Damage to the spine can be particularly debilitating. Not only does it weaken the body’s main structure of support, but it also frequently results in a substantial amount of pain for those who suffer with it, limiting mobility and often precipitating a host of other problems (such as muscle weakness, bladder and bowel dysfunction and nerve injury). Traditional treatments are usually time-consuming and/or invasive; however, there are other therapies now available. One of the most promising is stem cell therapy. Here’s what you need to know about stem cell therapy for a spine injury so you can determine if it might be an option for you or a loved one:
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What is Stem Cell Therapy for Spine Injuries?
Stem cells are special cells that can “transform” into many different types of cells. Many exist in embryos to guide initial tissue development, but some remain in adult bodies, helping to sustain tissue homeostasis. When used to treat spine injuries, adult stem cells are harvested from a patient’s own fat and bone marrow reserves (usually in the abdomen and pelvis respectively). They are combined with platelet rich plasma (also taken from the patient’s own body) and then injected into the injured region of the patient’s spine. Research indicates that stem cells have the capacity to begin generating new disc cells, thereby providing structure (disc height) and improving hydration and function within the damaged disc. The procedure is performed in an office-based procedure suite and is minimally invasive — finished in just a few hours — with return to daily activities in just 1-2 days as opposed to the weeks or months it often takes following many surgical regimes.
Who Does It Benefit?
As we age, we all experience natural cellular degeneration that can lead to spine pain and degenerative spinal issues; accidents and injuries, as well as overuse and arthritis, often accelerate the effects. Thus, just about anyone can benefit from using stem cell therapy for the treatment of a spine injury, especially those with degenerative disc disease (DDD), herniated discs, sciatica and spinal facet disease. With these types of conditions, the main problem is the deterioration of normal tissue. Stem cell therapy for the treatment of spine injuries addresses this by providing the raw materials needed — i.e., healthy disc cells — to build new tissue, improving the structure and function of the spine’s discs, diminishing pain and strengthening their overall support.
Ready to Learn More?
To find out if stem cell therapy for spine injuries might be an option for you or a loved one, please contact our staff at ThriveMD. Under the guidance of our medical director, Dr. Scott Brandt, we fully review each of our patients’ individual histories, providing insight into his or her unique condition(s) and recommending only the most suitable treatment options. We can help you determine the best available treatment for your own issues, too!