Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Is Your Lower Back Pain Really Sciatica?

It’s common to feel lower back pain from time to time, especially if you work in a job that requires you to lift heavy things or sit at a desk for most of your day. In fact, as many as 90% of people will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. Luckily, it will often clear up on its own with rest, gentle exercise, and over-the-counter medication to manage your pain.

But while most lower back pain isn’t serious, it can sometimes be symptomatic of a bigger problem. About 5% of people will experience sciatica during their lifetime. This can indicate a number of underlying medical issues, and can be very painful.

To find out if your back pain is really sciatica, let’s take a look at its causes and symptoms, before exploring which treatment options might be right for you.

What is sciatica? 
Strictly speaking, sciatica is not a condition, but a collection of symptoms of a condition. Sciatica refers to pain, discomfort, weakness, tingling, and/or numbness that begins in the lower back and travels down one or both legs. It can be worse while you’re sitting, and you may find it painful and difficult to stand up and to walk.
This happens when the lumbar or sacral nerve roots of the sciatic nerve (the longest and largest single nerve in the body) become irritated or compressed. Since the sciatic nerve has branches that travel through the buttocks, thighs, knees, calves, and feet, the symptoms are not confined to your back. It’s common to experience symptoms down just one side of the body, although they can be felt bilaterally, and the pain will often feel worse when it’s cold.

What causes sciatica? 
While sciatica isn’t pleasant, it is a useful warning sign that something’s wrong with your back. Sciatica can be caused by conditions like herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease. As you age, wear and tear can also lead to sciatica.
Sciatica can sometimes be difficult to diagnose, since the symptoms associated with it are similar to other forms of lower back pain. If your back pain becomes severe or debilitating, speak to your doctor to get to the root of the problem.

Finding the best treatment for sciatica
In some cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to correct the underlying issue causing your sciatica. In other instances, you might be able to treat your symptoms with home remedies like applying heat or ice, and by taking pain-relieving medication. But if the problem persists, it can severely impact your quality of life.

At Stem Cell Therapy, we specialize in alternative, minimally-invasive treatments that have helped many patients with sciatica experience long-lasting relief from pain. If you have questions about sciatica, or to find out if we can help, contact us today.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Could Stem Cell Therapy Reduce the Need for Opioids?

When you live with chronic pain, every day can be a struggle. It can affect your ability to go to work, spend quality time with your family, and enjoy the things you love. Unfortunately, one of the most commonly prescribed treatments for pain relief, opioid medications, can cause more problems than they solve.

Millions of Americans are affected by the Opioid Epidemic, which results in thousands of fatal overdoses every year. Due to the highly addictive nature of opioid drugs, they are not recommended for long-term use, leading many to seek dangerous alternatives (such as heroine) when their pain persists. And when the body becomes dependent on opioids, their effectiveness declines. This means larger and larger doses are required to achieve pain relief, increasing the likelihood that a patient will develop an addition.

To combat the Opioid Epidemic, many are exploring alternative and non-addictive treatments for pain relief. One option that has helped many patients find long-lasting relief is stem cell therapy.

What Is Stem Cell Therapy?

Stem cell therapy is a safe, modern, and minimally-invasive approach that can reduce pain by helping the body heal itself. This approach is often used to treat back pain, sports injuries, degenerative diseases (including arthritis), and many other painful injuries and conditions.

The procedure consists of a three-step process. First, stem cells are harvested from an adult patient’s bone marrow or fat tissue. This is done under local anaesthetic to make sure the patient is as comfortable as possible. Then, while the patient relaxes, the stem cells are isolated in the laboratory. Finally, these cells are injected back into the patient’s body at the site of injury.

How Does Stem Cell Therapy Promote Healing?

Stem cells have the ability to develop into other types of organ cells. By injecting them right where they’re needed, they get to work immediately, helping to regenerate the damaged tissues, decrease inflammation, and promote circulation and healing by building new blood vessels.

Recent clinical trials have shown that stem cell therapy can be successful for treating back and joint pain. For example, after performing experiments in which stem cell therapy helped to reconstruct damaged vertebral discs in sheep, a Melbourne-based research team tested the effectiveness of the treatment for degenerative disc disease in humans, with positive results. After receiving one injection, around half of the participants in the trial have experienced no back pain for two years, as well as a dramatic increase in mobility.

The Future of Chronic Pain Treatment

These positive results suggest that stem cell therapy may be a safer alternative to prescription opioids for the treatment of chronic pain. Since the stem cells used are taken from the patient's own body, there is a very low risk of side effects.

If you’re living with chronic pain and are worried about the dangers of opioid medications, find out if stem cell therapy might be right for you. Contact us today at 201-288-7246 or visit our site for more information at whatisstemcelltherapy.com.