Our team here at ThriveMD uses stem cells and other biologics to treat a variety of conditions. Specifically, many of our patients see us because they have herniated discs and other degenerative issues of the spine that make daily living painful to endure.
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However, because using stem cell therapy to treat orthopedic conditions is a relatively new treatment option (approximately 10 years old), it’s common for them to have questions regarding its value and safety. Here are the top five concerns we frequently hear:
Misconception 1: There is No Proof That Stem Cell Therapy for Herniated Discs Works
A stem cell treatment for herniated discs might be a “newer” treatment option, but it still has been and is being extensively researched as evidenced by studies such as this one and this one from a team of clinicians and researchers at the prestigious Mayo Clinic; ongoing clinical trials such as this one sponsored by the University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center; case studies and testimonials from our own ThriveMD patients; and more. Research and patient results indicate the potential efficacy of stem cells when treating the effects of lumbar disc, joint and soft tissue degeneration, as well as other conditions like erectile dysfunction (to name but a few).
Misconception 2: Traditional Treatments Offer Longer Lasting Effects Than Stem Cell Therapy for Herniated Discs
Traditional treatments for herniated discs include rest, exercise, physical therapy, medication and surgery. While any (or a combination of some) of these treatments can alleviate the pain associated with many chronic and acute back injuries, there is no question that stem cell therapy can also offer the same type of relief. Indeed, stem cell therapy has been known to alleviate pain for patients for years, which is often longer than the relief afforded to some patients by some of the aforementioned conventional treatments. Moreover, when compared to surgical treatments specifically, a stem cell injection can provide faster pain relief, which can be even more significant for patients in debilitating pain.
Misconception 3: Stem Cell Therapy for Herniated Discs is Expensive
While most insurance companies do not cover stem cell therapy for herniated discs and other orthopedic disorder, the cost is often less than the combination of insurance deductibles and copays. And since a stem cell injection is a minimally invasive procedure, performed in the comfort of a doctor’s office rather than a hospital or clinic, many of the fees associated with a surgical treatment are negated. Moreover, if you consider the ongoing costs of physical therapy, medication and/or rehabilitation, loss of work and other possible effects of some conservative approaches, the cost of stem cell therapy for herniated discs is very reasonable.
Misconception 4: Stem Cell Therapy for Herniated Discs is Painful
Stem cell therapy is a minimally invasive procedure with only minor post procedure discomfort. In fact, many of our patients here at ThriveMD need no post-procedure pain medication and experience significant pain relief from their condition in as little as two to twelve weeks.
Misconception 5: If I Have Stem Cell Therapy for Herniated Discs, I Run the Risk of Graft vs. Host Disease and/or Rejection
Stem cell therapy for herniated discs uses autologous donor cells, or cells taken from the patient’s own body. This eliminates the possibility of the patient’s body launching an immune response against the stem cells (since the body recognizes them as its own), thus safeguarding the injected cells and removing the possibility of their rejection.
Ready to Learn More?
Stem cell therapy for herniated discs is a legitimate and safe procedure, but it’s not right for everyone. To learn more about its capacity to treat your own specific condition, please contact our team here at ThriveMD. Our medical director, Dr. Scott Brandt will review your history and recommend a treatment plan with the best chances for success.