Does Stem Cell Therapy Work for Back Pain?

Jack Nicklaus is a golfing legend with a 25-year career consisting of 18 championships. Unfortunately, his athletic success also came with a cost: the now-retired golf star has suffered extreme back pain. Few treatments brought relief; while cortisone shots helped to control the pain temporarily, it would return shortly after.

Two years ago, however, his condition took a turn for the better. Nicklaus underwent an innovative treatment—stem cell surgery—which he says has delivered the greatest relief yet. German physician Eckhard Alt extracted abdominal fat (adipose) from Nicklaus, then isolated stem cells from the tissue. The isolated cells were then reinjected into the lower back and neck, on either side of the spine.

While clinical trials are continuing before the treatment can become an approved therapy, Nicklaus’ progress is encouraging. The golfer suffers from facet joint syndrome, a condition similar to arthritis caused by degenerative changes in the joints between the spine bones. Facet joint syndrome often results in severe lower back pain. Treatments such as anti-inflammatory drugs, physiotherapy, and cortisone steroid injections can provide some relief, but fail to address the root cause of the issue. For this reason, more effective treatments for this and many other back conditions are desperately needed.

Many are exploring this regenerative medicine option to help with their conditions. These options are being researched further to ultimately receive FDA approval. Although stem cell therapy is not a cure, it can be a viable option for someone to explore to help manage their condition and potentially improve their quality of life.

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 degenerative disc disease. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.

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