Non-surgical options for chronic back pain
Because of the problem of failed back syndrome, more doctors have been discussing regenerative medicine for problems of the spine. Among these treatments are Stem Cell Therapy and Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP), which doctors say may lead to an entirely new method of treating back pain patients.
Many times a patient will come into our office with a nondescript diagnosis of back pain and/or accompanying hip pain. Despite numerous treatments which may include epidural steroid or cortisone injection, the patient still has pain and now has been recommended to a spinal procedure because something has shown up an an MRI. But is it in fact the disc problems on MRI causing the pain? Medical investigators are asking, “maybe we should look at the spinal ligaments?”
On this website, I discuss the many problems we have seen in our 20 years of regenerative medicine. Please see When degenerative disc disease may only be a back sprain
New research confirms: Don’t rush to back surgery
In our practice we often see patients who are in severe back pain. They have an MRI, X-ray and/or scan that shows an inaccurate picture of what is causing their pain. The MRI cannot show muscle spasms from a simple back strain which can cause excruciating pain. Conversely, the MRI can show a large herniated disc which may be completely painless. Yet that large herniated disc will send the patient to surgery. As you will read in the research below, this was considered “unsupported enthusiasm for the surgical management of discogenic back pain.” Now surgeons are publishing new data with a tempered enthusiasm.
Can stem cell therapy be a realistic treatment for pain after multiple spinal surgeries?
We receive many emails from patients who have undergone numerous spinal procedures. The question they all ask is: “Can you help?” Because of the complexities of spinal surgery, especially in patients with numerous procedures, this question must be answered following a physical examination and consultation where realistic healing options can be discussed.
Surgeons question spinal surgery – Radiologists question spinal MRIs – why then get surgery?
This is what I tell patients every day: Do not assume your pain is coming from what the MRI shows you. Your pain may not be captured on this film.