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:
June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month!
We can all agree that our spine is essential since it protects our spinal cord and also allows us to bend and move. However, for those with scoliosis, every day movements can become painful and debilitating. Scoliosis is a disease that affects about 2-3% of the population in the United States, roughly 6 to 9 million people. It usually has an early onset in children around 10-15 years old. The spine has a natural ‘S’ curve when examined from a side view. It is when the ‘S’ shape forms from side-to-side that problems can occur. This can be caused by factors such as: genetics, growth spurts in children, or bone degeneration. Symptoms vary by severity of the condition. For those with mild scoliosis (measured as less than 40 degrees), they might experience deformities such as having one shoulder higher than the other, or a slight hunchback form. People with curvatures greater than 40 degrees can experience more severe symptoms such as weakness, pain, and even heart and breathing issues.
Interventional Treatments for Scoliosis
Most often, when diagnosed and treated early, scoliosis can be reversed. For those who continue to have ongoing symptoms, there are several non-surgical treatment options. Bracing is the most common treatment to stabilize and straighten the spine. Exercises such as guided yoga or those prescribed during physical therapy have proven to be effective as well. Surgical intervention is the last resort because of the risks and complications that could follow such as reaction to metal rods, or paralysis.
Here at StemCell ARTS, while we are unable to reverse the curvature of the spine with our treatments, we are able to help stabilize and strengthen it. Using Prolotherapy and Platelet Rich Plasma, we inject the surrounding ligaments to cause inflammation and tell your body’s repair cells to focus on those areas. If patients are experiencing nerve pain associated with pinched nerves before or after surgery, we can utilize our Platelet Lysate treatment. Platelet Lysate (PLM) is often used during a hydrodissection technique which helps separate entrapped nerves from surrounding tissue and in turn, helps ‘calm’ the nerve down.
Watch Dr. Dade explain the benefits of having regenerative procedures here at StemCell ARTS!
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!
Golfer and Tennis Elbow
Spring time is in full force and, here at StemCell ARTS, we often see patients who have worn their bodies out participating in their favorite outdoor activities. Golfer and tennis players are common athletes that our physicians come across. Golfer’s elbow is inflammation that causes pain and discomfort where the tendons of the forearm connect to the inside of the elbow. Tennis elbow is similar to Golfer’s elbow, but differs in that the pain occurs on the outside of the elbow. These injuries are abundant among both professional and non-professional athletes. These injuries can also be seen in patients who do not engage in either golf or tennis.
Treatments Provided at StemCell ARTS
Usually, the treatments for these conditions are easily resolved with an injection of cortisone that helps resolve the inflammation. However, for those with chronic Golfer and Tennis elbow, we are able to provide long-lasting and non-invasive treatments options for you! Prolotherapy and Platelet Rich Plasma provide more permanent relief because we are utilizing your body’s own healing capabilities instead of masking your symptoms. Schedule an appointment with us today and let us get you back to those hole-in-ones!
Watch Dr. Friedlis’ video on how we would treat Golfer’s and Tennis Elbow here at StemCell ARTS!
Stem cell and platelet treatments are currently in the spotlight due to their high popularity within the professional sports community. And what’s not to love about them?! Regenerative therapies are minimally invasive, and the recovery and down time is minimal when compared to surgical procedures. These athletes depend on their ability to train hard, and an injury or long recovery is detrimental to their careers. Regenerative procedures give them the option of forgoing more invasive orthopedic procedures (if possible). For example, a standard ACL surgery could have a recovery time of up to six months with the need for rehab, six months of bracing and physical therapy in between. After this surgery, there are also higher chances of early onset arthritis in the knee.
With the procedures offered here at Stem Cell ARTS, we are able to provide athletes with platelet and stem cell injections that will help the body heal itself, with little to no down time! A recovery from our stem cell procedure would require a patient to be non-weight bearing for 48 hours after the stem cells are injected into a weight bearing joint. A brace might be required if deemed necessary by the physician and worn for up to 4 months afterwards. Patients are usually able to go back to the gym for low impact exercises just two weeks post stem cell series. We ask that our patients follow up in six weeks, and typically they are back to their normal physical activities by then!
Who’s Getting Our Procedures?
We are seeing patients of all different ages, backgrounds, and activity levels here in our clinics. More and more young, high school-aged athletes are coming to us after their sports injuries. They are hoping to continue their athletic careers into college and hopefully professionally as well. Years ago, a torn meniscus or ACL would automatically require surgery and, at their young age, there is a higher risk of re-injury. The popularity of CrossFit has (unfortunately) helped us expand our patient base. The intensity of exercise craze has created many common problems such as torn labrums and rotator cuff tendinitis. There has also been an influx of elderly active patients that want to keep their active lifestyles. We have seen patients as young as 90 who have gone back to running marathons after just a few treatments!
The Future of Sports Injuries
It would be an ambitious statement to say that one day, regenerative treatments will replace surgical procedures, but our goal is to help as many people avoid surgery as possible. We are aware that surgery means downtime, and we want to spread the word that there are alternatives out there for you if you want to get back outside in this beautiful weather just in time for spring sports!
Read Dr. Christopher Centeno’s post regarding all the amazing athletes they have treated at our headquarters in Broomfield, Colorado!