Stem cell therapy is a type of regenerative medicine used to repair damaged tissue. Mesenchymal stem cells, in particular, can regenerate cells that have been compromised due to aging, normal wear and tear, injury, and disease.
In degenerative conditions, tissue wears away causing a range of challenging symptoms. Degenerative disc disease occurs when the discs which cushion vertebrae in the spine change their structure and strength, drying out due to age. As they dry out, they lose their shape as well as their ability to absorb shock. Discs may also rupture, releasing proteins that can cause inflammation and pain in the nerves that run through the spine.
Stem Cells for Degenerative Disc Disease
Research suggests stem cell therapy is a promising alternative to surgery for disc-related back pain. Because the spinal structures get limited blood supply, they are unable to repair themselves to the degree that other body parts would. Stem cells trigger natural healing mechanisms and can be injected directly into the damaged area to facilitate repair.
With unique growth factors, stem cells can regenerate connective tissues to help repair soft tissue damage seen in degenerative disc disease. The cells can be harvested from sources such as adipose (fat) tissue or bone marrow. In some cases, they may also be provided from donor umbilical cord tissue sources.
Patients who are experiencing discomfort from degenerative disc disease and wish to explore more conservative therapies before going directly to surgery may be good candidates for the treatment. Surgery comes with considerable risks and downtime, as well as the potential for failure to correct back pain. While stem cell therapy isn’t a cure-all or guarantee, it could be an attractive alternative to invasive surgery and potentially improve the quality of life for individuals with degenerative disc disease.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine, also known as Stem Cell Therapy in Tampa. Regenerative medicine seeks to replace tissue or organs that have been damaged by disease, trauma, or congenital issues.