Each year, millions of people visit their physician for help with chronic back pain. Common therapies include prescription pain medication, muscle relaxants, steroid injections to soothe inflamed discs and nerves, and surgery. Regenerative therapy and PRP therapy are providing a new option for addressing back pain.

Mesenchymal stem cells are transformative. Their value is that they can transform into cartilage, bone, or fat cells. In damaged areas of the spine, these cells may make a significant difference in flexibility and comfort.

How is Regenerative Therapy Used for the Spine?

There are several areas of the body where stem cells can be obtained. Studies and clinical use have demonstrated high rates of success obtaining these cells from the iliac bone at the back of the hip. The harvesting of these cells takes only a few minutes and the cells are ready for use right away. To obtain stem cells, providers use image guidance with fluoroscopy or ultrasound. This ensures the accuracy of both the donor site and recipient site once cells are ready to be injected. Once the stem cells are inserted into the spinal area, they gravitate toward inflamed tissue. Here, they work within the injury to grow healthy new tissue. Additionally, stem cells release an anti-inflammatory chemical that can decrease pain.

What Conditions of the Back can Regenerative Therapy Treat?

Back pain may be caused by several different problems. To understand the value of regenerative therapy, we must look at what those causes are. Possibilities include:

  • Herniated discs pressing on and irritating nerves leaving the spine
  • Degenerative disc disease caused by wear and tear of the spine
  • Facet joint arthritis
  • Spinal stenosis, narrowing of the spinal canal
  • Muscle trigger points or atrophy in the muscles that support the spine
  • Loose sacroiliac ligaments
  • Regenerative may be used to decrease the symptoms of:
  • Herniated discs
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Pinched nerves
  • Spinal facet pain
  • Sacroiliac joint pain

Will Regenerative Therapy Relieve Back Pain?

The purpose of regenerative therapy is to prompt the body to repair and strengthen damaged tissue. Pain relief may be noticed several weeks after the procedure, with the full effects of regenerative therapy noticed two to three months after the completion of the recommended treatment protocol. To adequately address the symptoms of back problems, multiple injections may be necessary.

Studies and practical use suggest that bone marrow stem cells may be particularly effective in the treatment of painful spinal discs. Providers have used this concentrate to improve conditions like degenerative disc disease, damaged facet joints, and instability, and pain in the sacroiliac joint. However, bone marrow stem cells seem to be most effective at stimulating the repair of painful disc tears.

Is Regenerative Therapy in the Spine Safe?

Regenerative therapy offers several benefits for spine conditions, including:

  • Decreased inflammation and improved comfort
  • Increased range of motion
  • Short recovery period in comparison to surgical intervention
  • Natural treatment solution
  • The outpatient procedure does not require general anesthesia

The harvesting and injection of bone marrow stem cells and the use of other types of regenerative therapy has been performed many times by doctors who have been trained in this modality. Using ultrasound guidance and sterile treatment protocols supports a safe and effective procedure.

Are There Any Risks to Regenerative Therapy for The Spine?

All procedures that puncture the skin carry some degree of risk. Regenerative therapy is not associated with major adverse reactions. There are, however, risks of nerve damage, bleeding, and infection. Our providers use strict treatment protocols to minimize risks to our patients.

Is Regenerative Therapy for the Spine Painful?

Patients may experience minor discomfort during the regenerative therapy procedure. We are careful to use the guidance of special imaging such as ultrasound to minimize the movement of small instruments through tissue. Comfort is also supported by the use of appropriate local anesthetic that numbs nerves in the treatment area.

Schedule a Consultation

Back pain is one of the most prevalent health complaints expressed by adults. With the rise of regenerative therapy and PRP injections, many more people are finding the relief they need from chronic back pain. To learn more about these services, call 215-375-7107 and arrange a visit to our Philadelphia or Upper Darby office.

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