Stem Cell Therapy for Back Pain; In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, almost everyone is constantly connected via the internet or smartphones. This constant connectivity has led to a surge in instant communication and 24/7 availability of information. While these advancements have brought us much convenience, they have also made us more anxious and isolated from one another.
As a result, we are increasingly turning to technology to help us with everyday stressors such as back pain. A new study shows that stem cell therapy for back pain could be the next big thing in treating chronic pain. Read on for more information about stem cell therapy for back pain and its potential benefits.
What is Stem Cell Therapy?
In the body, there is a special form of cell called a stem cell, which has the potential to develop into various other cell types. Research suggests that stem cells, when injected into the body, have the potential to become cells that repair damaged tissues. This process is known as “regenerative” therapy.
There are currently two main types of stem cells used in regenerative therapies: adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Adult stem cells are found in the body’s own tissues, such as bone marrow, blood, skin, and muscle. ESCs, on the other hand, are derived from human embryos and have the ability to transform into any other type of tissue in the human body.
Why Is Stem Cell Therapy for Back Pain Being Considered?
Chronic back pain is a serious issue that affects a large number of individuals. It is estimated that nearly 80% of individuals with chronic back pain do not seek treatment. The majority of individuals who do seek treatment do so in an attempt to alleviate their pain, rather than to find a cure. Despite the challenges associated with treating chronic back pain, stem cell therapy is an emerging treatment option.
Most clinical trials currently investigating stem cell therapies are examining their use for the treatment of arthritis and other immune-mediated disorders. There is currently very little clinical evidence to support the use of stem cells for the treatment of chronic back pain. Stem cells have recently been popular for treating inflammatory disorders including persistent back pain, although there is little clinical data to support their use.
Current Research on Stem Cell Therapy for Back Pain
One of the major concerns surrounding stem cell therapy for back pain relates to the current research on the topic. Several clinical trials have examined the safety and efficacy of stem cell therapies for several conditions, including back pain. However, most of these studies were of relatively small sample sizes and used stem cells that are not currently approved for clinical practice. As a result, drawing solid conclusions from these studies takes time. One recent study, published in the journal Spine, looked at the potential benefits of autologous bone marrow stem cell transplantation for treating chronic back pain.
The study included 22 participants with a mean age of 56 years diagnosed with spinal degenerative disease, including severe scoliosis, spinal stenosis, and/or severe herniated disc disease. Patients were evaluated thoroughly, treated with physical therapy for at least three months, and then randomly allocated to one of two groups. Those in the first group received autologous bone marrow stem cell transplantation, while those in the second group received a placebo injection.
Participants were followed for four months, after which they were assessed for pain intensity, function, activity, and global satisfaction using a standardized questionnaire. The authors found that participants who received the autologous bone marrow stem cell transplantation reported a significant reduction in pain and function. Additionally, participants reported improved satisfaction with their overall health and daily activities.
Stem Cells and Back Pain
Individuals with chronic back pain often experience various physical and psychological challenges due to the pain. These challenges can include decreased physical activity, sleep disturbance, and an increased risk for depression and anxiety. Stem cell therapies for back pain may also positively affect these aspects of an individual’s life.
Multiple recent studies have shown that stem cell therapy can assist those with persistent back pain get a better night’s rest and experience less sleep disruption and anxiety. In one study, published in the journal Neuroimmunomodulation, researchers looked at the effects of an exosome-based therapy on sleep quality and neuroimmunological abnormalities in individuals with chronic low back pain. Thirty-one people took part in the study, and 19 of them had been suffering from persistent low back pain for at least seven years.
The participants received a daily dose of exosome-based therapy for 12 weeks. The researchers found that after 12 weeks of treatment, participants reported significantly improved sleep quality and reduced neuroimmunological abnormalities, including reduced levels of inflammation and increased neurogenesis in the hippocampus.
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