Due to stem cells’ ability to restore and regenerate, their application toward pain management is a logical step. In particular, stems cells are an exciting treatment solution for conditions such as degenerative disc disease and disc herniation. Disc degeneration, which can occur due to aging or injury, causes the discs to weaken and tear, meaning they no longer provided the needed support for the spine. This can result in herniation which is a rupture of the disc, which then presses painfully against spinal nerves.
The current methods for treating degenerative diseases like disc degeneration have their drawbacks: Opioids pose many dangers and side effects and invasive surgery permanently changes the body’s natural structure means sometimes unsuccessfully. Even interventional procedures like injections, which can be extremely beneficial for many patients, don’t affect change on a cellular level or help the body begin to repair itself.
Not only do stem cells work to reduce the pain and inflammation associated with these conditions, but they also work to repair and regenerate the damaged regions. So far, research into the application of stem cells for back pain has been positive, although most of it has taken place utilizing nonhuman subjects. The research also says that, the stem cells can minimize degeneration and start to regenerate disc tissue.