Can Cell Therapy Successfully Treat Chronic Back Pain?

Can Cell Therapy Successfully Treat Chronic Back Pain?


Chronic back pain can be one of the most disabling issues a person can develop. Current treatment options often fail to provide relief, leaving many patients relying on opiods for for some semblance of normal function. There is little data that opiods continue to give long term pain relief.

Back pain is multi-factorial, and often discerning a single most profound cause is impossible, as is developing a single treatment modality. Surgical outcomes when measured by patient satisfaction and degree of pain relief, are often poor for chronic back pain. Non surgical options, too, can fail to give relief.  Standard treatment regimens rely on a series of common modalities including:

  • over the counter medications
  • avoidance of activities
  • prescription nsaids
  • back bracing
  • Physical Therapy
  • Injections in muscle, epidural space, near nerve roots and in joints

Unfortunately, many patients fail these approaches to back pain and this has left us as physicians, searching for better treatment options.

Can PRP or BMC treat chronic back pain?

Over the past 20 years physicians have begun to treat back problems with newer options like cellular therapy. Cell therapy uses your own cells to try to find pain relief. This is typically not covered by insurance, nor are the treatments approved by the FDA. However, there is substantial science behind this work and many physicians around the world believe it to not only be a viable treatment, but better than our current conventional treatments.

In the first week of October, The Orthobiologic Institute held its annual meeting and there were many presentations on the use of cell therapy, including one by Dr. Sairam Atluri on the use of cell therapy to treat severe spinal degeneration.  Dr. Atluri gave the results of a study in which 80 patients were randomly separated to either a conventional treatment group, or to a cell therapy group. The cell therapy group was treated with lumbar injections which directed the patient’s own cells to treatment of joints, discs, muscle, and other areas. This group was then followed and their progress compared to a conventionally treated group.  There were some interesting findings in the group treated with BMC:

  • Back pain was markedly improved in the BMC group over 3,6 and 12 months
  • The disability index (ODI) improved in the BMC group
  • Function improved in the BMC group
  • There were no complications
  • Opiod use markedly decreased in the BMC treatment group


These findings strongly suggest that Bone Marrow concentrate may be successfully used to

treat chronic low back pain .  It is important to also note that the level of pain and disability remained constant in the group treated with

conventional methods, and the opiod use in that group actually increased.


Chronic back pain can be disabling. I have spent the last two decades of my life treating patients with chronic back pain and am all too familiar with the poor treatment outcomes, both surgical and non-surgical. I believe the data presented on the use of BMC this week is a big step in helping us to understand these newer treatment options, which may give patients more hope for a normal life.

The physicians at Southcoast Medical hope to continue to explore these options for patients. It is our goal to give patients every possible legitimate option to find long term pain relief. Studies like this, with no complications, and excellent outcomes over one year, suggest that cell therapy may help relieve chronic back pain.

If you have chronic back pain and would like to discuss this or other options, please get in touch.


843 990 8390 or GETACTIVEAGAIN.COM