Degenerative disc disease is basically arthritis that settles in the spine. It can be precipitated by a variety of factors such as an injury, genetics and/or chronic overuse that weakens the cartilage within the spine’s many joints and discs. Quite often, though, there is no one specific cause of degenerative disc disease; it simply correlates with age, hastening its progression as we advance in years.
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Traditional treatments for degenerative disc disease — such as rest, physical therapy and medication — can perhaps alleviate some of its symptoms by treating inflammation and, thus, reducing pain. But other than degenerative disc disease surgery, which is often offered to patients as a final option for the most severe degenerative issues, there haven’t been many other alternatives for sufferers wanting lasting pain relief. Ongoing research, however, continues to support the use of stem cells as a valid degenerative disc disease treatment. Indeed, stem cell therapy has been shown to offer similar results to degenerative disc disease surgery, but with the added bonus of actually repairing (not just replacing!) damaged spinal tissue! Here’s what you need to know about using stem cells as an alternative to degenerative disc disease surgeries such as fusion and disc replacement.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy (SCT) involves the harvesting of adult stem cells from a patient’s own body. There are thousands of studies that give evidence to stem cell-directed cellular differentiation and growth, the result of which has been the rise of regenerative medicine and stem cell therapy. When used as an alternative to degenerative disc disease surgery, stem cells stimulate the patient’s body to induce an immunoregulatory response that ultimately reduces inflammation and initiates the process of new cell growth. Surgery can only remove or fuse damaged tissue or replace it with artificial material. Stem cell therapy, however, has the potential to stimulate repair, decrease ongoing degeneration, leading to dramatic improvements in pain.
Furthermore, because regenerative stem cell therapy is a minimally-invasive procedure, patients have a very short recovery, resting for only a few days instead of the weeks and even months that it takes to recover from degenerative disc disease surgery. There is no hospital stay, no general anesthesia, and much less risk of infection, clots and spinal cord damage.
Want to Learn More?
Degenerative disc disease surgery is not the only option for treating neck and back pain. To learn more about stem cell therapy and how it works as an effective alternative to degenerative disc disease surgery, please contact ThriveMD. Our medical director, Dr. Scott Brandt is Board Certified and actively involved in research and publication, remaining up-to-date in all the latest regenerative medicine findings. He and the rest of our staff thoroughly review all our patients’ histories so that we can recommend the best possible option(s) for treatment.