As an interventional pain specialist, I have spent the past 20 years treating spine pain and have always been searching for ways to provide longer-term pain relief for my patients with the most minimally invasive techniques available. ThriveMD, Colorado’s premier regenerative medicine clinic, is one of a few locations in the country offering patients this exciting new back pain treatment option. Adult stem cell back injections are worth exploring as a treatment option for back pain sufferers.
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Adult Stem Cell Therapy as a Viable Back Pain Treatment Option
Studies have shown improvements in both disc height and hydrationToday, people suffering from arthritis, bursitis and tendonitis conditions are already turning to stem cell treatments as a low risk option to significantly reduce their joint, tendon and ligament pain. I am thrilled to say that numerous studies have also demonstrated the profound improvement in degenerative disc pain in lumbar back – similar and in some cases better than the results reported in joint and soft tissue diseases. Results of the study examining stem cells as a back pain treatment option have shown improvements in both disc height and hydration, which in turn has the potential to restore function and minimize back pain.
Results of the Back Pain Treatment Study
Decreased use of narcotic pain medication, greater x-ray demonstrated disc stability, fewer additional surgical and non-surgical treatment interventions.In January of 2014, Mesoblast Limited reported results from a twelve month, 100 patient trial. The patients were treated by an injection of stem cells into the discs of patients with moderate to severe chronic low back pain caused by degenerative discs. The results showed that a single injection of stem cells into the degenerative discs reduced low back pain and improved function in these patients for at least a year. When they compared the patients to a control group receiving either saline or hyaluronic acid injections, the stem cell treated group demonstrated decreased use of narcotic pain medication, greater x-ray demonstrated disc stability, and underwent fewer additional surgical and non-surgical treatment interventions.
Is Fat or Bone Marrow the Best Source of Stem Cells for Back Pain?
The most profound and consistent results were seen in the group of patients that received a combination of both bone marrow concentrate and fat derived stem cells togetherSince this initial study published in 2014, there have been several new research studies looking at the use of bone marrow aspirate and fat derived stem cells for the treatment of lumbar disc disease. Three of these studies were presented this summer at The Orthobiologic Institute meeting in Las Vegas. Results varied depending on the type of cellular products that were used in each study. The patient group that received injections of only bone marrow concentrate showed consistent results but reported only moderate improvement. The patient group that received injections from fat-derived stem cells reported significant relief but had more non-responders. The most profound and consistent results were seen in the group of patients that received a combination of both bone marrow concentrate and fat derived stem cells together. These results are consistent with findings that we are seeing at ThriveMD, where the pain relief procedure is performed with the combination of both bone marrow concentrate and fat-derived cells.
Stem Cells Are Changing Medicine and Back Pain Treatment Options
These studies are compelling and I am excited to continue advancing the techniques that are showing great promise for new back pain treatment options. As stem cell therapies have become a clinical reality, minimally invasive spinal stem cell procedures are beginning to replace some of the invasive spinal surgeries being performed today. Patient benefits include: shorter recovery time, avoiding many of the surgical complications, and potentially greatly reduced back pain and improved mobility.