Posts Tagged ‘lumbar’

If my own stem cells can repair my back, why are they drugs?

April 18, 2009

It’s been known for sometime that adult stem cells (the type in your body) can repair your low back discs (at least in animals). While surgery will only weaken these discs, stem cells can repair them? A few years ago we undertook research to see if this would work in people. We first tried the type of stem cells that you can get from a bedside centrifuge machine (BMAC), didn’t work.  It likely didn’t work because the number of stem cells you can get in this type of same day procedure is just not enough.  So we then did what they did in the research and started to grow the cells in culture to bigger numbers.  After figuring out the specifics, we had it working inside of a year.  Now the FDA is claiming these stem cells in your body that can be used to fix your back are drugs?    What are your stem cells drugs?  No reason given.  Recently patients have banded together to oppose the FDA on this issue as well.

What Causes Back Pain?

December 3, 2008

As a physician who has seen thousands of patients with back pain, there are many causes.  These include disc problems where the disc is painful or can be damaged causing a bulge or herniation.  Back pain can also be caused by a disc placing pressure on a nerve.  If this is the case, newer stem cell procedures can repair the disc bulge.  Back pain can also be caused by irritated or damaged facet joints.  Yet another cause of back pain is the SI or sacroliliac joint.  Muscles and ligaments being overloaded or injured can also lead to significant back pain.  Back pain can also be due to occult problems like vertebral compression fractures, cancer, a balooning out of the aorta, etc…  

The most important part of a back pain work-up is identifying a specific strutcure that is causing the pain.  Just throwing narcotics or other medications at the problem is extremely counter-productive.  Too often back surgery is the conclusion when the cause of back pain goes undiagnosed.  This can cause significant complications.