As anyone who suffers from the condition will tell you, degenerative disc disease is nothing short of miserable. In fact, it is one of the most prevalent pathologies in developed countries, especially in America, where chronic lower back pain runs rampant. Fortunately, Tampa stem cell research is stepping up to develop treatments that have the potential to resolve degenerative disc disease in a way that no other procedures can.
The Basics of Degenerative Disc Disease
Under normal and healthy circumstances, the discs situated between the vertebra function properly to assist with bending, twisting, and flexing motions. Discs naturally act like shock absorbers so the spine does not endure any pain. However, the discs have a tendency to shrink and lose their flexibility and integrity as the body ages. When a certain disc becomes severely eroded, degenerative disc disease forms. It’s not actually a disease, but rather a condition of chronic pain and limited motion. Many people with degenerative disc disease experience severe pain in sporadic bursts and have trouble bending, lifting, and twisting which causes them to visit Bradenton orthopedic surgeons who specialize in fixing these health issues.
The Role of Stem Cells
The current therapies utilized to tackle degenerative disc disease, like spinal fusion and physical therapy, do not actually address the root cause of the disease. Instead, these therapies simply help alleviate symptoms. Stem cell doctors therapy now has a very real ability to heal the degenerative disc itself, especially as more research exposes the true capacity for healing when stem cells are involved.
In particular, scientists have studied the impact of injections of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). These stem cells are found undifferentiated in adult tissues. Studies have shown that when injected into the disc, MSCs have the ability to trigger regeneration and form a disc matrix similar to the original. More studies are needed, but the potential to change millions of lives is undeniably exciting.