Stem Cells Specialist

Hawaii Pain & Spine

Jonathan D. Carlson, MD

Interventional Pain Specialist & Pain Management Physician located in Windward, Kailua, HI

Inside your body, there are microscopic healing cells that carry out repairs and help new tissues grow. One of these types is the stem cell, which double board-certified interventional pain specialist Jonathan D. Carlson, MD, of Hawai'i Pain & Spine uses to boost natural healing. At his practice in the Windward area of Kailua, Hawai'i, Dr. Carlson carries out cutting-edge stem cell therapy for patients with painful injuries and degenerative conditions like arthritis. To benefit from the power of stem cells, call Hawai'i Pain & Spine or book an appointment online today.

Stem Cells Q & A

What are stem cells?

Stem cells are vital components of your body's self-repair systems, as they have the ability to modify themselves into other types of cells. Therefore, if you damage a bone, the stem cells in the area change into new bone cells to help the injury heal.

The number of stem cells in your body declines as you get older, and you may have insufficient quantities to heal a severe injury. By injecting a concentrated dose of stem cells into damaged tissues, Dr. Carlson can boost the power of your body's natural healing, a process known as stem cell therapy.

Stem cells can help repair soft tissue injuries, slow down age-related tissue degeneration, and promote healing after surgery.

Where do stem cells come from?

Everyone has a supply of stem cells in their body, mainly in the fatty tissue (known as adipose) and bone marrow:

Adipose stem cells

In addition to fat cells, adipose contains stromal vascular fraction (SVF), a rich source of stem cells. To harvest the stem cells, Dr. Carlson collects a sample of fat from your body and mixes it with an enzyme that makes the fat cells detach themselves from your stem cells.

Bone marrow aspirate concentrate

Dr. Carlson can harvest bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) from the pelvic area where you have large bones with a good supply of stem cells.  

After harvesting, the stem cells undergo a cleaning process before they're ready to be injected into your damaged tissues.

How long can it take for stem cell therapy to work?

The stem cells start to work as soon as you receive your treatment, but you won't feel the difference right away. This is because the stem cells are initiating a repair process, which takes time to complete.

After a few weeks, you might start to notice an improvement, but it could take up to eight weeks to feel significant changes. While injections of stem cells don't offer the fast relief of a steroid injection, the effects do last a lot longer, even years, in some cases.

Inevitably, the aging process starts again in the new tissues, so in time your condition would deteriorate. You can help keep on top of these degenerative changes by returning to Dr. Carlson for further stem cell injections.