Chronic lower back pain is a condition that affects millions of Americans and is the leading cause for disability in this country. While the causes of lower back pain can vary, disc degeneration is one of the more common and serious reasons. Disc degeneration occurs when disc within your spine begins to degenerate, eventually leading to pinched nerves. Symptoms of disc problems include:
- Pain in the back or neck
- Numbness or a “pins and needles” sensation
- Varying degrees of pain associated with certain activities
When left untreated, the pain can often become extremely severe and debilitating. In some cases, patients may feel as if they’ve pulled their back, leaving them with limited mobility. Currently, there are only a limited number of therapies available in these situations. Researchers are now considering the use of stem cells for back pain. While there are still significant legal and cost hurdles involved in the research, more and more patients are turning to stem cells for managing their pain.
An Alternative to Harmful Pain Medicine and Surgery
Patients with lower back pain often resort to the use of dangerous opiate drugs to help reduce their pain levels. In some cases, patients may need to wear a back brace. And in other situations, their doctor may recommend back surgery. Back surgery is a risky procedure that may actually do more harm then good. In this procedure, a surgeon installs a metal rod in your back. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that this rod will help alleviate pain. In some cases, it can worsen pain. Furthermore, patients may need further surgeries to correct the position of the rod. Patients may also have a limited range of mobility for the rest of their lives once a rod is installed.
If your doctor is recommending back surgery, you may want to try out other alternatives before proceeding with a surgery that is difficult to reverse.
A New Hope for Chronic Lower Back Pain
In 2016, researchers found that patients with chronic lower back pain had immediate improvement after only one stem cell injection. According to this research, stem cell treatment for lower back pain may be an effective option for people trying to avoid disc degeneration.
How Many Treatments Are Needed for Pain?
When it comes to treating back pain with stem cells, research suggests that it may be very effective. The number of treatments you need will depend on the severity of the pain and the nature of your condition. As you previously read, researchers reported that only 1 injection was necessary for patients to experience significant relief.
However, in some cases, patients may require multiple treatments over a certain course of time. It’s also important to keep in mind that stem cells work differently than surgery. For example, these cells work by repairing cartilage and other damaged tissue internally. Just like how your body can mend a broken bone, it can fix areas like your back. However, it sometimes requires a little extra help. This is where stem cells come into play. After they’re injected into your back, they go to work, repairing and restoring injured tissue. Research into stem cells suggests that it can take a few weeks or months before initial improvement is noticed. In fact, some patients report considerable improvement with every passing month, up to an entire year!
But if you’re worried about waiting an entire year for results – don’t be. Many patients notice results almost immediately. And it’s important to remember that stem cells aren’t like surgery. Where surgery is usually a corrective fix, stem cells work to heal the injured tissue at the source – completely eliminating the pain.