Last month I wrote to you about some exciting advances in Regenerative Medicine. I focused on stimulating your body’s own regenerative cells by injecting Platelet Rich Plasma and stem cells into the damaged tissue. (If you missed that important article, see the June 2014 issue in my online newsletter archives.) Doctors around the country are finding great success using these kinds of self-healing therapies.
On the heels of this report came an exciting new study on stem cell injections from researchers at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center. One hundred people with low back pain caused by degenerated discs took part in the trial. Patients were given injections of stem cells from their own bone marrow. For those who had moderate to severe low back pain the results were very good. In fact, pain had plummeted by 50% at 12 months from just a single injection of stem cells! After the treatment patients needed less pain medication, they had improved function, and the need for surgery or other treatments had dropped.1
Repair and restore degenerated discs
And this isn’t the first time we’ve seen success with stem cell injections. Previous research has also shown that stem cells were able to repair and restore disc function.
The discs in your back act like tiny little shock absorbers separating and cushioning the small bones that make up your spine (vertebrae). These discs allow you to freely move, twist and bend your spine. But as they degenerate they lose more and more of their compression resistant fluid. When this happens it can eventually cause a compression of the nerves that exit the spine leading to, sometimes severe, low back pain.
There are few conventional medicine options for patients with degenerated discs. But the emerging research on stem cell injections for back pain is quite positive. If you suffer from severe low back pain as the result of degenerated discs I recommend you locate a local doctor experienced in stem cell therapy and give it a try. You’ve got nothing to lose but the pain.
Other effective non-drug therapies for degenerated disc pain include collagen type 2 (1000 mg) supplements, MSM (4000 mg), and turmeric extract (2000 mg). Physical therapy, acupuncture, cold laser therapy, disc decompression therapy, and chiropractic can all be helpful as well.