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Blog / Stem Cells

Can stem cells help athletes?

A brief description of how stem cell therapy may be able to help athletes.


July 3, 2020

Can stem cells help athletes?

David Lyons

Guest contributor

Jul 3, 2020

Louis A. Cona, MD

Medical Director | DVC Stem

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A brief description of how stem cell therapy may be able to help athletes.

What makes stem cells effective?

Stem cells have the unique ability to become any type of cell that is required by the body in a process called differentiation. Additionally, they have the natural ability to find areas of inflamed or damaged tissues and replace the cells with new ones. This is done non-invasively, without the need for surgeries or lengthy recovery times. 

Although treatment can be used to heal a severe injury, stem cell therapy can also be used to continuously repair the body before serious injury occurs, prolonging the productive period for athletes and those with active lifestyles alike. These characteristics of stem cell therapies have caused many to consider them the new future of sports medicine.

Those with active lifestyles know that physical activity causes stress on the body. The body responds by repairing itself and gaining strength over time. However, as we age, the body's ability to repair itself diminishes, and activity can sometimes lead to injuries that cannot be overcome naturally. Until recent years, athletes could only prevent injury through efficient training. They would strengthen the body to be able to handle the stresses applied to it during games, races, or competitions. When the body did become injured, they would turn to surgery to repair the damage and deal with lengthy recovery and rehabilitation times. Sometimes, the injuries would be too much to return to their activity ever again, ending careers in the process. 

Can Athletes use Stem Cells? 

With the advent of stem cell technology, more and more professional athletes have been turning to regenerative medicine as an alternative to heal their injuries. Notable examples being Peyton Manning's neck treatment before his last championship season, Bartolo Colon receiving treatment to continue pitching, and even Rafael Nadal using stem cells to treat his injured back. Athletes have been traveling around the world to receive treatment for years, but until recently, they had only done so after receiving a debilitating injury and as a last resort.

The use of stem cells to prevent sports injury

Today, many athletes and even sports organizations themselves are exploring uses for stem cells to prevent injury and prolong an athlete's career. They have begun harvesting and banking stem cells from players for use throughout the season. By creating a usable supply of a patient's stem cells, they can be grown and multiplied for use when needed. As the stress of the season wears down a player's body leading to potential injury, stem cells can be applied to find and repair any damage found. 

By ensuring damaged tissue remains at a minimum, the likelihood of catastrophic injury goes down considerably. Additionally, no rules or regulations are barring the use of one's stem cells, as they are not performance-enhancing in any way. They are simply a means to prevent or treat injury and prolong an athlete's career.

What is the benefit of using stem cells to treat an Injury?

If an injury, unfortunately, does occur, a player with banked cells can be quickly treated. Stem cells can regrow and repair damaged cartilage and tissue. This could potentially replace the need for knee replacements and other surgeries. Players could also return to action much faster than if using traditional healing methods. It could mean the difference in missing a season or valuable playing time. All of these factors lead to the conclusion that stem cell therapy could be a wise investment for athletes, or any person looking to stay healthy and active longer.

"Dr. Cona is a leading edge stem cell treatment physician"

Matthew Murry - MS Patient


"Is the video I posted from this morning! My speech is so easy for me now, got easier throughout the day! I can talk like a NYer (fast) for the first time in years! Praise God!"

- Matthew Murry


Only 3 days after treatment, Matthew is now able to touch his nose with his eyes closed as well as touch his thumb and pinky together. Both of which he was previously unable to do before treatment.

We are excited to see his continued progress. His story will be updated here so keep an eye out!

Matthew showing his progress with mobility

Matthew Murry - 3 days post treatment

"This is exciting stuff, god bless"

Matthew Murry - MS Patient


Matthew experiences sensation in the bottom of his feet after receiving a simple nerve test.

His left foot did not experience any sensation or move at all, but what happened to his right foot is extremely exciting!


Matthew is now able to lift his leg unassisted. He was previously unable to do so.

Matthew is experiencing the benefits of stem cell therapy first hand. You can view his progress video here.

Matthew showing some amazing mobility improvements.

Matthew Murry - 50 days post treatment

"Amazing progress from one of our MS patients Matthew Murray"

Louis A. Cona, MD - DVC Stem


Matthew is able to stand up with the assistance of stability bars.

David Lyons

Multiple Sclerosis

Although David Lyons was able to successfully fight Multiple Sclerosis through a strict regimen of diet and exercise, he wanted to ensure he was doing everything he could to stay fit. Multiple Sclerosis can be managed with treatment, but there is currently no cure for the disease. For that reason, David came to DVC Stem years ago to use the regenerative and anti-inflammatory attributes of stem cells to aid in his fight for fitness.

The positive results he experienced enabled David to stay strong in the gym, now into his 60s, and that is why he continues to support our clinic to this day.

About the author

Louis A. Cona, MD

Louis A. Cona, MD

Dr. Cona has been performing stem cell therapy for over 10 years. He is a member of the World Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (WAAAM). He is also a recognized member of the British Medical Association, the General Medical Council (UK), the Caribbean College of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. He is the Medical Director for DVC Stem a world-renowned stem cell therapy clinic located in Grand Cayman.

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