Back pain can be … well, a pain. And many active, 50-plus men and women are looking for solutions that give them relief and that help them sustain their athletic lifestyles, whether biking, golfing, skiing or just enjoying time outside.
They are finding relief with three curious words – stem cell therapy – to potentially reduce pain, improve mobility, and return to an active lifestyle.
While considered a progressive procedure, stem cell therapy is more common than people think, applauded by both recreational athletes and sports celebrities who crave continuously active, pain-free lifestyles at every age. So it’s no surprise that fit (and some injured) folks are buzzing with curiosity.
The use of stem cells for low back pain has been gaining acceptance as an alternative treatment for degenerative disc disease, a primary cause of debilitating low back pain. Bed rest, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, analgesics, bracing and epidural steroids are usually the first treatments for resolving back pain. But when these measures are unsuccessful, treatment often progresses quickly to a surgical solution – or to less-invasive stem cell therapy.
Stem cell based therapy offers a minimally invasive answer to avoiding surgery and potentially resolving pain associated with degenerative disc disease. By using a patient’s own adult stem cells, regenerative approaches can improve the degenerative process; help repair the disc; recover function; and provide pain relief.
How does stem cell therapy work?
Stem cells are undifferentiated biological cells capable of differentiating into specialized cells in your body and dividing to produce more cells. Their ability to multiply and morph into various types of cells is what makes them so valuable.
Adult stem cells can be harvested from the patient’s own fatty tissue and bone marrow. Both of these sources of cells can be harvested using minimally invasive techniques. No general anesthetic or overnight hospital stay needed.
Once harvested, the stem cells in the tissues can be separated and concentrated for injection using a multi-step centrifugation process. As the healing process happens over time, stem cell patients typically feel results improve month by month.
Adult stem cell therapy is showing promise in becoming a powerful tool in the treatment of back pain. Stem cell therapy provides the potential to avoid invasive surgery, reduce pain and improve function. And, with minimal recovery time, patients can get back to biking, golfing, hiking, skiing, and enjoying the activities Coloradans love to do.
About the Author
Dr. Scott Brandt, medical director for ThriveMD in Vail, Colo., continues to stay at the forefront of medical innovations that provide longer lasting solutions for acute and chronic pain, as well as treatments to help reduce the risks associated with the diseases of aging. Dr. Brandt has built a clinic with an emphasis on the need to help preserve joint, soft tissue and spine function, so that patients can continue to enjoy their lifestyles. As his practice continues to gain recognition, patients routinely travel across the country to be seen by Dr. Brandt at ThriveMD. www.thrivemdvail.com