March 26, 2022
Your Guide To Stem Cell Therapy For Back Pain
Of all ailments, natural or otherwise, lower back pain can be one of the most debilitating. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most common. Over 80% of Americans face lower back pain in their lifetime, and it happens to be the leading cause of workplace injuries. You need your lower back to perform even the most basic day-to-day tasks, so when it becomes inflamed (or worse), mobility becomes a challenge.
To be more specific, when your lower back is out of order, mobility without pain becomes almost impossible.
Your low back connects your upper and lower body, which means it affects countless functions. There are many treatments available for those seeking relief and full mobility, but one of the most promising breakthroughs is stem cell therapy. In this article, we’ll detail some of the causes of lower back pain, traditional solutions that often come with downsides, and – most importantly – highlight the innovations stem cell therapy presents, along with the surprisingly straightforward way in which it works.
The Causes of Back Pain
Lower back pain is currently the third most common ailment in the United States, and affects a wide range of adults, from young to mature. While many cases of lower back pain can be ascribed to short-term trauma or injury, a large percentage are related to Degenerative Disc Disease (which, despite its name, is not actually a disease, but an all-encompassing term for the natural wear-and-tear that spines often go through as they age). DDD affects the entire spine, but nowhere more so than at the cervical region (at the neck) and lower lumbar (lower back).
As DDD progresses throughout adulthood, spinal discs at the lower spine slowly lose water – and by extension their flexibility. The centers of the discs become thin, while the ligaments surrounding them become fragile. If damage continues and DDD is left untreated, it can even contribute to degenerative arthritis.
Other causes of lower back pain include:
- Pinched Nerves
- Bone Spurs
- Orthopedic Stress
- Herniated Discs
Traditional Therapy For Back Pain
Therapy for lower back pain traditionally falls into one of four categories: physical therapy, alternative therapy, medication, and in some cases even surgery.
Physical therapy relieves lower back pain by strengthening the body itself – especially the core muscles, which take pressure away from the spine and low back when they’re functioning well. This is accomplished through repeated exercises and routines that rebalance the body. In some cases, ultrasound and electrical stimulation can also be used to strengthen the core muscles – along with the muscles of the lower back itself. The cons to physical therapy are the large number of sessions needed to get results, and the relatively slow speed of recovery. For patients with enormous pain, it may not be an ideal solution on its own.
Another con to physical therapy is that it’s only effective as part of a full lifestyle change. That said, many of the supplemental treatments can lead to positive and lasting habits, and include yoga, chiropractic adjustments, and acupuncture.
Cortisone injections rank among the most serious ways to combat an inflamed lower back, along with heavy-duty drugs like muscle relaxants and even low-grade doses of antidepressants. Pain relievers are naturally a popular choice here too. The risks of medication include unwanted side-effects and even possible addiction issues. Medication also rarely addresses the root causes of lower back pain, making it a far from permanent solution for many patients.
In severe cases (often related to herniated discs or other major structural issues), surgery can help correct those root causes. The downside of this option includes extended recovery time, along with the possibility that the pain may eventually return – sometimes in less than a year.
Stem Cell Therapy For Back Pain
Stem cell therapy – part of a larger block of treatment options known as regenerative therapy – offers exciting new possibilities for those suffering from lower back pain. Since stem cells regenerate, they can greatly expedite recovery when injected into damaged tissue – not only relieving pain, but continuing to renew themselves long after injection. This has phenomenal implications for long-term well-being.
In the case of stem cell therapy for lower back pain, stem cells are often harvested from the patient’s own bone marrow (the hip bone being an especially rich source) before being processed via centrifuge into bone-marrow aspirate concentrate. The processed BMAc is then delivered into the patient’s damaged discs through intradiscal stem cell injections.
Because stem cells used to repair this tissue come from the patient themselves, it’s a treatment that comes with little if any resistance from the body, and delivers immediate anti-inflammatory benefits for many who undergo the procedure. In recent studies, about half of all patients who only use stem cell therapy to treat lower back pain (no major surgeries, medications or physical therapy sessions) still report greatly reduced pain years after the procedure.
Is Stem Cell Therapy For Back Pain Right For Me?
Stem cell therapy isn’t guaranteed to work for everyone, but it promises enormous benefits for many – especially for those suffering from DDD. Since DDD is often a result of the patient’s own tissue breaking down, injecting the patient’s own healthy cells into the affected area is a recipe for not only quick relief, but long-term regeneration and stability.
At CORR, we work with you to understand your body’s needs from every angle. If stem cell therapy is the right course of action to treat your own back pain, we’ll be able to incorporate it into a complete treatment plan customized just for you. Our team will optimize your results while minimizing recovery time, so you can get back to daily activities – without the nagging pain. Reach out to us today to learn more about our stem cell therapy options, and all the other regenerative treatments we use to get you back to being your best self.