Back and spinal conditions which can be treated with BMAC, PRP and pain-relieving injections include:
Back & Spinal Traditional and Regenerative treatments
Have you been told your only option for back pain is steroid injections or invasive surgery? Minimally invasive regenerative alternative treatments and therapies offer relief for back and spinal pain.
Back pain caused by bulging or herniated discs, degenerative conditions in the spine or injury can be treated with mesenchymal stem cell therapies: Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). Read more on how we can assist you.
How common is back pain?
Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life – just about all of us will suffer from it at some point, and not surprisingly, the older we get, the more likely it is. As a rule of thumb, it affects 30 per cent of 30-year-olds, 40 per cent of 40-year-olds, and so on, increasing with each decade.
What causes back pain?
In a nutshell, it’s down to us getting older. Although the normal wear and tear of natural degeneration accounts for most back pain, it can, much more rarely, be due to infection or even a tumour or a fracture.
What are the first treatment steps for back pain?
Over-the-counter pain relief with Paracetamol or Ibuprofen can often help with mild back pain. Doing more exercise and trying Pilates or yoga can help. If you’re overweight, losing a few pounds is also a good idea. If you try these steps and feel little or no improvement, the next stage is supervised rehabilitation with a spinal physiotherapist.
If you have any leg pain – often called sciatica – linked to the discomfort in your back, then it’s best not to try the physiotherapy but to see a specialist instead.
What is ‘chronic’ back pain?
This is pain you’ve had for a while and hasn’t been helped by the first-step treatments of pain relief, exercise, weight loss and spinal physiotherapy.
When should I see a specialist?
Try the first-step treatments above to see if they help, but if the pain still persists, then you should seek advice from a specialist. Booking a consultation is also recommended if you have pain radiating down your buttock or leg, often known as sciatica. Also, there’s a chance that, in some cases, back pain may be a symptom of something more than normal wear and tear. You should see a specialist or your GP as soon as possible if any of these ‘red flag’ situations applies to you:
- you’re under 25 or over 55 and suddenly get back pain
- your pain is in the upper back, called the thoracic spine
- it comes on at night, especially if it’s bad enough to keep you awake
- it’s associated with weight loss or night sweats
- you have a history of cancer
What are the non-surgical treatment options for back pain?
Many clinics are limited to offering only steroid injections and if further care is needed, surgical approach would be advised. Our clinic can provide other options when surgery is not yet a necessity or you simply wish to avoid it.
We offer a new non-surgical, pre-cursor stem cell treatment that harnesses your body’s own natural ability to repair itself. Fat from your belly is processed using an innovative technique called Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC). This innovative technique involves harvesting bone marrow from your hip and processing in to achieve concentrate of mesenchymal stem cells. Those are injected under X-ray guidance into the target area.
There’s more information on this therapy below.
What are the surgical treatment options?
After the non-surgical approaches have been tried, there are several operations that may help, though it does depend on what parts of your back are causing the pain, and if it’s linked to discomfort in your buttocks and legs, often called sciatica.
While surgery for leg pain/sciatica is a very successful and routinely performed, surgery for back pain is generally considered a last resort and needs careful consideration in consultation with a specialist.
If just one area of your spine is affected, then fusion could be an option. The procedure uses cages or rods and screws to stabilise a segment of your back to reduce pain.
If you have pain or weakness in your legs triggered by a back problem, like a bulging or damaged disc that puts pressure on a nerve, then a possible next step would be a decompression operation or a discectomy.
Decompression is a general term for surgical procedures that aim to free up the trapped nerve in your lower back. In a similar way, a discectomy gives the nerve more room by removing part of a disc.
What are the risks and results of the non-surgical and surgical treatments?
Steroid injections are essentially risk-free, but are only successful for about half of patients. The benefits can be quite short-lived, providing relief for months rather than years.
Facet joint ablation, which knocks out the nerves carrying pain messages to the brain, has about a 65 per cent success rate, though results do vary. Some patients enjoy less pain for up to two to three years, with others see little improvement. It can be quite sore for a week or so afterwards and the procedure carries a very small risk to damage to nearby nerves.
The spinal fusion, decompression and discectomy have the same risks as any surgery plus a one per cent possibility of infection and around a one-in-a-thousand chance of nerve injuries.
With fusion, however, even in the best scenario, only around 60 per cent of patients experience any relief afterwards. Your outlook is much better, though, if you have an operation for leg pain – around 75 per cent are helped by decompression and up to 90 per cent from a discectomy. As always, correct diagnosis for surgical options is essential to gaining the benefit and accepting the risks.
The pioneering Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) treatment are less invasive than surgery and has provided some very positive outcomes. The procedures are very safe and the risks are minimal, though all procedures including an injection do come with risks. Some patients experience mild bruising from the bone harvest site and slight swelling on the joint. We maintain the importance of measuring outcomes and the on-going assessment of our patients to determine the medium and long-term benefits.
Why have a consultation at Living Room Health Regenerative Treatments?
Our innovative range of treatments goes beyond what’s available on the NHS. As well as providing a full opinion on your spine that includes all the traditional non-surgical and surgical options, our experienced consultants will also assess your suitability for our alternative biological therapies.
Our clinical team includes pain and musculoskeletal consultants and specialised surgeons. By working together as a multidisciplinary they can advise and on the best treatment achieving holistic approach towards our patients.
Our facility is equipped with MRI scanners, consultation rooms and day case units. This combined with innovative range of treatments enables our patients to take control of their health and be pain free within days.
This is an effective and well-researched procedure that’s a potential alternative to surgery. It takes advantage of the blood’s natural healing properties to reduce pain and improve joint function. It uses a specially concentrated dosage of platelets prepared from your own blood to repair damaged cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscle and bone. Patients usually see their symptoms improve in one to two weeks of having the injections. Read more clinical evidence supporting PRP here.
Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells (BMAC) is a non-surgical autologous regenerative treatment harnessing the natural ability to heal the body through help of biological growth factors. It utilises cells collected from bone marrow to air the acceleration of healing moderate to severe degenerative disease in bones, tendons and muscles.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a multipotent subgroup of stem cells which can develop into chondrocytes (cartilage cells), osteoblasts (bone cells), tenocytes (tendon cells), fibroblasts (ligament cells), and connective tissues.
BMAC targets substances that support and maximise the direct self-repair and regeneration. The minimally invasive procedure is a possible alternative to having an operation or can be used after surgery to help healing. This procedure takes around an hour and our early research suggests an improvement of 75% in suitable patients. This treatment is mostly used to treat degenerative discs and facet joints.
Corticosteroid injections are an anti-inflammatory medicines also called facet or nerve root blocks. This medication numbs the nerves receptors which stops the pain signals traveling up to your brain. This simply means we cannot feel the pain and inflammation in the area the injection has been done.
These injections last approximately 3-6 months and are recommended if you’ve not had much success with the first-step approaches of painkillers, exercise, losing weight and physiotherapy.