stem cell disc regeneration

How Does Stem Cell Disc Regeneration Work?

For many people, pain in the legs, hip, and back can be quite unpleasant.

One common cause of this pain is a degenerated disc, which is also known as degenerative disc disease. In the US, this condition is common as there are about 3 million cases every year.

Well, there are different treatments for such pain, including physical therapy, muscle relaxants, analgesic, nucleoplasty, and nonsteroidal non-inflammatory drugs. Surgical procedures may also be necessary for some instances.

One of the recent additions to the treatment options is stem cell disc regeneration. This procedure is already being advertised as an effective option for back pain. But, do you know how it works?

Keep on reading to learn more.

What Is Degenerative Disc Disease?

Degenerative disc disease occurs when normal activities that occur in the disc cause pain.

Ideally, these activities take place in nearly everyone over time. However, not everyone feels pain. Depending on your lifestyle, the disc can wear faster than in other people. When they get worn-out, you’ll start feeling pain.

Discs in the spine are made up of water. As you age, the water is lost, and the discs become thinner than before. This means your discs can’t absorb shock well. Also, they’re less cushioned, and this increases your risk of low back pain.

Also, the stress of daily activities can lead to tiny tears in the out water that contains nerves. Your discs may push through the tears, and this is what’s known as a herniated disc. When this happens, you’ll feel pain.

What is Stem Cell Disc Regeneration?

This is typically a medical process that involves the injection of stem cells into the disc. According to its proponents, the treatment works by preventing or slowing the degenerative process of the discs. It achieves this facilitating the production of new disc cells.

Scientists have already tried this injection on animals, such as rabbits, and it yielded promising results. As such, this has been a welcoming idea in the treatment of back pain in humans.

It’s hypothesized that stem cells turn into cartilage cells when injected into the disc. This allows the disc to regenerate and consequently, alleviating the pain. Doctors can harvest the stem cells from adults to use in treatment.

What Happens During the Procedure?

Well, the stem cell disc regeneration treatment is still in its infancy stage. However, experimental stem cell treatments have healed the damage that has occurred on the disc.

The procedure is minimally invasive. The doctor first extracts bone marrow from the patient’s hip bone. Then, they separate the stem cells through a procedure known as centrifugation. Alternatively, stem cells can be obtained from abdominal fat through a process called liposuction.

Your doctor will then use an X-ray to determine the ideal spot for injecting the stem cells. You can return to your normal routine after the injection.

Does it Work?

According to doctors, patients usually experience improvement two to three months after the treatment. Plus, you only need one treatment to get better.

However, in some cases, patients may need two or three injections. Also, a patient can’t have more than three injections within a span of 12 months.

Many doctors are claiming that disk regeneration using stem cells is the only effective alternative treatment for fusion and back surgery. It’s noted that the injection helps the disc to regenerate at a healthy rate. As such, patients should not worry about any possible complications.

Doctors also recommend undergoing physical rehabilitation following the treatment. Keep in mind that your recovery will depend on the degree of your spinal disc damage.

Why Use Stem Cells

Stem cells are ideal for this procedure because of their ability to repopulate. Essentially, they’re able to differentiate into discogenic cells.

In the past, doctors used to use embryonic stem cells. These are stem cells that are derived from the inner mass of the human embryo. Today, this is not the case since the adult stem cells are ideal for use, too.

Doctors can derive adult stem cells from the bone marrow or the adipose tissue. It’s noted that adipose-derived stem cells offer the ideal matrix for stem cell disc regeneration. This is because of their ability to generate the cartilage faster than bone marrow-derived cells.

Stem cells have also shown to communicate with nucleus pulpusus (NP) cells. This helps to produce anabolic growth factors that boost the cell function.

Possible Risks

As with any injection, there are potential risks, such as bleeding, infection, and nerve damage. Also, the risks depend on the area that’s receiving the injection.

It’s important to note that there’s no risk of allergy. This is because the doctor uses the patient’s own stem cells. With that in mind, every case is unique. At this time, there are no reports of any complications from patients.

There are FDA studies and trials that ongoing to help doctors understand more about the stem cell disc regeneration therapy.

What Does this Mean for Patients?

Several health centers and facilities, including Executive Spine Surgery, are already offering stem cell injections for degenerative discs. If you’re considering this treatment, it helps to find reputable doctors to provide it.

A good doctor will monitor your closely for potential benefits and side effects after getting the injection. Plus, they’ll help you know whether the treatment will work for you. This is because a severely degenerated disc has proven nearly irresponsive to treatment.

Severely degenerated discs that have lost all of their height usually have fewer cells living in them.

Final Thoughts

While stem cell disc regeneration has yielded promising results, it’s worth working with a doctor that assesses your situation well. Ideally, this treatment has considerable potential in revolutionizing the treatment of disc degeneration, herniations, and cartilage defects.

At Executive Spine Surgery, we treatment disc problems, such as bulbing, herniations, and degeneration. We offer a personalized approach to ensure all unique issues are addressed. THrough our minimally invasive treatments and pain management procedures, we’re sure to help you recover from your back pain.

Well, do you have any question about disc regeneration or back pain? Feel free to reach out to us, and we’ll be glad to help.

stem cell for back pain

Stem Cell for Back Pain: What Is It and How Exactly Does It Work?

Almost eighty percent of all adults in the US experience low back pain at some point.

Low back pain is the leading cause of disability of people under the age of forty-five.

For some, this pain takes the form of a dull, constant ache. For others, this condition causes sudden pain that can make it difficult to move.

Because low back pain is a daily challenge for so many people, there are all kinds of different treatments. Unfortunately, many forms of treatment are very invasive and may ultimately fail to provide any relief.

The need for better ways to treat back pain has inspired a lot of ongoing medical research. Stem cell for back pain is one of the most promising new treatments.

Before we look at how that treatment works and why it’s so promising, it’s helpful to understand exactly what’s at the root of most back pain.

What Causes Back Pain?

One of the reasons back pain is such a prevalent condition is there are many different causes. The first cause is intervertebral disc degeneration. This degeneration occurs as people get older.

Instead of discs remaining flexible, degeneration means they lose their ability to provide cushioning. Back pain can also stem from a ruptured or herniated disc. These conditions cause discs to compress and bulge.

Radiculopathy is another cause of back pain. This condition arises when the spinal nerve root gets inflamed or compressed. Sciatica is a similar cause and may also result in pain shooting down one leg.

Traumatic injuries, spinal stenosis, sprains, strains, and spondylosis are all other possible causes of back pain. With any of these causes, the resulting back pain can take a significant toll on your daily quality of life.

The Problem with Traditional Back Surgery

A common approach to back surgery is removing a degenerated disc and then fusing the spine. The fusing is done in an attempt to eliminate motion which can cause additional pain.

Although traditional back surgery works for some people, there are a number of problems and risks associated with this procedure. The first is that it’s very invasive.

The second issue is at least twenty percent of traditional back surgeries fail to provide any pain relief. Another potential complication is the need for a repeat surgery if a cage or graft subsides.

The invasive nature of this type of surgery can also cause nerve damage. That damage may create problems with leg strength or bowel control.

After learning about all of those risks, many individuals suffering from back pain pursue other forms of treatment. Those treatments can include massage therapy or chiropractic care.

While those treatments are less invasive, they often fail to provide any significant pain relief. Actually providing real relief in a minimally invasive way is what makes stem cell treatment so exciting for back pain sufferers.

Understanding How Stem Cell for Back Pain Works

The term stem cell refers to a cell that’s located within the body. What makes a stem cell different is it hasn’t yet transformed to perform a specific function.

When a stem cell is extracted from the body and then injected into a different area, it can transform based on the needs of that specific area.

In the case of stem cell for back pain, bone marrow is extracted from a patient’s hip bone. This marrow contains multiple stem cells. The cells are isolated by placing the marrow in a centrifuge.

Once the stem cells are isolated, a board-certified surgeon can use an x-ray to guide the cells’ injection back into the body. The x-ray provides the precision needed to target a specific disc in the spine.

After an injection is complete, the stem cell will start to promote healing of the degenerated disc. As injured disc tissue begins getting repaired through growth, the back pain a patient feels will start going away.

Although everyone heals differently, many patients who get this type of treatment experience major pain reductions in just a matter of months. The ongoing effects of stem cell for back pain can provide complete relief over the course of a year.

In some cases, the most effective approach to stem cell treatment may involve two or three injections. This is especially true for patients who are dealing with multiple disc problems along their spine.

A patient who has stem cell treatment in their back can support their recovery by doing therapy exercises. Simple exercises focused on posture and core-strengthening will work in conjunction with the stem cell towards a healthy spine.

The Benefits of Choosing Stem Cell for Back Pain

The first benefit of stem cell treatment is studies have confirmed its effectiveness. Out of one hundred back pain patients in a North Carolina study, sixty-nine of the patients experienced pain reduction.

Not only did the study note that the pain reduction was at least a fifty percent improvement for every patient, but it came after just one treatment session.

A shorter recovery time is the next benefit of stem cell for back pain. Traditional back surgery requires six to eight weeks to recover. It’s generally possible to resume light activity after a stem cell treatment within just a few days.

Using stem cell to address back pain is also far less invasive than traditional surgery. This procedure doesn’t involve any tissue removal, cutting or scars.

Instead, you’ll only experience temporary discomfort as bone marrow is extracted from your hip bone. The same is true when the stem cells are injected into one of your discs.

Is Stem Cell Treatment Right for You?

Stem cell for back pain can provide real relief from this challenging condition. It can also help a degenerated disc heal itself over the course of three to twelve months.

If you’re currently struggling with back pain, Executive Spine Surgery makes it easy to find out if you’re a candidate for stem cell treatment.

All you need to do is fill out our online consultation form and we’ll be in touch with soon about the next step towards stem cell for back pain.

6 Best Treatments for Back Pain

1. Physical therapy focusing on core strength and flexibility.

2. Weight loss.  Weight loss alleviates back pain by reducing stress and strain on your back and decreases damage to disks and joints.

3. Steroid injections may relieve back pain.  Steroids and local anesthetics work to decrease inflammation, washout chemicals that cause pain and directly reduce pain often breaking the destructive pain cycle.  Steroid injections are an effective treatment for conditions that cause back pain such as arthritis of the spine (called facet arthropathy) and disk disease.

4. Stem Cell Therapy.  Disk regeneration is a new therapy where stem cells taken from your hip are injected  into your damaged disk to regenerate the disk.  The stem cells make new disk cells increasing the fluid and size of the disk reducing back pain and suffering.

5. Endoscopic Laser Discectomy.  As the disk wears out, or degenerates, it turns black on MRI, collapses, bulges and may tear causing back pain.  Removal of the degenerated disk and treatment of the annular tear has been found to reduce back pain and suffering.   The discectomy and annuloplasty can be done with the spinal endoscope.  A scope the size of a pencil can be placed through an incision the size of your finger nail.  The disk is found and repaired under direct visualization.

6. Endoscopic Fusion. Painful degenerated disks, spinal instability, spondylolithesis may lead to severe back and/or leg pain.  This pain can be disabling.  Patients that have failed other treatments may be a candidate for fusion surgery.  Today fusion surgery can be done through a very small incision with the aid of an spinal endoscopic to reduce soft tissue and bone damage and quicken recovery.


Dr. Spivak is the President of Executive Spine Surgery and is a leader in Endoscopic Laser Spine Surgery.  He see patients in New York and New Jersey and teaches doctors his advanced surgical techniques throughout the United States.  For more information please call 908-452-5612 or click schedule-an-appointment.

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