Mesenchymal Stem Cells: What You Should Know

Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Stem cell therapy is a groundbreaking area in medicine that provides new treatment options for many conditions and diseases. It can be especially useful in treating conditions that cause chronic back or neck pain.

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are especially promising due to their unique characteristics. MSCs support the repair of damaged tissues and can play a role in treating diseases that do not currently have effective treatments.

What Are Stem Cells?

Cells are the fundamental units of your body, each performing specific functions essential for maintaining health. Each cell type has a distinct role, from creating our very structure to defending against infection.

Stem cells are unique because they can transform into many different types of cells, offering significant potential for therapeutic uses. Found primarily in the bone marrow, these cells are also present in other tissues such as:

  • Fat
  • The umbilical cord
  • Dental pulp

Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Mesenchymal stem cells can change into the cells that form bone, cartilage, and fat. This capability makes them incredibly valuable for tissue repair and regeneration.

This means MSCs could be a key player in treatments that help mend injuries or counteract diseases that damage these types of tissues.

Unlike other stem cells, MSCs are noted for their exceptional ability to control the immune system, reduce inflammation, and restore tissues. These characteristics make them an excellent candidate for treating conditions affecting the back, particularly:

  • Inflammation
  • Degeneration
  • Arthritis
  • Back pain

Using MSCs for Back Pain

Back pain, especially chronic back pain, can be debilitating.

It is often caused by progressive conditions such as degenerative disc disease or injuries that affect the spine.

Both traditional methods and regenerative medicine, like stem cell therapy, can play a role in treating back pain.

Traditional Methods for Treating Your Back Pain

Traditional treatments typically focus on easing your symptoms. These might include:

  • Pain medication: Whether it’s over-the-counter or prescription, these drugs help reduce your pain and inflammation but don’t fix the underlying tissue damage.
  • Physical therapy: Physical therapy (PT) helps improve your mobility and reduce pain through exercises, although it doesn’t directly repair the underlying cause of the tissue damage.
  • Surgery: Surgery can correct problems or relieve nerve pressure for severe cases. It’s often effective but is usually reserved for cases that haven’t responded to other interventions.
Stem Cell Therapy in Regenerative Medicine

On the other hand, regenerative medicine aims to heal and restore the tissues causing your back pain.

Remember, mesenchymal stem cells can transform into different types of cells.

For back pain, stem cells are usually injected directly into the affected area to restore the damaged spinal structures.

Improved function and pain relief can be permanent if the treatment succeeds, reducing the need for ongoing treatments or surgery.

How Are MSCs Used For Back Pain?

MSC therapy can be effective if you are experiencing symptoms such as:

  • Chronic lower back pain due to degenerative disc disease
  • Pain due to osteoarthritis of the spine
  • Sciatica caused by herniated discs
The Procedure

The procedure for administering MSCs for back pain is relatively straightforward. It is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure and involves the following steps:

  1. Collection: MSCs are usually harvested from your own bone marrow.
  2. Processing: The collected cells are then processed in a lab to increase their effectiveness.
  3. Injection: MSCs are injected directly into the affected spine area under image guidance to ensure accurate placement.

Recovery time is usually minimal, though the time it takes for the stem cells to repair the damaged tissue may take several weeks. To be fully effective, several treatments may be required.

Learn More About Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy

If you’re living with back pain, it may be time to explore mesenchymal stem cells near Alpharetta and Atlanta. Our physiatrists are experts in this exciting field and will help you discover if stem cell therapy is right for you.

Start your journey to a pain-free life and schedule an appointment with one of our regenerative medicine experts today!

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