Stem cell therapy is one of the most well-known and high-profile forms of medical treatment. For decades, medical researchers have used stem cell therapy as a safe and highly effective treatment for a myriad of conditions. Thanks to recent developments in the medical field, stem cell therapy is growing in both popularity and accessibility. As a result, more patients than ever have access to these groundbreaking treatments and might find themselves wondering if stem cell therapy is right for them – especially those who suffer from chronic or severe back pain.
Before determining if stem cell therapy for back pain is a viable treatment option for you, let’s take a closer look at stem cell therapy and explain how the process actually works.
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Modern Stem Cell Therapy
One of the first applications of stem cell therapy in humans was done to treat blood diseases. While this treatment method is still used today, physicians around the world are also using stem cells to help repair and regenerate tissues that have deteriorated in other parts of the body as well. Whether due to chronic or acute injury, disease, and/or the natural aging process, the human body weakens over time. Adult stem cells have the potential to replace damaged cells of the soft tissues such as ligament, tendon, muscle, cartilage and bone and restore function and mobility to areas that have shown prior decay. One of the most common ways adult stem cells are now being used is to treat the degeneration of the discs and joints in the back.
There’s no denying that the introduction of accessible stem cell therapy is an exciting time for both doctors and their patients alike, but it’s not a time without complications. With any new advancement in science and medicine comes misconception. People (scientists included!) can assume too much or too little and confuse ideal or realistic outcomes in the absence of historical evidence. Only time can solidify theory. With regard to using stem cells for back pain, for instance, patients often expect that their procedure will mimic that of a bone marrow transplant, with a donor supplying the stem cells, a period of weakened immunity, and a long recovery. In fact, their expectations are nearly always wrong.
Here’s what really happens when you receive a therapy using autologous adult stem cells to treat back pain:
Using Stem Cell Therapy for Back Pain
Unlike a bone marrow transplant, stem cell therapy to treat back pain is minimally invasive. It can be done in an office-based procedure suite (rather than a hospital), and is carried out through a couple 2-3mm incisions and IV sedation without the use of general anesthesia. Also, in contrast to many other types of stem cell transplants, our stem cell procedures for back pain here at ThriveMD do not involve allogeneic cells or donated stem cells and don’t require the suppression of the immune system to encourage engraftment.
We harvest stem cells from adipose (fat) tissue usually in the posterior flank or abdomen. We also extract bone marrow stem cells from the iliac crest using flouroscopic image-guided needle extraction utlizing a much thinner needle than biopsy procedures. We isolate aand centrifuge each of these aspirates in order to make a concentrated combination of stem cells, growth factors, and proteins that are catered in both number and volume to the targeted tissue. We then inject the solution back into the patient’s body at the site of the damaged tissue using live x-ray (fluoroscopic) guidance. Patients walk out of the office within approximately three hours of their arrival, recover at home, and usually return to work within one or two days! Pain relief can commence in as little as two-to-twelve weeks, as healthy cells are restored and inflammation is reduced. Continuing improvement may extend up to one-year beyond treatment. In many cases, our patients return to normal or near-normal functioning with a significant reduction in pain.
In other words, stem cell therapy for back pain can serve as a safe and effective alternative for patients who want to seek a minimally invasive treatment for their pain without undergoing a major surgical procedure like a spinal fusion. If you suffer from severe back pain and want a treatment that will produce rapid results without having to undergo surgery or experience a long and painful recovery period post-operatively, stem cell therapy could be the answer.
Want to Learn More?
Misinformation about up-and-coming medical treatments such as stem cell therapy for back pain can spread quickly, so it is important to do your own research before making the decision to seek out a stem cell treatment. In fact, the only way to be fully informed about stem cell therapy is to talk to a skilled physician about the specifics of your injury.
Here at ThriveMD, we are proud to work with our medical director, Dr. Scott Brandt, MD, to consult with patients who are interested in receiving a stem cell treatment for back pain. Dr. Brandt has over 30 years of clinical experience and is an expert in interventional back pain and regenerative spinal treatments. He is extremely experienced in reviewing your imaging, assessing your pain, and determining whether you are a good candidate for the use of adult stem cells in treating your condition. He will explain the procedure to you in detail and answer all of your questions so you are extremely well informed, and have the ability to compare procedures offered by other providers. If he feels that stem cell therapy is not right for you, he will explain why and be happy to refer you to the proper specialist to deal with your specific problem.
If you’re tired of suffering from constant pain and want to learn more about stem cell treatment, contact us today! Our expert team of medical professionals will thoroughly review your medical history during your consultation to determine if stem cell therapy is right for you, and if so, create a personalized plan for treatment.