Stem Cell Therapy in Torrance, Southbay & Westside, CA

The Pacific Pain & Wellness Group specializes in Stem Cell Therapy, a non-invasive or non-surgical treatment option to reduce pain while still providing long-lasting relief from chronic tendinitis, ligament and joint pain. The injections are performed under ultrasound guidance to ensure proper placement of the stem cells.

Stem Cell Therapy Procedure

Injecting the stem cells allows the your stem cell specialists, Dr. Reuben Chen and Dr. Kartik Ananth, to use a higher concentration of stem cells that can be delivered to a smaller more focused area.

Bone marrow and fat tissues are the two sources of stem cells that we use. The bone marrow stem cells (called BMAC) is harvested from the posterior iliac crest or the back of the hip and the Adipose stem cells (called ADSC) from the abdomen or buttock area. We may harvest only BMAC but ADSC or a combination of both depending on your condition. The source of the stem cells is decided based on your condition. Sometime we will also mix PRP with BMAC or ADSC, but BMAC already contains platelets so it just depends on the individual case and how large or small the joint is we need to inject.

Conditions Treated by Stem Cell Therapy

Generally, Stem Cell Therapy is advised for moderate osteoarthritis in the:

  • Hip
  • Knee
  • Ankle
  • Shoulder
  • Thumb

Stem Cell Therapy FAQ

Stem cells are found at different stages of human development and can be categorized based on the level of development, the range of cells produced, or the types of cells produced. These categories often overlap with each other.

The earliest stem cells in the human body, embryonic stem cells, are produced after an egg is fertilized. Fetal stem cells are produced after an embryo has attached to the walls of the uterus. Adult stem cells are the only stem cells found in the adult human body—these stem cells are responsible for replacing cells lost naturally throughout life. Adult stem cells are found throughout the body in areas such as the skin, muscle, and bone. As we age, our stem cell counts decline, resulting in a lesser ability for the body to naturally heal itself.

Stem cells can be further categorized by their ability to differentiate into the various cells of the body. Pluripotent stem cells are capable of differentiating into stem cells of all the germ layers of the body. These germ layers include the mesenchymal, ectodermal, and endodermal layers. Fetal and embryonic cells are pluripotent stem cells. Multipotent stem cells, on the other hand, have a limited range of cells that they can differentiate into (bone, adipose, cartilage, nervous tissue, etc.). Multipotent stem cells are the stem cells found in the adult body.

Mesenchymal stem cells differentiate into tissues of the mesenchymal germ layer, forming bone, cartilage, muscle, and fat cells. The stem cells used in Stem Cell Therapy come from this layer. Ectodermal stem cells differentiate into tissues of the ectodermal germ layer, forming skin and nerve cells that make up the dermis, nervous system, sensory organs, and gut. Endodermal stem cells differentiate into tissues of the endodermal germ layer, forming a majority of the digestive and urinary tracts, as well as the liver, gall bladder, pancreas and the mucosal lining in the lungs.

While both treatments result in significant healing at the site of injury, the action of PRP recruits adult stem cells to the site through signaling proteins rather than having the stem cells directly placed. Stem Cell Therapy floods the area with stem cells and has the same proteins and growth factors present as with PRP. For this reason, Stem Cell Therapy results in accelerated healing ability as compared to PRP alone.

Adult mesenchymal stem cells are obtained in office from adipose tissue or red bone marrow. These stem cells are autologous, or derived from your own body. Stem cells are extracted from adipose tissue through liposuction, typically in the abdominal area. Red bone marrow is aspirated from the hip (coxal) bones or from the leg (tibia). Given the nature of stem cells, both bone marrow and adipose tissue regenerate following extraction, so there is no concern of depleting the body of these components.

Mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow have been found to perform better than adipose mesenchymal stem cells when applied to sites of injury. This is because mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow are excellent at producing cartilage, bone, and soft tissues—the essential components of joints.

Embryonic and fetal stem cells are not obtainable from your body. It is possible to use these stem cells cultured from laboratories or donors; however, the practice remains highly controversial. Stem cells produced in vitro refer to the lab cultured, artificially produced cells. Donors, on the other hand, contribute stem cells produced in vivo—these cells are derived from natural fertilization. Using allogenic stem cells (stem cells derived from a donor from other than yourself) can trigger an immune response from within the body, as these cells contain different cellular markers from your own body and can be identified as foreign invaders. More so, embryonic stem cells and fetal stem cells prior to five weeks of gestation may uncontrollably proliferate and result in teratomas (germ cell tumors) as a result of unclear differentiation. Adequate differentiation can only be obtained from natural development during pregnancy.

Stem Cell Therapy treats the same injuries as PRP. These injuries include:

  • Shoulder, neck or back pain
  • Wrist or elbow pain
  • Knee, ankle or foot pain
  • Osteoarthritis of the hip, knee, shoulder, etc.
  • Meniscal tears of the knee (ACL or MCL)
  • Labral tears of the shoulder
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Tendinitis of the shoulder, ankle, foot, etc.
  • Planar fasciitis
  • Cartilage injuries
  • Bursitis
  • Fractures

As with PRP, those who may not eligible for Stem Cell Therapy include patients who are dependent on NSAIDs or cortisone, have an active cancer or infection, smoke, have low blood pressure, have bleeding/clotting/platelet disorders, or who suffer from illnesses such as cerebral palsy or Parkinson’s disease.

The number of treatments needed depends on the body’s response to initial treatment. Patients can see improvements with as little as one treatment to as many as five.

After the procedure, patients should refrain from using any type of anti-inflammatory medications, including NSAIDs, to allow the healing process to take place. Inflammation is an essential part of the healing process in the body and should not be interrupted following injection. Inflammation brings blood to the area of interest, supplying it with essential nutrients and proteins. However, patients may use non anti-inflammatory pain medication such as Tylenol or other pain medications to ease any discomfort.

Patients may experience pain or soreness at the sites of injection and extraction for several days following the procedure. Stem Cell Therapy is non-surgical, minimally invasive, and does not require rehabilitation following the procedure. Patients should refrain from strenuous activity such as running for several weeks following the procedure to allow for recovery. Otherwise, daily activities can be resumed immediately after.

Improvements will not be immediate, as the body’s healing process takes time to complete. However, general improvements can be noticed as soon as two to three weeks following the procedure. Complete recovery will take several months.

The only side effects associated with Stem Cell Therapy are localized pain at the site, as mentioned before. Stem cells are extracted from your own body, negating the possibility of an immune response.

Patients should refrain from using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) for several weeks prior to receiving treatment.


Like PRP, Stem Cell Therapy is not covered by most insurances. You will need to contact your insurance provider to determine your eligibility for coverage.

Schedule a Consultation

Pacific Pain & Wellness Group specializes in Stem Cell Therapy in Torrance, Southbay, Westside and Los Angeles. Contact us today for a consultation.

Call (424) 625-6600 for an Appointment

Bednarska, K., Kieszek, R., Domagala, P., Jedrzejko, K., Zieba, M., Bieniasz, M., Wszola, M., Serwanska-Swetek, M., Gozdowska, J., Chmura, A., & Kwiatkowski, A. (2015). The Use of Platelet-Rich-Plasma in Aesthetic And Regenerative Medicine. MEDtube Science, 3: 8-15.