The First Legit Study of Stem Cells and Arthritis Had Surpri
New research shows promise for undoing damage to your joints.
Stem cell therapy is the hot new solution for seemingly every physical problem, whether it's back pain, creaky knees, or blindness. But while everyone seems to be trying it, there's actually not much reliable research to back the efficacy, or even safety, of practicing many forms of the therapy.

This wouldn't be an issue if an estimated 100,000 US patients weren't paying several hundred dollars per person for an under-researched method. To take one example: People are getting stem cell therapy on their arthritic knees, without any data to support such a thing. According to a study led by the Mayo Clinic's Shane Shapiro, an orthopedic and sports medicine physician, the recent use of bone marrow stem cells in painful, arthritic joints has dramatically increased, while exactly how well the treatment works—or how safe it is—has yet to be made clear. "So many of these therapies are going on without the science to back it up," he says. "We weren't comfortable offering this treatment to patients until we or someone else had studied it in a rigorous fashion."...