Regenerative Medicine

What is Regenerative Medicine?

What is a stem cell?  The name “stem cells” is a popular marketing misnomer that has caused some public confusion on what these cells are and what they can do.  At Pinnacle Integrative Health, our mission includes education with accurate information. 

In order to correct the misunderstanding we need to use the correct terminology for “stem cell”  and the research community has concluded that these cells should be referred to as “medicinal signaling cells” (MSCs), or  “patient-specific drug stores for injured tissues” because of their broad range of secretion of therapeutic drugs that they release once transplanted into tissue.  

According to Dr. Arnold I. Caplan PhD., pioneering researcher in the regenerative medicine field urges that we change the name of MSCs to “Medicinal Signaling Cells”  to more accurately reflect the fact that these cells home in on sites of injury or disease and secrete bioactive factors that are immunomodulatory and trophic (regenerative) meaning that these cells make therapeutic drugs in situ that are medicinal. It is, indeed, the patient’s own sitespecific and tissuespecific resident stem cells that construct the new tissue as stimulated by the bioactive factors secreted by the exogenously supplied MSCs.

Medicinal Signaling Cells are directly responsible for the release of proteins and paracrine (hormone) factors that decrease inflammation, produce analgesic compounds, kill invading microbes, and trigger the growth of new connective tissues, nerves and blood vessels.

When we inject Regenerative medicinal signaling cells directly into your problem area, we ‘trick’ your body into thinking that there has been a new injury without actually causing any tissue insult, and you get a second chance at healing. In the case of advanced osteoarthritis where the population of regenerative medicinal signaling cells cells has been depleted, we are repopulating the area with Medicinal Signaling cells that release astronomical amounts of growth factors, cytokines  thereby restoring the body’s natural ability to heal itself.

The process of administering these regenerative medicinal signaling cells cells has been shown in clinical trials to have beneficial effects in degenerative conditions. Few patients have access to clinical trials. We offer patients and their doctors access to these therapies now. Medicinal Signlaing cell treatments are not covered by insurance.

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Regenerative Medicinal Signaling Cells Musculoskeletal Medicine

At Pinnacle Integrative Health, non-invasive medical procedures are the mainstay of our practice. Using the most up to date techniques, our staff treats patients as whole people, providing a comprehensive diagnostic assessment to design a customized strategy for relief from medical concerns in Seattle. Stem cell research, for example, has advanced to a point that, at Pinnacle Integrative Health, stem cell injections are a part of our array of treatments, designed to help our patients attain their wellness goals and achieve a higher quality of life.

For instance, until recently, treatment options for people with osteoarthritis of the knee were limited. Steroid injections, joint replacement surgery, and physical therapy were often the only treatment options. Now, in Seattle, stem cell injections for degenerative joint diseases, sports injuries and tendon and ligament tears are available at Pinnacle Integrative Health. Regenerative umbilical allograft also has applications for treating Achilles tendonitis, rotator cuff tendonitis, and degenerative arthritis.

Stem cell injections work with the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Unlike treatments that simply address the symptoms, regenerative umbilical allograft actually promotes repair of the body, restoring degenerated tissue. Stem cell injections also contain hyaluronan, which eases pain and restores mobility by lubricating joints and tendons. This therapy fits well with Pinnacle Integrative Health’s integrated approach to wellness, addressing the source of issues, rather than just treating the symptoms.


Conditions Treated

Until recently, treatment options for people with osteoarthritis of the knee were limited. Steroid injectionsjoint replacement surgery, and physical therapy were often the only treatment options. Now, in Seattle, regenerative umbilical allograft injections for knee osteoarthritis are available at Pinnacle Integrative Health.  Regenerative umbilical allograft also has applications for treating Achilles tendonitis, rotator cuff tendonitis, and degenerative arthritis.

Pinnacle Integrative Health offers a non-invasive alternative to surgery and steroid injections for this problem. We also treat the underlying issues that cause the pain using either Pinnacle Integrative Health’s advanced form of Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy or regenerative umbilical allograft.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Quite a number of people suffering from ITB syndrome do not want to risk the side effects that come with steroid injections, while others do not want to resort to surgery. If you are in this category, you can visit Pinnacle Integrative Health for a non-invasive alternative to treat ITB syndrome.

Meniscus Tear

Those suffering from meniscus tear are increasingly becoming aware of the implications of removing the meniscus though surgical operation, they also prefer not to risk the side effects that come with steroid injections.

Relieve Hip Pain Without Surgery

Our in-office, same-day procedures will alleviate your hip pain regardless of the cause. We treat a range of conditions including hip arthritis, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, labral tears, tendonitis and complications from a prior injury to the hip joint.

Labrum Tear

If you are suffering from labrum tear, you can visit us for a painless alternative to cortisone injections and/or surgery. After undergoing our procedure it will take you a very short time to recover. Pinnacle Integrative Health’s procedure for labrum tears includes a combination of regenerative umbilical allograft and PRP+GF treatment.

Alleviate Shoulder Conditions and Shoulder Pain

Pinnacle Integrative Health physicians utilize Umbilical Tissue derived regenerative medicinal signaling cells to rebuild and strengthen the damaged tissues. And with just as little as one visit you can be on the road to recovery.

Rotator Cuff Tears

Pinnacle Integrative Health treatment for partial rotator cuff tears involve both of Pinnacle Integrative Health’s complex form of platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy and regenerative umbilical allograft, which has been fortified and enhanced with cytokines and additional natural growth factors. In the case of a full tear, surgical repair must take place before treating with post-op regenerative umbilical allograft.

Elbow Conditions

Our revolutionary platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and regenerative umbilical allograft procedures treat all the damages and underlying conditions that cause you pain. The physicians use donated umbilical tissue allograft which resides perinatal tissue to rebuild and strengthen the damaged tissue.

Lateral Epicondylitis

Many patients with tennis elbow run away from surgery and steroid injections. At Pinnacle Integrative Health, we offer an effective, non-invasive alternative to steroid injections and surgery. Our procedures treat all the underlying damages that cause elbow pain. We use regenerative umbilical allograft and our advanced form of PRP and distal needling acupuncture, which can produce nearly instantaneous relief.

Golfer’s Elbow

At Pinnacle Integrative Health we offer these alternative procedures to ensure that your treatment is painless. We utilize umbilical cord tissue derived allograft cells which act as a surrogate to signal the body’s regenerative medicinal signaling cells cells to do their work and Umbilical cord tissue regenerative medicinal signaling cells cells which are the drivers of cell signaling, which diminishes as we age. This innovative treatment method has already been proven effective in clinical studies.

Distal Biceps Tendon Tear

Distal biceps tendon tear typically occurs as a result of sudden injury and is not a result of other medical conditions. The tear can occur during heavy lifting without bending the elbows. In a situation where the elbow joints are forcefully straightened the distal tendon gets separated from the biceps.

Relieve Hand and Wrist Pain Without Surgery

If you have wrist pain that has been bothering you for some time, then you are at the right place. At Pinnacle Integrative Health our healthcare providers offer same-day in-office procedures to alleviate your hand and wrist pain whether it results from wrist arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis or hand arthritis.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Temporary carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated using conservative treatments. But these treatments are sometimes not effective in relieving the pain. Such case may require PRP treatment and regenerative umbilical allograft which has been applied successfully.


Pinnacle Integrative Health utilizes regenerative medicinal signaling cells derived from:

Human Umbilical Cord Tissue (HUCT)

  • Donated Human Umbilical Cord Tissue (HUCT)– a rich source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).
  • MSC’s reside in the umbilical cords of newborn babies. HUCT regenerative medicinal signaling cells, like all post-natal cells, are “adult” regenerative medicinal signaling cells.
  • Pinnacle Integrative Health utilizes cord-derived medicinal signaling cells that are separated from the umbilical cord tissue and cryopreserved until therapeutic application.
  • Umbilical cord tissue collection – We obtain cord donations from healthy mothers during a full-term Cesarian-Section birth in the U.S. A healthy baby is born and instead of discarding the umbilical cord it is donated.  Donors sign a consent form, fill out a detailed questionnaire and give a blood sample. The mother’s blood and the cord blood undergo extensive testing for 114 diseases before entering the FDA approved tissue bank.

Pinnacle Integrative Health utilizes stem cells derived from:

Human Umbilical Cord Tissue (HUCT)

  • Donated Human Umbilical Cord Tissue (HUCT)– a rich source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).
  • Umbilical cord stem cells reside in the umbilical cords of newborn babies. HUCT stem cells, like all post-natal cells, are “adult” stem cells.
  • Pinnacle Integrative Health utilizes cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells that are separated from the umbilical cord tissue and cryopreserved until therapeutic application.
  • Umbilical cord tissue collection – We obtain cord donations from healthy mothers during a full-term Cesarian-Section birth in the U.S. A healthy baby is born and instead of discarding the umbilical cord it is donated. Donors sign a consent form, fill out a detailed questionnaire and give a blood sample. The mother’s blood and the cord blood undergo extensive testing for 114 diseases before entering the FDA approved tissue bank.
  • Among many other things, mesenchymal stem cells from the umbilical cord tissue are known to help reduce inflammation, modulate the immune system and secrete factors that help the central nervous system to regenerate.

Pinnacle Integrative Health also utilizes adult stem cells derived from:

  • Adipose Tissue (fat cells) – Less frequently the source of mesenchymal stem cells but still an abundant source of T-regulatory cells.
  • Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) – Rich source of growth factors and platelets from your own blood. When injected, the growth factors recruit and activate your own stem cells and “programs” them to regenerate new local tissue in which the plasma is injected. The growth factors also boost the secretion activity of the donated stem cells.
  • Because we have multiple stem cells sources at our disposal we can select optimal stem cell sources for each disease and, if necessary, each individual we treat.

Is there a chance for rejection?

Because HUCT regenerative cells are less mature than other cells, the body’s immune system is unable to recognize them as foreign and therefore they are not rejected. We’ve treated hundreds of patients with regenerative umbilical cord allograft and there has never been a single instance rejection (graft vs. host disease). HUCT regenerative cells also proliferate and signal more efficiently than “older” cells, such as those found in the bone marrow and adipose tissue, therefore, they are considered to be more “potent.”

  • Among many other things, medicinal signaling cells from the umbilical cord tissue are known to help reduce inflammation, modulate the immune system and secrete growth factors and signals that help the central nervous system to regenerate.

The physicians at Pinnacle Integrative Health use imaging for diagnostics and procedures we perform; ultrasound is the standard for imaging soft tissues (i.e. hip, knee, rotator cuff, Achilles, plantar fascia, etc) in real-time and our physician and Nurse Practitioner have received advanced training in the use of the Ultrasound diagnostics and imaging to ensure we perform the injections with precision and accuracy.

Short answer: no. Long answer: regenerative medicinal signaling cells umbilical allograft and PRP are considered elective procedures. For this reason, Pinnacle Integrative Health has a ‘payment at the time of service’ policy and we offer prepayment discounts.  We do provide assistance with payment plans and financing with third party financing at very reasonable rates.  Pinnacle Integrative Health will only submit claims for the examination and anesthetic injections.

Because regenerative umbilical allograft for chronic pain is considered investigational, insurance does not deem it medically necessary and therefore does not pay for it; it is an out of pocket 'cash procedure'.  When it comes to regenerative umbilical allograft we have always offered and performed the treatments that we deem best and agree upon, rather than only what insurance companies deem they will pay for. Also, some of our colleagues additionally run very expensive marketing campaigns, whereas we grow almost entirely by ‘word-of-mouth’ referrals by satisfied patients. Subsequently, their cash prices are frequently very high in order to pay for their large overhead, while our low overhead allows us to charge far less without compromising quality.

There are very few risks involved. You are certain to be sore for a few days after the procedure, but that is a side effect, not a risk. Infection is within the realm of possibility but is almost unheard of in the Regenerative Pain Medicine community. Regenerative injection therapy and regenerative umbilical allograft are conservative approaches to treating pain unlike surgery that might help, but it might make it worse. You can always have surgery, but you can’t “un-have” it. The biggest risk of these therapies is that it won’t help your condition, however, performed properly, they will not make your condition worse.

Our overall experience has been that at the one-year mark after an HUCT/PRP combo treatment, about 90% of our patients are still going strong with 75% or better improvement, and 10% have had an improvement in the 50%-75% range and request a second treatment. Once we get people where they want to be, most people will require tune-up PRP treatments every two years, depending on the severity of the degeneration at the time of the treatment. Approximately 2% of our patients are “non-responders” and have no improvement at all.  Factors include patient health/habits, adherence to post-treatment guidelines, and severity of the condition.

While the treatment itself is not terribly painful, after the procedure, you will have localized soreness and discomfort, especially after hand, foot, and shoulder injections. Most patients find over-the-counter medications and rest sufficient to help with the pain. Some other clinics scrape the surface of the joint with the needle while injecting regenerative cells in order to cause a localized irritation. This causes a great deal of post-procedure pain that can last weeks or months. We have not found this necessary to do, subsequently, our treatments produce very little soreness after.

These therapies are intended to add cushioning, viscosity, and provide anti-inflammatory properties to assist in healing connective tissues. Unlike a steroid injection, which can cause more damage to the tissue… there is rarely immediate pain relief. Typically, patients notice improvement after two to twelve weeks and continue to notice continual improvement months after the treatment (unlike a steroid injection that typically wears off after a period of weeks or months).

Unless you are a vampire, nothing in this life is permanent. Total joint replacement surgery is not permanent; even the latest prosthetic devices must eventually be replaced. The treatments we offer are intended to knock out inflammation and signal tissue repair & provide long term solutions, but they do not stop the hands of time. Our overall experience has been that five years after one HUCT treatment, about 70% of our patients are still going strong, and 30% have a booster treatment. Our recommendation is preventative PRP booster tune-up treatments every two years with either PRP or another application of the umbilical tissue allograft.

None. We are happy to report that our overall patient satisfaction rate is very high. We grow almost entirely by word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied patients. We help more people than we don’t help, but we don’t help everyone. We have found that the severity of the condition is much less of a predictor of the clinical outcome than is the overall health of the person being treated. If you’re unhealthy, it is entirely possible that your native regenerative cells don’t function properly. We have observed that we tend to have less optimal outcomes in people who are smokers, heavy drinkers, diabetics, those who have uncontrolled hypertension, sleep apnea, lousy diets, and who have a negative, pessimistic outlook on life.

Mostly common sense: a whole-foods diet free of sugar and grains, regular exercise, quality sleep, fulfilling interpersonal relationships, avoidance of smoking and heavy alcohol consumption. Click here to read a dietary guide based on science, inspired by Dr. Royal Lee on the topic of nutritional approaches to optimizing your health and thereby improving the outcomes of regenerative umbilical allograft therapy.

We apologize in advance to the engineers, we know you’re going to hate this answer. While the goal of regenerative umbilical allograft is to treat your pain, improve and increase your activities of daily living and quality of life, there is no claim or guarantee that it will lead to improvements in your X-ray or MRI… and we’re OK with that. To us, success is being able to normally walk down a flight of stairs, keep up with the grandkids, or go surfing. While we have seen improvements in the pictures, the goal is to get you out of pain and keep you out of pain, naturally, so you can have your life back.

How can regenerative umbilical allograft reduce your pain without improving your pictures? In the evaluation of pain, we consider “the subjective”  and “the objective”. The subjective is the pain the person reports and the objective are “the pictures”; the diagnostic imaging such as X-ray and MRI. You would think that the two would be directly correlated; the worse the pictures, the worse the pain. But it turns out, studies have proven they are not directly correlated. What this means is how bad the pictures look, does not predict how much pain the person reports. There have been conducted large, scientific studies looking at people with no back pain, and they frequently have abnormal spine MRI’s. We see it all the time in the clinic when we X-ray knees; frequently,  the one that looks like “the bad one” doesn’t hurt much, and the one that looks like “the good one” is excruciating.

Just because it looks bad, doesn’t mean it’s painful and just because it looks normal, doesn’t mean there’s no pain. How is this? We can think of our bodies in terms of macro-environments and micro-environments. Macro-environment is anatomy that shows up in X-ray or MRI (bones, joints, ligaments, tendons). Micro-environment is the microscopic anatomy that cannot be seen on X-ray or MRI, such as tiny nerves, tiny blood vessels, and collagen fibers. Macro-environments are not the pain generators. Micro-environments are the pain generators. When we inject regenerative cells into an area, we are treating the micro-environment by signaling tissue repair and regeneration. growing robust collagen and healthy blood vessels, but most often, we are not altering the gross anatomy.

Yes, on a limited individual basis. More specifically, Pinnacle Integrative Health wishes to make a modest contribution to the field of regenerative pain medicine, and for that reason we do not market or promote cosmetic treatments as it might dilute our efforts. However, in response to demand from our patients and their families, we have started to offer limited stem cell and PRP treatments for rejuvenation of the skin, hair restoration.

Our Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner is Michelle McElhaney, ARNP specializes in Regenerative umbilical allograft.  Read more about our providers here. Washington state grants both MDs and ARNPs a broad scope of practice termed as Primary Care Physicians and they are highly trained specialists in this field.

When Daniel Rasmussen EAMP, Dipl. OM opened Pinnacle Integrative Health Clinic in 2010, from day one his practice has been 100% holistic, integrative, anti-aging and regenerative in offering cutting edge therapeutic procedures for the treatment of chronic, systemic inflammatory and orthopedic pain conditions. In this time his practice has grown to one of the largest integrative clinics in Seattle and the regenerative therapies offered have been over 80% of patient procedures for chronic pain conditions. Our team of compassionate providers has treated over 40,000 patient visits since 2010. This places Daniel’s team and the regenerative therapy center for pain, cosmetics, sexual wellness among the most prestige and experienced in the country.

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