Spine Arthritis & More

Macquarie Stem Cells has provided the information below so consumers can understand the services we provide. We don’t aim to encourage consumers to seek out such treatments prior to an assessment by a health professional to determine your suitability for treatment.  We aim to provide you with an unbiased range of treatments that are available aside from biological therapy, this is discussed in ‘supporting information>other-options’  page on our website.

Osteoarthritis Involving Your Spine

Osteoarthritis in a nutshell is a degenerative condition, it can occur in any joint within your body. As we age, it becomes more and more common for it to occur in your spine. Osteoarthritis of the spine is mainly seen in the facet joints. In some cases, having osteoarthritis in these areas can also produce spurs that put pressure on the surrounding nerves. This can lead to weakness and pain in the arms or legs, known as neuropathy or neuropathic pain.

What is Degenerative Disc Disease?

Degenerative disc disease is not really a disease at all, but rather a degenerative condition that at times can produce pain from a damaged disc. Disc degeneration is actually a natural part of aging, degeneration is the process by of how osteoarthritis occurs. This time it is where the disc between the bones of the spine becomes thinner by losing its hydration. Over time all people will exhibit changes in their discs consistent with a greater or lesser degree of degeneration. However, not all people will develop symptoms. In fact, degenerative disc disease is quite variable in its nature and severity.

This can also work backwards, for example osteoarthritis in the facet joints of the spine can occur as a result of disc degeneration. (Peter F. Ullrich, 2017)
Having osteoarthritis in your spine can also lead to a bulging or a herniated disc, Macquarie Stem Cells will discuss this below.

What is a Disc Bulge or Herniated Disc?

A Disc Bulge or a Herniated Disc can start with an annular tear. This refers to the outer layer of a spinal disc being torn. This is rather like the “egg” we see on a bicycle tire when the rubber weakens and cracks starts to appear. (Spine Health, 2017)

What is the difference between a herniated disc and a bulging disc?


Bulging discs are still contained within the annulus; the leaking fluid will create a small bulge and this can press on the surrounding nerves.


A herniated disc is a traumatic focused injury to the disc, which results in a portion of the nucleus, or inside material pushing out. This can push into nerves.

Biological Treatments & Spine Issues

Macquarie Stem Cells has treated patients suffering from osteoarthritic discs or facet joints, it has been common for us to come across patients that also suffered from either disc bulges, disc herniations and/or associated nerve pain. After the treatment, all of the responding patients had commented their symptoms in relation to their spine problem show improvements. This specifically relates to the level of pain the patient is suffering from.

There is evidence of safety and feasibility in the treatment of Degenerative Disc Disease with a biological approach. The treatments show discogenic pain reduction, and the these biological approaches appear to be an innovation that promises fewer complications and improved function in patients who are demographically suitable for biological therapy. (Hansraj KK., 2015)


  • We can use your body to target and fight off the inflammation that is causing you pain.
  • Your body makes lubrication for your joints (synovial fluid), when the inflammation is reduced it can continue making good lubrication inside your joints.
    Therefore, allowing free flowing movement within the joint. This is crucial around the facet joints of the spine.
  • Spine related nerve pain,  sensations such as burning, tingling and numbness, shooting pains are types of nerve pain.
    • The underlying cause of the nerve pain needs to be determined (for example a bulging disc) however, this can improve.
  • Nucleus Pulposus Matrix “jelly like disc material” between the bones of your spine has the potential for repair.
    • By resolving inflammation around the disc, the resident repair mechanisms can resume normal function and allow the disc to re-hydrate (similar to a prune in water or alternatively pumping up a flat car tyre).

(Schroeder, 2015) (Condé-Green et al., 2016) (Wu et al., 2013) (Gibbs et al., 2015) (Jo et al., 2014) (Michalek, 2015) (Sacerdote et al., 2013) (Schroeder, 2015)(Vickers et al., 2014)


As your inflammation reduces, naturally you will start moving as normal. You may notice your muscles are weaker than usual, but this will step up and gain strength very quickly since muscles have very good blood supply. However, the muscles helping your back are balanced and connected to many other muscles around your body. You may continue to suffer from some pain but it should no longer be your typical arthritis or nerve pain, this will be coming from your muscles.

  • This is not a side effect of the treatment. It is simply your body trying to get back to normal but it is encountering “growing pains”.

You must start physiotherapy and stay consistent with this approach, there is only one person who can rebuild the lost muscle strength and flexibility. That is you.

Don’t forget, we are here to assist. We can also use your body to speed up the recovery rate of your muscles, and without the need for any surgery.


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Remember, any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

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