STEM CELL THERAPY FOR BACK PAIN
Lower back pain is one of the most common conditions that people will experience in their lifetime. Because the shape of our spine puts almost all of our weight on our lower back when we are standing upright, this area of our body is most susceptible to excessive wear and tear. Eventually, this excess pressure can cause pain that can become constant over time. Until recently, treatment for this condition ranged from over-the-counter pain medication, to physical therapy and Chiropractic, then to more invasive steroid injections and finally, Surgery. Often these interventions escalate over the course of several years as patients try to stave off surgery as long as possible. This is with good reason, as many of the surgical procedures for the lower back are unsuccessful and require months of painful rehabilitation.
CAN STEM CELL THERAPY FIX MY LOWER BACK PAIN?
One of the most common questions we get asked is “can stem cell therapy help fix my lower back?” Fortunately, we are now able to use a patient’s own stem cells to treat lower back pain. In a procedure we are able to harvest a patient’s own stem cells, concentrate those cells, and inject them directly into the spine. Once the cells are inside the spinal canal they migrate to the areas of inflammation, where they interact with the aggravated nerves and surrounding tissue. Once the stem cells begin to interact with the inflamed painful nerves and tissues, the inflammation subsides and the tissue is then allowed to undergo a normal healing process. This normal healing process had been “short-circuited” by the chronic inflammation associated with degenerative arthritis and wear-and-tear on the lower back. By using stem cells to treat the areas of inflammation, the pain dramatically subsides and function returns.1
WHY IS STEM CELL TREATMENT BETTER THAN STEROID INJECTIONS FOR LOWER BACK PAIN?
Unlike steroid injections, stem cell injections can last for several years. Additionally, steroids cause damage to muscle and ligament tissue with repeated use. Stem cells only help to rebuild tissue, not to break it down as steroids are known to do.
The procedure in our clinic is quite simple. There is no anesthesia required and the entire process takes less than 2 hours.
It involves harvesting your own stem cells in a minimally invasive process. Then, once those stem cells are purified, they are injected into the spine in the epidural space where they migrate toward and coat the inflamed tissue which is the cause of the lower back pain. When the procedure is complete, the patient is allowed to return home with only limited restrictions on activity for a few days.
1 “Stem Cell Therapy in Discogenic Back Pain,” Journal of Spine Surgery, Dec. 2019
Ahmed H. Barakat, Vivian A. Elwell, Khai S. Lam
2 “Cell-Based Therapies for Lumbar Discogenic Low Back Pain: Systematic Review and Single-Arm Meta-analysis,” Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2018 Jan 1;43(1):49-57. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000001549.
Tao Wu, Hai-Xin Song, Yan Dong, Jian-Hua Li