NPR Talks about Relieving Back Pain

Back Pain

Most people experience back pain. On February 20th, an NPR story http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/02/20/515675259/got-back-pain-try-yoga-or-massage-before-reaching-for-the-pills suggested that drugs – even over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs – should be a last resort to treat acute lower back pain. I agree.

From my perspective, the regenerative injections we provide use inflammation to stimulate regeneration, accelerating or intensifying the body’s natural healing response. It’s the body’s first response to injuries: increasing the flow of blood (and other biological factors) to the injury actually causes healing to happen. Anti-inflammatory medications may slow or prevent the natural healing process, and may turn a simple, temporary injury into long-lasting pain.

Modern medicine has many “solutions” to partly or completely mask pain, offering immediate relief (treating the symptom), without addressing the cause. This sets the stage for worse problems down the road. We may initially avoid exercise, yoga, massage/manipulation, physical therapy and acupuncture because we think they might increase our pain, and we sure don’t want to do that. Turns out those treatments really are a great place to start, and they often give your back what it needs to recover.

If your back pain isn’t improving after a couple of weeks with these alternative treatments, that’s when it makes sense to consider regenerative therapies. These treatments restore healthy tissue and function. We start with the easiest and least invasive treatment. Depending on how the injury responds, we may progress to a more intensive therapy to induce the proliferation of new cells. Prolotherapy, platelet-rich plasma, and stem cells are the steps in that progression, emerging tools in the medical toolbox to help heal, not just mask, the causes of pain.

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