Back pain is one of the major causes of disability in the USA, with some estimates suggesting that approximately half of all Americans experience some form of back pain. However stem cells are once again at the centre of new research which suggests an effective treatment for back pain is in the pipeline, according to a recent article in News Max Health.
The research project, lead by the University of Pennsylvania, focused on the use of stem cells to bioengineer new spinal discs, which are the soft discs which ask like shock absorbers between each vertebrae of the spinal column. Spinals discs have a strong tendency to wear away over time, and the direct contact between individual vertebrae can result in painful trapped nerves, which in turn can affect mobility.
The research group has successfully bioengineered and implanted such discs into goats, observing that the new tissue functioned well over a implant period of 20 weeks.
Replicating such treatment in humans is still several years off, however this development is being regarded by the research and medical community as an important step in the eventual development of a treatment that can have a positive impact on back pain in the wider population.
Scott Wolf, President and Director of Research for Grace Century, commented “More and more therapies are coming down the line based on using one’s own stem cells. We are convinced that stem cell therapy will be an everyday part of medical treatment in years to come, and in this respect there has never been a better time for parents to consider storing their children’s stem cell using systems such as Provia’s Store-A-Tooth dental stem cell storage product”.