Stem cell therapy includes the use of stem cells to treat or prevent a disease or condition. Stem cells are a type of undifferentiated biological cell that can be used to differentiate into specialized cells and can divide to produce more stem cells. These cells are typically used to regenerate and repair old, degenerating tissue, but can they be used to regenerate spinal cells and treat chronic back pain?
Theories of Stem Cell Therapy for Back Pain
Some have theorized that when stem cells are injected into a degenerated disc, they could turn into cartilage cells and regenerate the disc, alleviating disc-related back pain. However, there currently isn’t a lot of data on this type of treatment. There are many considerations to make with regards to treatment for disc regeneration in particular.
For example, the area around the disc has no blood supply and is low on oxygen. In this type of environment, could a stem cell survive? It’s also unknown how many stem cells must be injected into the site and what they should be mixed with, such as saline or hyaluronic acid. There are also several different types of stem cells that may be better suited to this situation. Because this treatment is still being evaluated, it’s unclear whether there are any long-term risks associated with stem cell injections.
While the treatment has fantastic potential, scientists are still in the process of developing a sound and effective treatment. The FDA has some studies concerning stem cells and back pain in which you may be able to enroll. In clinical trials, your safety is the prime concern, so they will be monitoring you closely for any side effects.
If you have read about the treatment in any other setting, make sure to go to an office that fully discloses the experimental nature of the procedure. Any doctor or alleged doctor who claims the treatment is sufficiently studied and 100% effective is deserving of severe scrutiny.
Other Treatment Options
There are several other treatments for back pain you could try, which are more tried and tested. Noninvasive procedures include back pain injections, which can block the pain signals from the problem area to the brain. Other injections include an anesthetic paired with some kind of steroid. The anesthetic relieves short-term pain, while the steroid relieves long-term pain by reducing inflammation in the particular area.
Other treatments include spinal cord stimulation (SCS), which delivers low-voltage electricity to the spinal cord. This electrical impulse interrupts pain signals before they reach the brain. There are also intrathecal pumps, which deliver medication directly to the spinal cord to block pain signals, and therapies including acupuncture, massage, mindful meditation, and manual manipulation. Back surgery is usually an option for people who have explored every other noninvasive procedure.
Stem cell therapy back pain is still in its fledgling stages, but we do offer it to treat various degenerative diseases related to bone, joints, and cartilage. If you would like to discuss treating your chronic back pain with our Orlando pain management physicians, give us a call. Pain Medicine Group is focused on identifying, treating, and alleviating the symptoms of chronic pain sufferers. Rather than masking the symptoms, our physicians target the source of the pain to help people live pain-free lives. We have several advanced clinics in 3 convenient Florida facilities. Let us take a look at your case and offer you an individualized treatment plan to meet your pain management goals.
Contact us at (888) 832-3597 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment today.