Regenerative Treatments for Back and Neck Pain
Back pain may be due to numerous causes. Generally, muscle strains are self limited and often improve with a short period of rest. However, when back or neck pain persists, further diagnosis and treatment is usually required. The key to the successful treatment of ongoing back or neck pain begins with making the correct diagnosis. The following represent some of the most common causes of ongoing back and neck pain that are commonly responsive to our regenerative treatments.
One of the most overlooked diagnosis is injury to the ligaments of the spine. The ligaments are the strong bands of tissue which hold the spine in place allowing specific range of movement. When injured, ligaments may not completely heal and can be the source of chronic pain. Patients often note pain and limitation in movement of the spine.
The Facet Joints are small joints in the back that allow the vertebrae to properly move. These joints are similar to most joints of the body and contain cartilage, synovial joint lining and a capsule. Injury can cause tears of the capsule and pain with movement and arthritis can also affect these joints.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease usually refers to a loss of hydration and subsequent flattening or bulging of the disc often associated with microtearing of the disc. Degenerative changes of the disc can occur without pain. However, these changes in the disc can result in pain emanating from the disc and can be the source of chronic back pain. Prior to biologic treatments, the only other option was major spine surgery known as fusion surgery or in some cases disc replacement surgery. Regenerative treatments are a minimally invasive approach that offers many patients the opportunity for a significant improvement without major surgery.
When motion puts too much pressure on a disc, a herniated disc may result. Sometimes these are called slipped discs” or “ruptured discs.” In this injury, the annulus, the outer portion of the disc, is torn and part of the nucleus pulposus, the inner gel like substance of the disc, squeezes out from the center of the disc. The disc can be thought of as a jelly doughnut with an outer ring and jelly within. In this analogy, the jelly may leak out of the doughnut when placed under mechanical stress as would occur from an acute injury. If the tear is on the side of the disc next to the spinal canal, the nucleus pulposus can press against the spinal nerves. This pressure can cause pain, numbness and weakness along the nerve. There is also evidence that chemicals released from the ruptured disc may irritate the nerve root, leading to some of the symptoms of a herniated disc, especially pain.
Biologic Treatment of Back and Neck Pain
All of the above injuries or degenerative changes are treatable with biologic treatments. In fact, our center as one of the first centers in the country to treat spine pain with biologic treatments. We have been very pleased with the results in the majority of our patients. With all of these spine issues it is necessary to utilize fluoroscopy ( X-ray) to safely place the biologic preparation in the correct place. Each of these conditions requires assessment of the patient, formulating a diagnosis then placement of the biologic preparation in the appropriate and specific region of the spine involved in the cause of the chronic painful condition.
To learn more about our program and treatment options contact us today.