Back pain is a silent problem amongst the general population, with figures suggesting that approximately 1 in 6 people are experiencing back pain at any given time in England. What’s more, back pain is deemed the largest single cause of disability across the UK. But why is this? And why are the numerous treatments available not bringing these numbers down?
Most cases of back pain are caused by muscle and ligament strains and, in the vast majority of cases, cannot be avoided. However, there are several other causes of back pain, including sciatica, a slipped disc, and ankylosing spondylitis, that can often occur spontaneously and without trauma. Then, we move to treatments. For the most part, treatments of back pain focus on rehabilitation and pain management, which, although great in getting you back on your feet, does not always treat the underlying cause and prevent further injury. Sports medicine is a great option to educate you on preventative measures; however, regenerative medicine offers more long-term symptom relief.
The role of regenerative medicine
Let’s first consider platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections. For those experiencing repetitive and debilitating back pain, surgery is usually the last option you want to take; however, PRP offers an effective alternative that could treat the pain of your injury as well as prevent further strains. Depending on the root of your back pain, PRP can be injected into the discs, facet joints, and paraspinal muscle, with previous patients seeing an improvement in their symptoms within six weeks of their first treatment. In clinical studies, PRP injections have been used to treat patients with degenerative disc disease, join-related pain, and pain or functional decline caused by facet joint arthropathy.
Mesenchymal stem cell therapy, on the other hand, has shown great success in patients with chronic discogenic low back pain. This type of pain is caused by chemically or mechanically damaged discs in the back and is often caused by trauma. However, this pain also arises due to deterioration as a result of ageing. Stem cell therapy is deemed a valid alternative treatment for back pain caused by disc disease, with one study demonstrating treatment success in over 90% of patients. This success is down to the regenerative impact of stem cells and their ability to differentiate into cartilage at the site of injury.
The key distinction between Opus and other private clinics in the UK is that we are the only institution that offers a regulated and licenced mesenchymal stem cell treatment. Get in touch with our team to discuss how we can support you in your treatment journey using either our world renowned sports medicine specialists or regenerative medicine.