Regenerative Medicine may hold the cure to chronic low back. Low back pain is commonly due to painful lumbar discs. There are many treatments, but to-date there has never before been a cure.
Regenerative Medicine works to repair, replace, or restore normal function to injured body parts. For example, mesenchymal precursor cells are throughout the body and can differentiate into bone, cartilage, tendon, and even muscle and nerve cells. Your body uses these cells after injury to help heal and to avoid scarring. Researchers have been able to harvest large numbers of these cells from bone marrow and have used them to help heal knee, hip, and other joint injuries.
One study used concentrated precursor cells from patients’ bone marrow to help relieve lumbar disc pain. Twenty-six patients with disc pain and MRI evidence of early degenerative disc disease had mesenchymal precursor cells injected into 1 or 2 discs and were observed for 12 months. Researchers found that the average improvement in disability was 56.8% and a 58% improvement in pain.
Another research group separated out mesenchymal precursor cells to inject into patients with painful discs and found that those patients were 3 times more likely to have 50% relief in pain and disability than patients who received a placebo.
Why is this exciting? Most treatments for low back pain last a few weeks. This treatment shows improvement for at least 12 months. Most mesenchymal precursor cell research shows improvement out to three years. Also, these past two research papers show evidence of reversing of disc degeneration. That is like regenerating a degenerated disc. That is exciting!
At Valley Sports & Spine Clinic, we have used Regenerative Medicine techniques for four years with great success and continue to find new applications for Regenerative Medicine techniques for our patients.
We are committed to not just covering up the symptoms but helping to restore your function and truly heal.
Dr Ethan Colliver