Modern medicine allows a back specialist in Dallas and across the globe to target and treat various conditions and sources of pain. As science and technology evolve, so do the methods that we use to treat or manage chronic pain. Back pain is something that plagues nearly 8% of all American adults, according to the Health Policy Institute at Georgetown. This equates to nearly 16 million people – a staggering number. Therefore, doctors and scientists have turned to stem cell therapy for back pain.
At the Pain Relief Center in Dallas, we offer a wide variety of treatments for chronic back pain, including stem cell injections, physical therapy, platelet rich plasma treatments, and various other treatment options. Our top priority as pain management specialists is to achieve effective pain management for patients experiencing chronic low back pain. To schedule an appointment with us, please call 214-709-1904 or fill out our online intake form.
What Are Stem Cells?
You’ve probably heard of stem cells before, either in the news or through a science textbook. Stem cells are basically the building blocks of the body. They are the original cells from which other cell types in the body emerge. When stem cells multiply, they either turn into more stem cells through self-renewal or differentiate into specialized cells, like nerve cells, blood cells, etc. These stem cells are the only cell types in the body able to perform such an amazing feat of regeneration and renewal.
What Are Stem Cell Injections?
Stem cell injections, or stem cell therapy, is a non-invasive treatment option that aims to replace damaged cells in the body. Based on the patient’s requirements, mesenchymal stem cell treatment can be administered globally through IV or injected locally to particular areas. This regenerative medicine intends to reduce inflammation and modulate the immune system.
It has quickly become a treatment option for a wide variety of conditions. These conditions include autoimmune disorders, anti-inflammatory treatment, neurological issues, orthopedic conditions, and traumatic injuries. Many studies have also been conducted on the use of stem cell therapy as a treatment for Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, lupus, COPD, Parkinson’s, ALS, and even stroke recovery.
What Are Stem Cell Injections Used For?
While stem cell treatment can not guarantee a cure for many diseases, the goal is to allow the body to mend itself adequately enough to alleviate symptoms for lengthy periods of time. In many circumstances, this impact can significantly improve patients’ quality of life while also delaying the progression of the disease or pain.
The mesenchymal stem cell injections use their natural properties of self-renewal and differentiation to create positive change in the body. As opposed to embryonic stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells are actually adult stem cells. Therefore, fewer people question the ethics of their use. Below, we list some of the common treatment uses for stem cell therapy.
- Degenerative disc disease
- Degenerative joint disease
- Meniscus tears
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Achilles tendon injuries
- Sacroiliac joint pain
- Knee arthritis
- Postponing joint replacement surgery
Intradiscal Stem Cell Injections
Intradiscal mesenchymal stem cell transplantation, or intradiscal stem cell injections, is a specialist technique that researchers discovered as safe and successful in treating disc degeneration that causes lower back discomfort.
What Happens During the Procedure?
The collection of stem cells from the patient’s bone marrow is usually the first step in stem cell therapy for back pain. The extracted cells are processed in a centrifuge to produce bone marrow aspirate concentrate, which includes the necessary stem cells as well as growth factors platelet rich plasma to aid in the repair of injured tissue.
When the stem cell concentration is ready, an expert physician injects it into the deteriorated disc using a syringe. This is a very sensitive treatment that should only be carried out by a doctor who is well-versed in it. Even then, fluoroscopy, a real-time X-ray device, is required to properly administer the injection.
How Are Stem Cells Used for Stem Cell Injections?
The extraction of bone marrow from the pelvic bone is the first step in the stem cell injection method. This is where you’ll find the stem cells that will be employed in your therapy. After that, the cells are spun at high rates of speed to isolate them from the rest of the bone marrow. Stem cells are manufactured and injected straight into the injured discs once they have been properly prepared. For total precision, the injection is guided by ultrasonography. The process takes around an hour to complete and may be done in our office. Below, we outline a simplified version of the process.
- We extract bone marrow from the hip or another part of the body from the patient.
- The marrow is put into a centrifuge in order to separate the stem cells from the other components.
- We inject the stem cells directly into the damaged disc or joints in the back while using ultrasound imaging to guide the process.
Do Stem Cells Use Embryos? Are Stem Cells Ethical?
This depends entirely on the type of stem cells used for treatment. There are two main types: adult stem cells (mesenchymal stem cell) and embryonic stem cells.
Because they are obtained from early stage embryos, the kinds that have raised concern in the news and among legislators are embryonic. Stem cell treatment used to rely on cells extracted from early stage embryos, which sparked a lot of debate among politicians and interest groups.
Scientists have now figured out how to detect and extract stem cells from adult bone marrow. This implies that your own cells can be utilized to help restore your body without the danger of rejection that comes with conventional treatments. At the Pain Relief Center, we collect adult mesenchymal stem cells from your own bone marrow to utilize in treatment.
What Are the Challenges Associated with Treating Low Back Pain?
Back pain is, unfortunately, a very common and costly problem for many Americans. Physicians across both the country and the globe see countless patients each week for back pain, disc degeneration, and spinal degeneration. As a result, it’s important to explore all possible options in order to develop the appropriate treatment method for as many patients as possible.
Through clinical trials and treatments, most patients reported promising results. However, it is still difficult to diagnose and treat lower back pain. This is due to a number of factors, which we list below.
- Many patients have back pain that is uncomplicated and nondistinct, making it difficult to pinpoint.
- Identifying patients with rare conditions such as neurological deficiencies is difficult.
- Doctors must identify severe cases, which comprise a much smaller percentage of patients with back pain than those with nonspecific back pain.
- Medical practitioners must usually diagnose and treat these issues in a short doctor’s visit, which often does not allow for effective treatment.
How Long Does Stem Cell Injection Take?
Stem cell injections are a simple in-office procedure that takes approximately an hour at the Pain Relief Center. It all starts with a visit with one of our doctors, who will test and evaluate your back pain appropriately. You will be allowed to leave immediately following the injection, and the effects will appear in 4-6 weeks.
Is Stem Cell Injection Safe?
By using your own stem cells during stem cell therapies, the minimally invasive procedure is widely thought to be safe and effective. Most procedures involve a very low risk of bleeding, infection, and nerve damage, but no risk of rejection of the cells.
With embryonic cells, there is a risk that the body will reject them, as they do not come from the patient’s own body. With adult stem cells from one’s own body, this risk is no longer present, as the body will not reject its own cells. A visit with one of our specialists will help you decide whether stem cell injections are correct for you.
Is Stem Cell Therapy a Good Idea?
The easiest approach to find out if you are a candidate for the treatment is to schedule a consultation. If your spinal deterioration has progressed to the point where your spine is physically injured, you are not a candidate. Your spine is not fundamentally sound if you have severe scoliosis or if you’ve fractured your back.
Patients with early to middle-stage degeneration might consider stem cell infusions. You are not a fit for stem cell treatments if you have cancer or are on a blood thinner medicine. Come in for a consultation to see whether you are suitable for stem cell injections.
Can Stem Cells Relieve My Back Pain?
There’s no way of knowing how effective stem cell therapy will be for any one patient’s discomfort. Lower back discomfort is unique to each individual. Even effective therapy will fail if patients continue to participate in behaviors that caused the degeneration in the first place.
Before undergoing stem cell treatment for back pain, speak with your doctor to learn as much as you can about your condition. If specific behaviors contributed to your disc degeneration, you’ll need to be ready to stop doing them or limit them before starting stem cell therapy.
How Long Do Stem Cell Injections Last?
The answer to this question will vary depending on a number of circumstances, including your medical history and the location of the injection. Because no two patients are alike, the duration and efficacy of treatment will vary from case to instance. Nonetheless, stem cell injections may offer relief for up to a year. The effects of therapy have been reported to endure for several years in some people.
Common Side Effects of Stem Cell Therapy
Some patients may develop adverse effects as a result of any treatment procedure, while others may not. It’s hardly surprising, therefore, those stem cells have a few red flags to watch out for. Luckily, the adverse effects of stem cell treatment are often short-term and low-risk. The following are some examples.
- Pain from the affected tissue
- Pain from inflammation of the nerves
Remember that other medications you currently take could weaken your immune system. Check with your doctor to make sure none of your medications pose this risk.
Contact the Pain Relief Center Today
At the Pain Relief Center in Dallas, we offer a wide variety of treatment options for back pain. Depending on your specific needs, we might suggest stem cell therapy, physical therapy, disc regeneration, hyaluronic acid injections, anti inflammatory medication, or surgery. To schedule an appointment with us, please call 214-709-1904 or fill out our online intake form today.