Living with persistent pain is a reality that many people in this country unfortunately face. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “in 2016 [alone] an estimated 20.4% of U.S. adults had chronic pain,” a condition which is associated with mobility and mental health issues, opioid addiction and an overall reduced quality of life. In contrast to the acute episodes of pain we all face at one time or another, chronic pain is defined as any pain lasting longer than three months, and many issues can cause it: an injury; normal, age-related degeneration; underlying health problems; and obesity. Even gender increases a person’s risk with females being more prone to chronic pain than men. At ThriveMD, we see a great number of patients suffering with chronic pain, frequently as a result of spinal disc herniation; to treat them, we often choose stem cell therapy. Here are some of the most common questions we get about using stem cell therapy for herniated discs:
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Can Stem Cells Regenerate Spinal Discs?
Research into stem cell therapy stretches back to the 1950s and the beginning of transplantation science. Since then, medical professionals and scientists alike have used stem cells to advance clinical care, as well as theoretical understanding of regeneration itself. Indeed, thousands of basic and applied studies, as well as clinical trials, have validated the ability of stem cells to proliferate, differentiate and engineer human tissue, including spinal discs.
Does Stem Cell Therapy for Herniated Discs Provide Pain Relief?
Research backs the efficacy of stem cells when used for regenerative purposes, and over 65% of our new patients come to us as referrals from existing ones. This can only mean that the people we treat are satisfied with their courses of treatment and are off living their lives with little to no pain!
Where Do the Stem Cells Used During the Procedure Come From?
Many people falsely believe that all stem cells used for therapeutic purposes come from allogeneic donors. But while many stem cell treatments do rely on donations of stem cells from strangers or the family and friends of the patients who need them, stem cell therapy for herniated discs makes use of autologous stem cells, which are harvested from the patient’s own body. Here at ThriveMD, we most often isolate stem cells from adipose tissue and bone marrow. We combine these cells with platelet rich plasma (PRP) to form an aspirate that is then injected into the patient’s back at the point of herniation using live x-ray.
Is Stem Cell Therapy for Herniated Discs Painful?
Stem cell therapy for herniated discs is a minimally-invasive procedure that we do here in our office. We make use of light oral sedation and a local anesthetic, but no general anesthetic is required. The most discomfort most people feel is possibly a slight tingling or pressure and/or a prick like that of a needle experienced during a blood draw.
How Much Does Stem Cell Therapy for Herniated Discs Cost?
While it is true that most insurance companies do not cover stem cell therapy for herniated discs, many patients find that the final price of the procedure is reasonable, especially when considered against the ongoing costs of physical therapy, medication and/or rehabilitation and loss of work necessitated by chronic pain issues.
Ready to Learn More?
Stem cell therapy is a legitimate treatment option for many patients with debilitating back pain. If you would like to learn more about the procedure and whether it could benefit your own condition, please contact our office. We can arrange a time to review your personal history and offer individualized advice.