Cervical pain can literally be a pain in the neck! It can cause referral into the arms, upper back, and even headaches. These symptoms can be debilitating and impact one’s home and work life. Fortunately, there are a lot of options available to manage these symptoms.
First, let’s discuss some common underlying sources for cervical spine pain. Your spine has joints called facet joints. They help the spine to bend and twist. Each vertebra has two sets of facet joints, one on the right and one on the left. Just like other joints in the body, they can become arthritic and inflamed. Another common source for pain stems from stenosis. Stenosis is a narrowing of the canal where the nerves travel. Problems with the discs can also cause pain. This is the cushion between two vertebrae. A herniated disc is a protrusion into the space where the nerves travel. It can also be referred to as a bulged, slipped or ruptured disc.
Initial treatment tends to include anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. Steroid injections under fluoroscopic guidance can also be used. For some patients, this works extremely well. Others, however, only get short term relief. Regenexx Pittsburgh offers nonsurgical intervention to treat these underlying pathologies using your own platelets. In fact, nationwide, Regenexx is tracking over 2200 cervical spine patients who have undergone treatment.
To address the facet joint mediated pain, super concentrated platelets (SCP) can be injected directly into the degenerated joint under X-ray guidance. SCP can also be used to treat the surrounding ligamentous structures to provide more stability to the spine. When addressing stenosis and herniated discs, platelet lysate (PL) can be injected into the epidural spaces. PL is a more advanced variation of platelet rich plasma (PRP). It has anti-inflammatory properties and is used more easily around nerves. These areas can also be treated in combination. The idea is to use the platelets’ healing growth properties and increase the body’s natural ability to repair itself. Overall, the goal is to reduce pain and improve function.