Back pain is a major problem in the U.S. Approximately 31-million Americans experience back pain at any given time and each year about one-half of those who are working in the U.S. say they have back pain. It is one of the most common reasons that people give for missing work. Each year, Americans spend at least $50 million in attempts to relieve and cure the pain in their backs. As much as 80% of the U.S. population will experience back problems during their lifetime.
For many, back pain is a passing sensation that can be fixed or helped through rest, chiropractic care, exercise, and/or drug therapy. But for others, such as those who have damaged spines, degenerative disc disease, and other such problems, the primary solution offered by many doctors is surgery.
Although surgery may be recommended, many people would opt for another solution if one were presented. Surgery, which can be an invasive and risky procedure, can result in various complications, including infection, nerve injury, and spinal cord damage. Surgical success rates vary, depending upon the type of injury being addressed, how extensive the damage is, and the technique being utilized. Some surgeries, which are less invasive and involve fairly simply problems, have success rates in the high 80s to low 90s, while other injuries, including those that involve spinal fusion, have a rate of success of approximately 70% to 85%.
Stem Cells a Viable Alternative
Today, many patients are considering stem cell therapy for their back injury. This relatively new treatment involves harvesting the patient’s stem cell rich bone marrow, which has been shown to be effective in repairing worn out spinal discs. The process is relatively simple, pain free, and low risk. Results have been positive in patients suffering chronic lower back pain. Amniotic stem cell therapy has also been used for back pain issues successfully and is frequently offered.
The procedure for harvesting bone marrow aspirate cellular concentrate (BMAC) begins with the doctor numbing the area from which the stem cells will be taken. This is not considered to be a painful procedure; in fact patients who undergo a bone marrow aspirate report it as causing discomfort and not pain.
After the bone marrow, which contains powerful mesenchymal stem cells that will be used to heal the back injury, is extracted, the doctor also draws blood from the patient’s arm. The blood and marrow samples are taken to a lab where they are processed. They are turned into a material that contains a high concentration of stem cells and natural growth factors that are found in in blood platelets. After the processing of the cells and platelets is complete, the material is injected into the damaged area. Once it’s injected into the patient, the mixture will work towards repairing the damaged area of the spine.
BMACs have been described as being the body’s personalized repair kit because they can differentiate into different types of tissues, promoting healing and reducing inflammation. The injected BMACs augment and facilitate what is the body’s natural healing process. With a simpler and much less risky process that is results driven, patient’s are finding many advantages to this type of stem cell therapy.
Colorado Clinic has several Board Certified doctors offering stem cell therapy in Colorado. The procedures are highly effective for avoiding the need for joint replacement, and also excellent for sports injuries. There are several locations, including a pain management clinic in Boulder, Greeley and Loveland. Call the Center closest to you today!