining holistic medicine with traditional, functional and cell-based medicines. Through our multidisciplinary practice, we give our patients the opportunity to give our patients a well-rounded treatment plan and to specialize their treatments on what they really need.
Question: What is stem cell therapy (regenerative medicine)?
Dr. Brighter: Stem cells supply new cells to the body as it grows, replacing specialized cells that are damaged or lost. But they have two unique properties: They can divide again and again to produce new cells. As they divide, they can transform into the damaged cells to repair and heal tendon, ligament, muscle, and bone damage.
It’s the next chapter in organ transplantation, and it uses cells instead of donor organs, whose availability is limited. When a patient is thinking about an operation, we always say regenerate before the operation.
Question: Who can benefit from this therapy?
Dr. Brighter: Some of the people who could benefit from stem cell therapies include those with osteoarthritis of any joint (which we do in the office). Other conditions that stem cells help with include spinal cord injuries, type 1 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, stroke, burns, and cancer. Even if we don’t specialize in these diseases, it shows how powerful regenerative medicine is.
Question: What qualifications does your practice have to offer this treatment?
Dr. Brighter: Dr. Naidoo, orthopedist and regenerative medicine guru, is a doctor of the regenerative medicine program at Heller Healthcare. Dr. Naidoo is a graduate of Yale University School of Medicine and an Associate Professor of Regenerative Medicine at Harvard.
He knows his way around. The knowledge he brought to our clinic and staff is incredible.
Question: Why do we hear so much about stem cell therapy now and what is the success rate?
Dr. Brighter: The popularity of umbilical cord stem cell treatments has increased significantly thanks to their high effectiveness and recorded success rates of up to 80 percent. At Heller Healthcare we have an 88 percent success rate, and the higher rate is absolute due to their specific post-injection correction program.
Question: Why are umbilical cord stem cells and not our own?
Dr. Brighter: First, we use stem cells donated by mothers who have given birth to healthy babies. That’s the key.
But when we are born, we are essentially 100 percent stem cells. We damage and degenerate our own stem cells progressively with increasing age, so that by the age of 60 we only have about 10 percent. Newborn stem cells, which are obtained from birth tissue such as umbilical cord blood, placental tissue, amniotic fluid, are basically undamaged healthy cells that can get through. Cells divide several times and produce healthy healing factors.
So simply, our own aged stem cells are few and far between and already damaged and sick and won’t replicate nearly as long as brand new, fresh stem cells.
Question: Why doesn’t the insurance company pay? and when will they be?
Dr. Brighter: Although stem cell therapy is monitored and approved by the FDA, it has not yet been approved. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will not pay any regenerative therapies until FDA approval. All other insurers follow CMS.
Question: How can those interested get more information?
The most important thing to know is that with proper research from real medical publications, not just blogs, you are going in the right direction.