Often, when patients are diagnosed with spinal stenosis, the only solution most physicians and surgeons give them is surgery. Stenosis occurs when there is a narrowing in the spinal canal; this narrowing causes trapped nerves which can produce symptoms of sciatica. Weakness, numbness, and tingling (down legs and buttocks) can be a result of these trapped nerves. The most common surgery for spinal stenosis is ‘decompressive laminectomy’. This surgery involves removing a portion of the bone or thickened tissue that is compressing the nerves. Laminectomies are often coupled with spinal fusions in order to provide the back with more support. For those who wish to avoid such an invasive procedure, StemCell ARTS with Regenexx has a solution for you!
Our physicians are able to provide customized treatment plans for patients suffering from pain due to spinal stenosis. Platelet Lysate is a treatment we utilize for trapped nerves. The process starts with a venous blood draw. After that, we hand process your sample in our state-of-the-art lab, and separate the platelet from red blood cells. We then freeze the platelets and break them open to extract the growth serum inside. These growth factors are then injected by the doctor around the nerves to calm the inflammation.
See how Dr. Centeno helped Kathie overcome the pain from her spinal stenosis in order to help her continue her coral restoration work!
Pinched nerves and herniated discs can cause structural problems in your back, in addition to pain and discomfort. They can also cause weakened core stability in the lumbar spine; pinched nerves can also cause lead to deferred pain your hip and knees! Traditional surgical interventions work by cutting out the herniated portion of the disc. Although it may help relieve pain temporarily, this could lead to further issues as they are removing a necessary portion of the disc. While steroid injections are appropriate treatments for acute and sudden back pain, excessive use of steroids have been shown to cause weakening of the bones. This can eventually lead to fractures, especially in older women.
Epidural Steroid Alternatives
At StemCell ARTS, we are able to provide alternatives to high doses of steroid injections. Platelet Lysate, Prolotherapy, and Platelet Rich Plasma are treatments available here to help reduce inflammation, heal injuries and tighten ligaments.
Watch this video from Regenexx to see how our Platelet Lysate treatment stacks up against the standard epidural!
Conventional Steroid Injections
Low back pain is one of the most common problems and injuries in the United States. For those who suffer from it, most people are provided relief with a series of standard steroid epidural injections. But what about those who are not candidates for steroids, such as patients with Lyme Disease, Osteoporosis, or even just those who have exhausted interventional injections? At StemCell ARTS, we are able to provide a minimally invasive, platelet therapy to help combat low back pain!
The Science Behind Platelet Lysate (PL)
Platelet Lysate is one of the treatments available to patients at StemCell ARTS for those who suffer from chronic low back pain. This treatment is specialized for those with disc pain (such as herniated discs) and pinched nerves in the spine. It involves a blood draw from your arm and afterwards, we hand-process the sample in our state-of-the-art laboratory. Platelets which contain growth factors are isolated and frozen; we then take these platelets and break them open to extract the growth serum within these cells. These growth factors are injected into the spine, and around discs similar to that of a standard epidural, but with your own super concentrated platelets! The platelets are immediate release (similar to steroid injections), but in most patients, they are provided with longer relief.
See how Dr. Friedlis explains our procedures and the clinical indications for them here
Click on some of our links below to see the outcomes for our Platelet Lysate procedures:
Mrs. Mariano’s story is common, and echoes the frustration that some women feel when their pelvic pain is misdiagnosed. She woke up after a procedure with debilitating back pain. She saw countless numbers of physicians who could not accurately diagnose her even with the proper imaging. Despite going through a series of conservative measures such as, physical therapy and standard interventional steroid injections, she failed to receive any relief. After a few sessions, her physical therapist started to realize that her pelvis was not staying in place. Julie took this information and ran with it. She did extensive research and was able to find StemCell ARTS.
Treatment at StemCell ARTS
She flew from her home state of Florida to our clinic in Virginia to consult with Dr. Mayo Friedlis. He diagnosed her with pelvic instability, and we were able to create a customized treatment plan for her. We started her on Platelet Rich Plasma and Prolotherapy treatments that help tighten ligaments in order to help stabilize her pelvis. After a few treatments, she was already seeing improvement and continues to strive toward getting back to long walks on the beach and horseback rides!
Watch the emotional interview of how physicians at StemCell ARTS helped Julie Mariano reclaim her life!
Pelvic Pain in Women
We here at StemCell ARTS appreciate all that women (especially our mothers) do for us! We understand that women who have been pregnant are more susceptible to pelvic pain, as child-birth causes trauma to that area. The ligaments around the pubic symphysis get stretched out, and can cause instability; this in turn can cause deferred pain in the hips and low back. Often, these pains are misdiagnosed, and steroid injections provide only temporary relief because they are not treating the source of the problem.
SCA Treatments for Pelvic Pain
Here in our clinic, we provide customized treatments that are able to help tighten up those sacral ligaments and tendons to help relieve pain. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections are concentrated autologous platelets that are hand-processed in our laboratory. Once injected, they are able to shorten and strengthen tendons and ligaments. Prolotherapy is sometimes also an option for those with less severe pain. It is a dextrose-based solution that is injected into the pelvis and surrounding ligaments, also in an effort to tighten them. Prolotherapy causes inflammation which tells your body’s repair cells to congregate to the site, which might have been an old injury that your body has forgotten about. Our treatments can help women (and men) get back to those kids that initially caused your pain!
See how Dr. Friedlis describes diagnosing and treating pelvic pain here at StemCell ARTS!
Not all injuries occur through strenuous exercise or overuse. Some are caused by car accidents like our next testimonial, Denise Lawson. She experienced pain in her head, neck and shoulder afterwards, which is typical in a high-impact wreck. For some, these symptoms typically fade over time, but for Denise, this eventually lead to degenerative disc disease in her neck. At first the pain was tolerable. As time went on, it became debilitating and she could no longer raise her arm above her head without experiencing searing pain. After exhausting all forms of interventional treatments such as cortisone injections, acupuncture and chiropractor, she finally turned to regenerative treatments.
Diagnosing Treatable Issues
During her consultation, much care and consideration was brought into creating a suitable treatment plan to help with her pain. Our physicians look at the bigger picture and treat our patients as a whole. They saw that her pain in the neck and shoulder were related and those areas were able to be treated at the same time. She started small with our super concentrated Platelet Rich Plasma treatment, which can be customized to the physician’s orders. Our Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) can help heal small tears, sprains and strains in tendon and ligaments. After a few injections she was able to go back to the physical activities she once loved and never thought she could do again, such as boat racing on the Potomac River! She was so happy with the progress in her neck and shoulder that she decided to undergo stem cells in her knee once she started to experience pain there as well. Today, she is completely healed and rowing her way to a long, pain-free life!
Read about her story here and schedule your appointment to get you on the road back to what you love!
Thursday, January 26, StemCell ARTS tested Facebook’s feature, “Facebook Live”, and Dr. Friedlis went live for the first time! If you were unable to catch the live video, hear what Dr. Friedlis had to say by clicking the link, below. In the video, Dr. Friedlis discusses spinal conditions and how the regenerative procedures offered at StemCell ARTS can help. The video was posted to our exclusive ‘Patient Discussion Forum’. This is a Facebook page that allows past, present and future patients to discuss their experiences with StemCell ARTS and regenerative therapies. This is an environment that encourages interactions between patients to discuss recovery, compare stories, etc. This also allows patients who have had a consult with one of the StemCell ARTS physicians to ask questions of patients who have been through the process. If you are interested in becoming a member of this group, you can submit your request via Facebook.
The “Facebook Live” feature allows patients to view our regenerative physicians and ask questions, in real time. Some of these questions may even get answered during the video. If a question does not get answered during the video, StemCell ARTS will attempt to provide answers to the questions and comments, following the completion of the video. This is a helpful tool if you have been thinking about the idea of regenerative therapies, but are not yet ready to commit to a phone call or evaluation.
StemCell ARTS will work to offer more “Facebook Live” videos to cover a variety of topics and questions. If you have an idea that you would like to see StemCell ARTS cover, head over to the StemCell ARTS Facebook page and leave suggestions. If you have any questions, keep an eye out for our next Live session to get your questions posted and answered.
Stay tuned for more Live videos from some of our other physicians!
For patients suffering from back pain, there are a number of treatments that can be suggested. Although surgeries of the spine, such as ‘fusions’ or ‘laminectomies’, can sound daunting and invasive, in some instances they are necessary steps to help patient return to a functioning lifestyle. For some patients, these surgeries are successful and patients can resume living their lives pain free. However, for other patients, the pain level post procedure is similar to what was experienced prior to having a surgical procedure of the spine. If surgery fails to resolve the patients pain, are all options exhausted? Are these patients destined to continue with life-limiting pain?
Luckily, StemCell ARTS is able to provide several regenerative treatment options that have helped our patients say “good-bye” to their post-surgical pain. Our procedure use the patients’ body’s own biologics to help itself heal. Our trained phlebotomists take a sample of the patients’ blood and process this, by hand, in the lab found in each of the StemCell ARTS offices. The blood is placed into a centrifuge that spins the blood at high speeds to separate the platelets from red blood cells. Those platelets are further processed and concentrated depending on their specific use. In Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), the platelets are injected into, and around the point of injury to jump start the body’s natural healing curve. For Platelet Lysate (PL), the platelets are frozen and broken open for immediate release. PL is recommended by the regenerative physician when PRP may be expected to cause too much inflammation. PL may also be suggested if the patient needs prompt relief since this procedure is comparable to a cortisone injection, but with the body’s own platelets in lieu of steroids.
One patient shares his story about how StemCell ARTS helped him regain his life following his spinal decompression surgery. When surgery failed to provide the necessary pain relief, Judge Thomas Moore sought the regenerative procedures offered at StemCell ARTS. Read more to see how our procedures changed Judge Moore’s life!