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 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.
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.
A Disc Bulge 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.
Bulging discs are still contained within the annulus; the leaking fluid will create a small bulge and this can press on the surrounding nerves. (Spine Health, 2017)
A herniated disc can also start with an annular tear however, the herniation results in a portion of the nucleus, or inside material pushing out. This can push onto nerves.
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 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)
(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, you will start moving better. You may notice your muscles are weaker than usual. It is possible to reverse this and gain strength very quickly since muscles have very good blood supply. However, if they gain strength too quickly your tendons may not keep up because their blood supply is not as good. You will notice this when you feel your pain “shifts”. It is important to note, this will not be the same pain that you were encontering preivously. This is what we refer to as tendonitis.
Tendonitis is not a side effect of the treatment. It is simply your joint 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 tendons 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.