The human spine is a wonder of biological engineering, with its ability to bend, flex, twist, and support. But like even the finest-tuned machines, sometimes areas of the back can suffer from mechanical difficulties.
Studies have shown that nearly 65 million Americans have suffered from back pain at some point, with 16 million adults experiencing persistent or chronic back pain. For many of these people, the pain makes it challenging to work. Back pain is a leading cause of work-loss days as well as work limitations.
The Causes of Back Pain
Many people may encounter occasional back pain, often as the result of poor lifting techniques or over-use. But chronic back pain sufferers often have an underlying condition that causes their pain, such as:
· Osteoarthritis: This occurs when the cartilage of the joints and discs of the neck and lower back breaks down and puts pressure on the nerves leaving the spinal column.
· Facet Joint Syndrome: The joints connecting each of the spinal vertebrae are facet joints. They promote healthy movement and stability between the vertebral bodies. Pain occurs when the cartilage in these joints is injured or breaks down with age.
· Degenerative Disc Disease: When the soft, fluid-filled discs that serve as shock absorbers in your spine are injured or begin to dry out due to age, they may start to bulge or slip out. These herniated discs can put pressure on neighboring nerves and cause pain.
Non-Surgical Options for Back Pain Relief
Advances in minimally invasive spinal interventions are giving patients with chronic back pain new options that can prevent the need for significant back surgery.
Fluoroscopic (x-ray) guided treatments such as epidural and facet joint injections reduce inflammation from irritated nerves in the spine and joints. Regenerative medicine enables the body to use its healing agents to reduce damage and encourage new tissue growth. First State Spine offers several regenerative medicine options, including:
· Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy uses cells in the patient’s blood to stimulate tissue regeneration and healing of the facet joints and spinal discs. PRP reduces inflammation and reverses the degenerative effects of osteoarthritis. Platelets, plasma, or other substances in the patient’s blood are selectively concentrated to create a customized treatment for their specific orthopedic condition.
· Bone Marrow Concentrate (Cell Therapy) utilizes the cell-rich product obtained from aspirating a small amount of bone marrow, concentrating those cells, and injecting them into spinal discs and joints. The discs in our spine are constantly undergoing repair, most of which are primarily organized by stem cells. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC’s) have been found to be the best for treating orthopedic injuries and are present in Bone Marrow Concentrate.
Patients who have sought treatment for chronic back pain in the past without success or want to avoid spine surgery should schedule a visit with First State Spine. Advances in regenerative medicine that use autologous products (blood and plasma from the patient’s own body) offer new hope to those who seek long-term relief that will enable them to regain their quality of life.