The discs that are present throughout the spine act as the shock absorbers between the two vertebrae. They are the fibrous-cartilaginous structure that allows movement of the spine. A herniated disc is one of the most common spine conditions that causes extreme back pain. There are various conservative treatment options that address back pain. However, they fail to treat the underlying condition. Surgery for herniated discs involves prolonged periods of recovery and rehabilitation.
Stem cell therapy for herniated discs is the most advanced non-surgical treatment option that utilizes the patient’s own orthobiologics to repair the damaged tissue and replace it with a healthy one. Currently, regenerative medicine has paved the way for non-surgical treatment options for a wide range of orthopedic conditions. Stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma therapy for herniated discs have evolved as advanced orthopedic therapies over the past decade.
Regenerative medicine is a cutting-edge treatment strategy for orthopedic conditions to repair the damaged tissue and replace them with healthy regenerated tissue. This is currently being practiced across the world to treat degenerative conditions that often result in chronic pain and inflammation.
A herniated disc, also known as slipped disc, ruptured disc or bulged disc is a condition where the disc nucleus is pushed out of the annulus through a rupture or a tear. The spinal canal has less space for the spinal nerves to pass through it. When the fragment of the herniated disc is pushed out the disc presses against the spinal nerves and causes severe pain.
A herniated disc is an age-related condition that commonly occurs due to the wear and tear of the spine tissue. It is also known as disc degeneration. Herniated discs are one of the most common reasons for back pain that affect a person’s ability to do regular tasks. Herniated discs in the lower back cause pain in the arms and legs that can shoot up, especially while you cough, sneeze, or try to move in certain positions.
A disc slip can occur due to a simple twisting or turning while making an attempt to lift an object. Also, lifting heavy weights can impose stress on the lower back, which can increase the risk of slipped discs. Individuals leading a sedentary lifestyle and who are overweight are more prone to the risk of a herniated disc.
Treatment for Herniated Discs
Back pain is one of the most common complaints that everyone experiences at some point in their lives. Conservative treatments with pain medications, anti-inflammatories, and steroid injections might sometimes not reduce pain and treat the underlying condition. Avoiding immediate medical attention can lead to a chronic stage of the condition, which would increase the chance for surgery. It is known that surgery for orthopedic condition involves extended recovery periods and prolonged rehab, along with the disadvantages that it carries.
Stem cell treatment for back pain
Stem cell therapy for back pain resulting from disc herniation can repair the damaged disc, regenerate healthy tissue and alleviate the pain. Stem cell procedure utilizes the patient’s autologous stem cells to treat the painful and damaged disc. Stem cells reduce spinal disc pain, nerve irritation, and inflammation, thereby enabling to rebuild the disc material.
Stem cell therapy for herniated discs is a minimally-invasive regenerative treatment option where a person can typically get back to doing the routine works within a few days of receiving the stem cell injections. The ultra-precise spinal injections utilize image-guided techniques, such as advanced X-ray fluoroscopy and ultrasound to deliver the stem cells into the damaged disc of the spine.
Platelet lysate (PL) therapy for herniated discs
Herniated disc treatment with blood platelets triggers the release of growth factors that are essential for healing the damaged discs. The blood platelets used in the procedure are collected from the patient’s body and concentrated in a lab to obtain a platelet-rich solution. Most of the patients find platelet lysate injections to be beneficial to reduce swelling of inflamed spinal nerves.
Post-management care for herniated discs
Post-management care for stem cell therapy is minimal and does not require medications, unlike post-invasive surgery. However, the doctor would recommend you to take some supplements for a few weeks that boost your body’s power to heal the damaged tissue much quickly. The patients who received stem cell therapy for herniated discs can get back to their routine activities within 2 to 3 days of getting stem cell injections. However, one should be extremely careful while moving around and making sudden movements, which could affect the treated herniated disc.
After receiving the stem cell injections, you would need regular physiotherapy exercises to increase the core and spinal muscle strength and balance for support of the spine. Also one should not impose excessive stress on the treated area for couple of days or more suggested by the Regenexx doctor.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Are stem cells useful in treating herniated discs?
Stem cell therapy for herniated discs is an effective minimally-invasive procedure for patients who do not wish for invasive spine surgery. Stem cell treatment for the herniated disc has the potential to repair the damaged discs and regrow the cartilage, thereby alleviating the chronic pain resulting from the condition.
Does stem cell therapy for disc herniation result in side effects?
Stem cells used in the treatment of disc herniation are collected from the patient’s bone marrow. The stem cell treatment for herniated discs is a highly safe procedure that does not result in any form of side effects. But, people who receive stem cell injections would experience slight pain and redness at the site of injection, which can be treated by over-the-counter pain medications. Since the stem cells used in the procedures are collected from the patient’s body, the chances of rejection is completely zero.
Do we need to take medications after receiving stem cells for herniated discs?
The post-management care of stem cell therapy does not require any medications except for basic painkillers for 2 – 3 days. Stem cells, when injected into the body, enhance the body’s natural healing mechanism to repair and regrow the tissue naturally. However, the doctor would recommend the use of supplements for a few weeks after the treatment to aid in tissue regeneration much effectively.