Stem Cell Therapy for Lumbar Spine Disorders
Are you a candidate?
Our spine is the foundation of our body and is responsible for a tremendous amount of movement and weight throughout our lives. Think of all the twisting, bending, and stretching we orchestrate at the expense of our spines. These repetitive actions, coupled with gravity, increase our chances for spinal flaws and injuries. It takes a great deal of core strength to keep our vertebrae and discs healthy. Once the disc space becomes compromised, we open our spines to a great deal of vulnerability and injury.
Degenerative disc disease in the spine isn’t really a disease, but is a term used to describe common age- or injury-related changes to the discs in your spine. These changes include the loss of fluid/hydration in the discs, which can result in reduced flexibility, and tears or cracks in the annulus (outer layer) of the disc that can cause it to bulge, rupture, or break apart. Depending on the location of the disc, people with degenerative disc disease may suffer mild to debilitating neck or back pain, numbness, or both that may affect the arms and legs. If traditional non-surgical methods don’t take care of the pain, surgery to remove the disc and replace it with an artificial one or fusing the vertebrae is often a last-resort treatment.
Stem cell therapy used in the area of the affected disc, may help the disc to heal itself. This may reduce inflammation, thereby decreasing nerve compression that causes pain or numbness. Stem cell therapy offers a possible reprieve to reduce the risk of painful self-fusion (called autofusion) or surgical interventions.Stem cell therapy may be appropriate for treating:
- Degenerative disc disease affecting cervical and lumbar discs
- Facet arthropathy
- Mild to moderate stenosis
- Severe spinal stenosis
Advancements in stem cells, with regards to orthopedics, are quickly developing as is research and state of the art technologies. Patients who are interested in stem cell therapy require evaluation and diagnosis by a spine surgeon who can determine if they are a good candidate for this treatment. Not all patients will benefit from stem cell therapies. However, it is a viable option to explore if lumbar (low back) pain is prevalent.