Spine Conditions.

Treatment with stem cells.

Some diseases and injuries in the back severely affect basic functions of the spine chronically affecting patients’ quality of life, orthopedic specialists have found alternative solutions in the use of stem cells to cure or greatly improve the quality of life in patients.

At Novastem, a team of specialists is trained to apply treatments to patients with spinal injuries. For more information on how we can help you, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists (CTA).

What is the back and how does it work?

Basically, the back serves to:

To allow movement, the spine must be flexible. That is why it is not composed of one large bone but of 33 separate vertebrae, arranged one on top of the other and supported by a system of muscles and ligaments.

To help keep the center of gravity stable, the contraction of the back muscles acts as a counterweight to compensate for the movements of the rest of the body. To act in this way, the musculature must be powerful.

To protect the spinal cord, the vertebrae have a special shape; a hole in their center through which the spinal cord runs.

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The spinal column

The human spine is made up of 33 vertebrae. The 7 cervical, 12 dorsal and 5 lumbar vertebrae are separated by 23 corresponding intervertebral discs. The 5 sacral vertebrae are fused, as are the 4 coccygeal vertebrae, forming the sacrum and coccyx.

When viewed from the front, the vertebrae are perfectly aligned and form a vertical. However, in profile, they form curves. The upper curve -in the cervical area- and the lower curve -in the lumbar area- are concave backwards and are called lordosis -cervical and lumbar respectively-. The middle curve is concave forward and is called dorsal kyphosis.

This arrangement allows the spine to be very resistant to the load applied in the vertical direction, since its curvatures give it flexibility. If the load is very important, the curvatures can temporarily increase, cushioning the pressure on the vertebrae. For this reason, in some countries it was traditional to carry the load on the head. Moreover, by doing so, the center of gravity was kept in the axis of the spine, so that the back muscles hardly had to work at all.

What are the functions of the spine?

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Some of the functions of the spine are:

What diseases can they suffer from?

The problems that can alter the structure of the spine or injure the vertebrae and the tissue that surrounds them can be several:

Repeatedly, diseases affecting the spine often cause pain when bone changes put pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. Another effect is a limitation of movement.

Treatment obviously varies depending on the disease affecting the spine, but back braces and surgery are often used.

How can the cause of back pain be diagnosed?

The first and most important sources of information to know the causes of back pain are the clinical history and the physical examination. The other tests -radiological, analytical or functional- are only of value if their results correspond to those of the physical examination.

Since some are painful and others involve certain risks, they should only be resorted to when the results of the interrogation or physical examination determine their appropriateness.

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To this end, a detailed clinical history and meticulous physical examination are essential. Only if the results indicate so, may a further diagnostic test be ordered.

Diagnostic tests may be radiological, e.g. X-ray or MRI, analytical, e.g. blood test, or functional, e.g. electromyogram. These tests are described below, but first it should be emphasized that the most important sources of information are:

It only makes sense to order diagnostic tests when the information gathered in the clinical history and physical examination suggests their appropriateness. In fact, the results of diagnostic tests, including the most sophisticated ones, are only valuable when they correspond to the information obtained in the clinical interrogation and physical examination.

For example, two patients with a very similar disc herniation image on their MRI should be treated completely differently if the results of the physical examination are normal in one of them, while showing signs of nerve compression in the other. It is a serious mistake to treat images instead of patients.

Some diagnostic tests are painful, others have risks, and all have a considerable cost to the patient, either in money, discomfort or loss of time. That is why they should only be ordered when the treatment is going to be modified according to their result or when it is necessary to adjust the prognosis. Otherwise, it is useless and can be counterproductive: some anomalies of the spine are common among the healthy population.

Seeing these anomalies in a patient whose pain is due to other causes may induce the physician to propose unnecessary treatments. For example, approximately 30% of the healthy population has herniated discs that do not cause any problems but can be seen on a CT or MRI scan.

If in the case of a patient with back pain due to a muscle contraction of two or three weeks’ evolution, an MRI is requested and one of these irrelevant herniated discs is seen, the physician may mistakenly think that this is the cause of the pain and perform an unnecessary and counterproductive surgical operation.

Clinical practice guidelines agree that a patient who has been in pain for less than 4 weeks should only undergo clinical questioning and a physical examination. Only if the results suggest that this is necessary, does it make sense to order diagnostic tests – such as X-rays, MRI, blood tests, etc. Otherwise, the results will not change the patient’s treatment, so it would be useless to perform them.

Some Clinical Practice Guidelines recommend routine imaging tests (X-ray, CT or MRI) in older adults with back pain because of the greater frequency of serious underlying diseases at those ages. However, a quality study found no difference in pain, disability or in the diagnosis of serious diseases during one year of follow-up in elderly patients with back pain depending on whether or not they underwent early routine imaging tests if there were no clinical data or personal history to justify these studies.

In addition to the clinical history and physical examination, the diagnostic tests most commonly used to determine the cause of back pain are:

At Novastem, a team of specialists is trained to apply treatments to patients with spinal injuries. For more information on how we can help you, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.

Treatments for back pain: Basis, indications and risks

Many treatments have been proposed to treat back pain. Most have never been scientifically evaluated, and few of those that have been have been shown to be truly effective. Most are used simply because they have always been used, without scientific data to prove their worth.

Some treatments are aimed at treating painful episodes and others at reducing the risk of suffering them or accelerating the recovery of mobility.

The treatments recommended on this website are based on the clinical practice guidelines based on scientific evidence currently available, and on the results of scientific studies that evaluate them.

Benefits of using stem cell therapy

Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy promotes the repair of intervertebral disc cartilage tissue from its own cellular and biochemical components. It restores the damage from within. In other words, it is possible to regenerate back cartilage with stem cells.

The treatment of lumbar discopathy with stem cells has shown positive results in preclinical trials (both in small and large animals), however, its efficacy in humans has yet to be demonstrated, with some studies showing good clinical and imaging results.

Stem cells have been recognized for some decades now as a great therapeutic possibility to treat a wide variety of diseases and ailments. These cells have the amazing ability to differentiate into other cells.

 

When stem cells are introduced into the intervertebral discs, they promote the formation of new cartilage cells (called chondrocytes) and new, stronger collagen fibers, which stabilize the tissue and restore its elastic properties.

At Novastem, a team of specialists is trained to apply treatments to patients with spinal injuries. For more information on how we can help you, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.

How do we do it at Novastem?

Over the years, numerous attempts have been made to discover medical and non-medical treatment options for this condition. In some cases, medical treatments have led to increased survival and improved quality of life, and options for non-medical therapeutics have emerged. 

Novastem’s goal with our treatments is to reverse the lack of functionality, eliminating pain and allowing you to enjoy 100% of daily activities and life again.

In Novastem we have the strictest protocols of acceptance to treat a patient laboratory studies are performed before each therapy, we use for joint injuries injection of mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow with platelet-rich plasma or PRP, the treatment is guided by ultrasound and / or fluoroscopy of a single day with or without anesthesia for direct application in the area to be treated.

In Novastem a team of specialists is trained to apply treatments to patients with spinal injuries, more information on how we can help you, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists .

For more information on how we can help you, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists

Learn more about the scientific basis of our work at Novastem here.

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