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:
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!
Same-Day Stem Cell Treatment
At StemCell ARTS, we have seen an interesting trend among older women. We have found that women who were middle-aged, and slightly over-weight, have seen higher improvement rates than men with our same-day stem cell knee procedures. We are unsure as to why, although we do find that women tend to be more cautious after their stem cell series; while men are usually more eager to get back to physical activities. While our procedures do provide patients with less down time, intense physical activity too soon afterwards could do more harm than good. Although it is difficult to narrow down healing to one specific factor, we have seen that a combination of diet, exercise, and supplements really helps.
Positive Patient Outcomes
But men, do not be discouraged! We have an average success rate of 75%! Meaning that 50% of all patients (men and women) who were treated reported an average of 50% or more in pain relief. See our knee infographic here for a more detailed breakdown.
We welcome both men and women to contact our StemCell ARTS clinic and schedule your appointment today!
Fish Oil Benefits
We have all seen the uptake in popularity for the use of fish oil. It is being touted as the natural cure-all for some ailments. According to clinics trials from the American Heart Association, it has been shown to reduce the instances of cardiovascular diseases because it is packed with Omega-3s. It has also been known to aid in weight-loss, improve immunity, and most importantly to us: help with arthritis pain, especially in women!
Arthritis vs. Fish Oil
We have previously boasted about the healing benefits of fish oil in our previous blog post . Since its Women’s Health Month, we decided to revisit this universal supplement and its effect on women. A recent preliminary survey of approximately 30,000 women asked them about their eating habits, including supplement and vitamin intake. There was an obvious correlation between women who took fish oil and lower instances of arthritis. While diet and exercise plays a big factor as well, this study puts fish oil in a positive light. As with all medical decisions, please consult with your physician before adding vitamins and supplements to your diet.
Take a look at Dr. Centeno’s post regarding fish oil use in women!
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!