My Journey with Stem Cells and Platelets: Non-Surgical Pain Relief

By: Updated: March 6, 2023

I found relief from my arthritis and pain through a non-surgical treatment option, stem cells and platelets. It was an international but fruitful endeavor.


A solution for arthritis

I began my journey looking for a way to reduce or get rid of arthritis in my lower back and knees. I drove down to Spokane from Canada and received treatment at the Regenexx clinic. Regenexx clinics provide non-surgical treatment options for those suffering from pain related to orthopedic issues including osteoarthritis, joint injuries, spine pain. They have a proprietary, research-based methods and patented protocol allowing their doctors to concentrate your cells and apply them precisely to your injured area. When I went there, I was trying to fix my arthritis in my knees and back. I also had a shoulder that was really bothering me, and an operation was contemplated. They said for $500 they would give my shoulder a treatment. Guess what? I haven’t had a sore shoulder since and it's been over 5 years. When you consider that only half of shoulder operations are successful, it makes sense to try platelets first. After having success with both my knees and back about a year later I thought I should get another treatment and found out I could get it in Canada. When I went to Spokane, the clinic took out 60 vials of blood from which to draw the platelets. In Canada, they only took 10 vials of blood. The Canadian experience was not successful, so I again looked to the United States. I wanted to try getting some stem cells put into my back and knees. Stem cells are like platelets on steroids (at least that’s what I thought).


Stem Cell Treatment in Canada vs. USA

Stem cell treatment was not allowed in Canada. In the United States you could get stem cell treatments and get up to 200 million cells injected at a single treatment. And then it all stopped. The FDA changed the rules and only allowed 7 million stem cells a treatment. Basically, the FDA put all the stem cell facilities out of business. It forced those clinics to look outside the USA if they wanted to continue their practice. One has to wonder if the FDA was not lobbied by the knee surgeons and back surgeons because of the positive non-invasive results patients were having with stem cell treatments.

Lucky for me, one of our foreign exchange customers was in the business of promoting stem cell treatments to Canadians and then organizing their trips to the USA for treatment. His name is Michael Banman. Michael had done his research and when it became impossible to get stem cell treatments in the US, he found a very talented Dr. Carlos Escobar PHD located in Bogota, Columbia. My wife and I made our travel arrangements and off to Bogota we went. While on our way for what was to be treatments for just me, we decided that my wife should also get some treatments for her arthritis. We both had our treatments along with another Canadian. Unfortunately, I got an infection from the procedure and spent a week in the hospital back in Canada and then spent two months with an antibiotic bag attached. (I will say that the Bogota hospital appeared cleaner than the Canadian hospital and the infection was just one of the risks we all take when we receive treatment in a hospital). The good news is I finally recovered but applying heat pads and other remedies to reduce my pain probably didn’t help my stem cell's performance.


A Turning Point: Stem Cell Treatment in Mexico

This January, my wife and I were in Mexico. I was enjoying my first game of golf in a year when my hand started to grow. Turns out I needed an operation on my hand. So here I am in Mexico and I can’t play golf or go in the water. Turns out there was a new stem cell clinic only 2 blocks away from the condo. I went there, did some research and started the protocols to get more stem cells. Interesting that the cost was half of what it was in Columbia. Service was exceptional and they bent over backwards to make my treatment complete and enjoyable. And this time I didn’t get an infection. The name of the clinic is Renue and it is located in Puerto Vallarta. It was created by those Americans that had been getting stem cell treatments in the USA until the FDA stepped in. I became a founding member once my treatment was complete and now I get the stem cells at cost and may make a little profit over time. More importantly, this clinic was funded by people who wanted to continue to receive stem cell treatments and they put their money where their mouth was.


Are Stem Cells an Eligible Expense? 

The good news in all this is that you can run these bills through your Olympia Benefits health plan and have your employer pay the costs and it's not a taxable benefit to you. If the cost of the procedure exceeds your spending limits, you can ask your employer to increase your limits for this exceptional medical expense and if your employer informs Olympia that they approve of the limit increase, your plan will cover you.


Write off 100% of your medical expenses

Are you an incorporated business owner with no employees? Learn how to use a Health Spending Account to pay for your medical expenses through your corporation: 

Download the HSA Guide for Incorporated Individuals

Do you own a corporation with employees? Discover a tax deductible health and dental plan that has no premiums:

Download the HSA Guide for a Business with Staff

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