Every job requires a certain skill set. May you be a doctor who knows how to treat complex diseases or a plumber who can stop any leak, we all have our own forte. An athlete’s skill set resides in his or her own body. Their athleticism is what sets them apart from everyone else and allows them to preform their sports at the professional level. Clearly an athleteâ€™s body is their prized possession. Without their muscles, speed, and reflexes their careers would suffer.
This leaves many athletes in fear of what is to happen to them if they get hurt. Time and time again we see top athletes unable to return to their sport due to a tragic injury. Players such as Bo Jackson and Jay Williams had to end their careers due to joint damage. Clearly this is why athletes are always looking for ways to improve their body’s strength and quickly fix injuries.
Lately we have heard quite a lot of buzz about athletes using stem cell based therapies to help their bodies heal and overall save their careers. ESPN in October published one of the most inspiring stories relating to this topic in their article, Chasing the Miracle Cure. For the first time the sports community acknowledged how beneficial these treatments are for athletes.
Athletes, like Payton Manning, have already received stem cell therapies to repair the damage their sports created on their body. Manning used his body’s own Mesenchymal Stem Cells to help heal a very traumatic injury to his neck. Other players such as Kobe Bryant, Bartolo Colon, Hines Ward and Jarvis Green have also used this new technology to aid their ailments and might I add with much success.
Jarvis Green a NFL defensive end stated, Before, I couldn’t walk up the stairs, Three weeks later, I went to an NFL training camp and didn’t miss a day. With testimonials like these it is hard to say stem cells are unsafe and not effective. This should be the strongest testimonial coming from a player that truly knows how every muscle in his body, and very aware of what pain feels like.
However, still you hear a lot of negative media, like on CBS 60Minutes that stated stem cell therapy is a â€œsnake oil treatment and experimental. However, with the amount of positive cases seen around the world and 15+ years of collaboration with these technologies it can hardly be called experimental. When you look at a X-ray of someone’s bones before and after a treatment it is hard to state its not working. You can clearly see new bone, ligaments, cartilage being laid down and less trauma to the site.
These professional athletes that already underwent treatments should really show how effective the treatments are. When a player like Kobe Bryant who is worth 150 million dollars, has countless lawyers, managers, agents governing his life, has a procedure like this it has to be safe.
These players receive the best medical care the world has to offer. Clearly, stem cells are the newest sector in professional athlete care. Instead of a athlete having to end their career like Bo Jackson, athletes now have another alternative to regenerate their damaged areas. Stem cells allow athletes to not only save their damaged body parts but also their careers.
Copyright © 2012 Alex Martin MD & Devin Stone, Los Angeles
- Assael, Shaun. “Chasing the Miracle Cure.” ESPN: The Worldwide Leader In Sports. ESPN Magazine, 5 Oct. 2011. Web. 26 Jan. 2012. .
- Mag, Complex. “5 Athletes Who Had Their Careers Ended By Injury.” Complex | Style, Music, Sneakers, Entertainment, Girls, Technology. Complex Magazine, 30 June 2009. Web. 26 Jan. 2012. .
- Reicher, Michael. “Kobe Bryant Divorce: Three Homes to Vanessa Probably Just a Start – Latimes.com.” Blogs – Latimes.com. LA Times, 23 Jan. 2012. Web. 26 Jan. 2012. <https://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/01/kobe-bryant-divorce-three-homes-to-vanessa-likely-just-a-start.html
- “Stem Cell Fraud: A 60 Minutes Investigation – CBS News.” Breaking News Headlines: Business, Entertainment & World News – CBS News. CBS 60 Minutes, 8 Jan. 2012. Web. 26 Jan. 2012. .