In recent years, regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, has been implemented to help manage various orthopedic conditions, including degenerative disc disease. This chronic ailment is characterized by back pain, weakness, and other life-altering symptoms.
Before the advent of stem cell therapy, patients were given only options to manage their degenerative disc disease through oral medications, physical therapy, and injections. In the article below, we’ll outline the key facets of degenerative disc disease and discuss the potential benefits of stem cell therapy for helping to manage this condition.
What is Degenerative Disc Disease?
Despite its name, degenerative disc disease is a natural process that a majority of adults experience as they age. It refers to the natural breakdown of space between the vertebrae of the spine. This can occur in any part of the spine but is most common in the lumbar (lower back). The condition becomes problematic when the degeneration causes physical discomfort in the patient.
The degeneration process occurs over several stages. First, the amount of fluid between your discs is reduced as you age. This will ultimately cause the space in the spinal column to collapse. As the space narrows, the intervertebral discs are subjected to increased pressure. These discs will develop microcracks. When this occurs, the fluid in the disc(s) will leak out and irritate nerve roots that originate from the spinal canal. This creates a condition referred to as disc herniation.
Ultimately, the vertebrae above and below the herniated disc will collapse onto each other. This causes the joints that connect these vertebrae to move and shift. The result is decreased spinal mobility and an increased risk of chronic pain.
Common Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease
In addition to chronic lower back pain, degenerative disc disease can cause a variety of other common symptoms, including:
- Tingling or numbness in the limbs
- Weakness in the legs or hips
- Radiating lower back pain
- Decreased strength in the arms and neck (upper spinal degeneration)
- Limited spinal mobility
Instead of simply masking the pain of degenerative disc disease, stem cell therapy has the potential to alleviate these symptoms.
Stem cells can differentiate into other types of cells, including those that are present in the spine. Stem cells are also drawn towards inflammation. Stem cell therapy has been shown to be safe and effective and allows your body to regenerate damaged tissue through natural processes.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine for back pain, also known as stem cell therapy for degenerative disc disease. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.