About 80% of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetime. It is the leading cause of job related disability. The costs associated with low back pain, when accounting for lost wages, are in excess of $100 billion per year. Those statistics are astounding!
Chronic back pain is defined as pain that persists for 12 weeks or longer. A herniated disc is the protrusion of the disc nucleus through the annulus of the disc. Think of the jelly being squeezed out of a jelly donut. Fortunately, 9 out of 10 patients do not require surgery for a herniated disc. Spinal stenosis is a common degenerative process that results in narrowing of the canal through which the nerves travel. There are joints that line the spine, called facet joints. These can also degenerate and become inflamed much like other joints in the body.
Even after surgery, patients may continue to experience back and leg pain. This can be due to scar tissue or other levels of degeneration. This is seen commonly following spinal fusion surgery which uses hardware to connect 2 or more vertebral segments together and prevent motion at these levels. Ultimately, this places extra stress on structures above and below the fusion as they take on more movement than originally intended. As a result, people develop adjacent segment disease.
The good news is that there are non-surgical options besides steroid injections. Regenexx has cultivated cutting edge treatments for the spine using your own cells to heal and repair. Traditional platelet rich plasma (PRP) isolates platelets from the blood which slowly release growth factors into the site of injury. However, when addressing the nerves, we use platelet lysate (PL). This strips all of the growth factors out of platelets and makes them available for immediate release. All of our injections are performed under fluoroscopic guidance to ensure safe placement of the cells at the sites most needed for treatment. Typically, steroid injections just address one particular region. We can address the spine comprehensively with the platelets to provide healing and stability to the spine. In combination with a physical therapy program, patients go on to have long term pain relief and improved functional abilities. Isn’t it worth investing in your back?