Regenerative Therapy for Back Pain

Regenerative Therapy for Back Pain

Regenerative Therapy for Chronic Back Pain

Low back pain is the fifth most common reason a patient visits their doctor.  More than 90% of the population will experience at least one episode of low back pain during their lifetime. The social and economic impact of low back pain is significant and it is responsible for about 40% of missed work days in the US.

Causes of Back Pain

There are many different causes for low back pain. The pain can be acute or chronic in nature and may originate from an injury or degenerated tissues in the spine. Common causes of low back pain include:

  • Back strain: This occurs when the spine is subjected to physical stress that is greater than what can be supported by the muscular and ligamentous structures. Repeated heavy lifting or sudden awkward movements can cause over-stretching or tearing of the ligaments, tendons or muscles in the spine causing pain.
  • Arthritis. Osteoarthritis of the spine can lead to degeneration that is associated with the normal wear and tear of joints, discs and bones in the spine as people age. The arthritis can lead to bone spurs which result in narrowing of the space around the spinal nerves and spinal cord; a condition called spinal stenosis.
  • Facet joint dysfunction: The spinal column consists of individual bones called vertebrae.  They connect to one another at each level by two small facet joints.  The joints promote movement and stability between the vertebral bodies. Pain occurs when the joints get inflamed or when the cartilage in the joints becomes injured or worn out.
  • Bulging or Ruptured Disc: The discs are soft, gel filled structures that act as cushion or shock absorbers between the vertebral bones in your spine.  The disc also connects the adjacent vertebrae together with strong fibrous tissue.  When these discs become injured, they can bulge or the gel slips out and can put pressure on neighboring nerves causing pain. As people age, discs lose their hydration and wear down leading to degeneration. Degenerative discs can develop tears and collapse which causes low back pain, muscle spasm or spinal stenosis.

There are many other causes of low back pain including nerve and spinal cord problems, scoliosis, fracture and non-spine sources like tumor and kidney stones. It is important that your physician perform a comprehensive evaluation of your medical history and physical examination to give you an appropriate diagnosis for your back pain.

Non-Surgical Options for Back Pain Relief

There are hundreds of different forms of treatment for lower back pain, however no single treatment stands out as superior to any of the others. When conservative treatments fail to relieve pain, your doctor may feel compelled to consider surgery, however, the success rate of surgery is less than 60% for most causes of lower back pain and involves significant risk and recovery time. Fortunately, there are innovative, minimally invasive treatments available.

Advanced regenerative therapy may be the best solution for your back. These advanced treatments can help you heal faster. They avoid the risks and long-term complications associated with surgery and reduce pain to help you maintain an active lifestyle.

  • Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy concentrates platelets, plasma and other substances found in your blood to create a customized healing treatment for degenerative facet joints, discs and nerve pain.
  • Bone Marrow Aspiration Concentrate (BMAC) utilizes your own bone marrow which contains a rich reservoir of regenerative cells, multipotent stem cells and anti-inflammatory molecules designed to stimulate your body’s ability to improve circulation, decrease inflammation and regenerate tissues. This regenerative therapy can be used for disc tears, disc degeneration and facet joint arthritis.
  • Master Protease Inhibitor (A2M) uses a natural substance found in your blood (Alpha 2 Macroglobulin) to stop the progression of joint degeneration and improve pain and inflammation in arthritic joints.
  • Prolotherapy: Sugar containing medications that help regenerate tissue and relieve pain are injected into injured ligaments, tendons or joints to strengthen and improve stability in patients with osteoarthritis, ligament sprains, sacroiliac joint dysfunction and sports-related injuries.

Patients who have failed standard treatments or are seeking alternatives to spine surgery for neck and back pain should consider regenerative therapies. The research on the use of these therapies for certain conditions of the spine is very promising. However, much more research still needs to be completed. The doctors of San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group contribute to advancing the science by participating in clinical trials and publishing articles on regenerative therapies for spine and other orthopedic conditions.

Advances in regenerative medicine offer new hope for long-term pain relief and improved quality of life.

San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group is a leader in regenerative medicine therapies and offers a great variety of treatment options depending upon each patient’s unique needs. With decades of experience in the field of minimally invasive interventional treatments, Drs. Christopher J. Rogers and Mary A. Ambach are experts in the field of regenerative medicine. They serve as faculty members and lecturers at national and international medical conferences and serve on the board of directors for several national regenerative medicine organizations.

5 Early Signs of Osteoarthritis

5 Early Signs of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting more than 27 million Americans.  It is a chronic inflammatory disease that slowly degenerates the protective cartilage in your joints.  The most commonly affected joints are the knee, hip, shoulder and thumb.  Symptoms of osteoarthritis vary by individual, progress over time and are easiest to treat when treated early.

Watch out for these early signs of osteoarthritis:

  1. Joint Pain:  This is often one of the first signs of osteoarthritis. Joint pain that worsens with activity and is relieved after a period of rest is suggestive of osteoarthritis.  Patients may experience mild joint tenderness or debilitating pain that limits activities.
  2. Swelling:  Natural joint fluid serves to cushion and lubricate your joints.  When the joint is irritated, extra fluid builds up and causes the joint to swell creating pain and stiffness.  Sometimes the swelling can be caused by soft tissue inflammation in the joint.
  3. Loss of Flexibility:  Inflammation, swelling and bone spurs can also limit joint motion. It may become difficult or impossible to fully bend or straighten a joint.  This can affect your ability to perform daily activities or engage in sports.
  4. Abnormal Sensations:  The cartilage between your bones acts as a shock absorber and allows smooth joint motion.  When this cartilage becomes damaged, abnormal sensations or sounds such as crackling, grating or clicking may be experienced.  Sometimes these sensations are associated with pain.
  5. Joint Stiffness: Joint stiffness is a common early sign of osteoarthritis and may occur after sitting or resting for prolonged periods of time. Stiffness in the morning is also a common early sign.  Many times, the stiffness will improve later in the day after you are warmed up.

If you experience any of these symptoms, talk with your doctor.  A clinical evaluation that includes a physical examination and diagnostic testing can accurately diagnose the cause of your pain.  Early detection will result in more effective treatment.

Several nonsurgical treatments are available to help reduce your pain, increase your activity and allow you to get back to doing the things you love.

Pin It on Pinterest