More often than not, when a patient is suffering from some sort of pain, it can be directly tied to some irritation in the back. Whether the pain is high or low, it is likely that many can claim to have experienced it at one point or another. Low back pain is extremely common and manifests mostly in people who are obese or have suffered injury throughout their lifetime. However, low back pain can be a result of many different conditions besides injury and these conditions can require years of therapy and management. While most pain experienced is mild and manageable, many patients experience pain that is debilitating and precludes them from completing any normal, day-to-day activities. Although there are several different causes for low back pain, patients should understand that the pain is manageable through various treatment options.
When patients know and understand the conditions and causes of their low back pain, they are more likely to find a treatment that works and makes sense to them. While the most common treatment methods are sought out at home, some may consider drastic surgical options. For patients who seek a nonsurgical treatment and a treatment without addictive or risky medications, Orthagenex offers the treatment of high dose platelet rich plasma, High Dose PRP. However, before we cover the ins and outs related to high dose platelet rich plasma, we will review some of the aspects of low back pain so that patients could more easily pinpoint their condition.
When faced with the effects of lower back pain, patients will often resort to massaging the lower back without realizing that their pain is likely the result of nerves firing and not muscles being overworked. People often assume the pain is a result of muscle fatigue because the affected area is often the same area, they would feel pain in after heavy-lifting. While heavy lifting over an extended period of time could result in back pain, the pain is often a symptom of a deeper problem. Without confirmation of a condition, it would come to no surprise that patients experience frustration after massaging the affected area to no relief. The first thing that patients with lower back pain need to understand is that most lower back pain is a result of the nerves in their lower back being agitated. The first step in seeking effective treatment is learning what is wrong with our bodies. Once we know and understand what our bodies are communicating to us, we can assess the situation, seek effective treatment, and overcome our bodies’ obstacles with confidence.
Some of the most common causes for lower back pain might not be readily apparent to patients and may take a proper diagnosis from a medical professional before starting the recommended treatment. As mentioned previously, most people will experience lower back pain in their lives, and it will likely become an issue for which most would seek medical attention. At the same time, some patients who seek medical attention might have experienced an acute injury that spurred them into action. However, the types of patients who seek medical attention for lower back pain will often be divided into subsets before doctors recommend them for a particular treatment. So, like medical professionals, when considering the causes of lower back pain, we must also consider these various subsets of patients who are categorized by the conditions they face that would be considered risk factors.
The first, most prominent qualifier for the cause of lower back pain is age. Lower back pain is most common with patients who are over the age of thirty and the likelihood increases from then on. This is not to say that patients under thirty cannot or will not experience back pain, but it is more likely that a patient who is experiencing back pain will be over the age of thirty. Unfortunately, age is a risk factor for most conditions including lower back pain and this is due to the wearing down of disks that sit along the vertebrae of the human spine. Over time, these soft and flexible disks that can absorb the impact and stretching required from physical activity, become more brittle and unable to support the weight placed upon the vertebrae of the spine. In addition to the wearing down of these discs, it is often the case that low back pain is a result of a herniated disc– a condition wherein the disc ruptures.
The issue of accomplishing physical tasks is further exacerbated by the weight of an individual. The extra and unnecessary weight of an individual will strongly contribute to the pain experienced in the lower back. Because we ask our spine to handle hundreds of tasks which can often be strenuous every day, adding extra weight to the spine would further increase the pain experienced by patients with lower back pain. Dr. Lee and his associates in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health explain that “[f]irst, as weight increases, a load is placed on the joint carrying the weight, and compression of the intervertebral disc may be induced due to axial loading on the lumbar spine, one of the major joints carrying the weight, and this may lead to injury. Second, weight gain can cause spinal malalignment, especially lumbar lordosis, leading to LBP [low back pain]. Third, the increase in adipose tissue as the body weight increases secretes cytokines such as tumor necrosis alpha and interleukin 6, which contribute to the development of pain via the alteration of neurophysiological properties of peripheral nociceptors and central neurons” (2021). With these complications related to weight in mind, patients will likely consider the lifestyle choices they have made and will make to manage their low back pain.
Weight is often a result of an individual’s occupation or lifestyle. Unfortunately, those who live or work in an environment that is more sedentary and requires the patient to sit for several hours at a time have a much higher chance of being overweight and experiencing greater low back pain. Patients who live or work in such environments may be surprised to learn that their environment can cause lower back pain because it is not requiring them to do any strenuous exercise or activities. Contributing factors for low back pain, while surprising, are no less serious and vary from the aforementioned qualifiers to osteoarthritis and even depression or anxiety.
With these conditions and qualifiers in mind as causes for low back pain, we must also consider a condition that is directly tied to the nerves along the lower back; sciatica. Sciatica, being a condition that results from the pinching of the sciatic nerve, may also be directly tied to the disks along the vertebrae that compress the nerve. So, if the nerve is compressed by the disks, the disks along the spine are also wearing out over time, and a patient suffers from any of the former qualifiers, one can begin to understand that low back pain is a condition that is complex and multifaceted. At the outset in search of treatment, patients should understand that their low back pain is likely a result of more than one contributing factor. Because of the enumeration of conditions that contribute to low back pain, patients will often feel discouraged and assume that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to their back pain. While most patients may know of and utilize temporary pain-relievers, all would rather have effective, safe, and lasting treatment without risking surgery.
For a more safe and effective form of low back pain treatment, patients and doctors are more frequently turning to platelet rich plasma (PRP) Dr. Akeda and her associates in the Journal of Pain Research who research the efficacy of PRP for low back pain first explain that, “[p]latelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an autologous blood concentrate that contains a natural concentration of autologous growth factors and cytokines and is currently widely used in the clinical setting for tissue regeneration and repair. PRP has great potential to stimulate cell proliferation and metabolic activity of IVD [in vitro diagnosis] cells in vitro” (2019). The more physicians research and apply PRP for treatment purposes, the more they find promising results.
The study continues to claim that, “[s]everal animal studies have shown that the injection of PRP into degenerated IVDs is effective in restoring structural changes (IVD height) and improving the matrix integrity of degenerated IVDs as evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and histology. The results of this basic research have shown the great possibility that PRP has significant biological effects for tissue repair to counteract IVD degeneration”. These several studies, while showing promising results in animals can also be applied to use in human research when it comes to low back pain treatment.
The research article concludes that, “[c]linical studies for evaluating the effects of the injection of PRP into degenerated IVDs for patients with discogenic LBP have been reviewed. Although there was only one double-blind randomized controlled trial, all the studies reported that PRP was safe and effective in reducing back pain. While the clinical evidence of tissue repair of IVDs by PRP treatment is currently lacking, there is a great possibility that the application of PRP has the potential to lead to a feasible intradiscal therapy for the treatment of degenerative disc diseases. Further large-scale studies may be required to confirm the clinical evidence of PRP for the treatment of discogenic LBP” While these results are certainly promising, patients might wonder if PRP is the best treatment when compared to other similar types of treatment.
Dr. Xuan and his associates in the Journal of Neurological Surgery, first explain that, “PRP is an autologous blood derivative containing high concentrations of activated growth factors and cytokines (e.g., platelet-derived growth factor, transforming growth factor, fibroblast growth factor, insulinlike growth factor 1, and epidermal growth factor). These elements serve as important humoral mediators to induce an anti-inflammatory effect and natural healing cascade by promoting cell proliferation, migration and differentiation, protein transcription, extracellular matrix regeneration, angiogenesis, and collagen synthesis” (2020). All of these elements mentioned by Dr. Xuan and his associates not only prove to make PRP an effective treatment, but a safe treatment when compared to its competitors.
The doctors continued their study and found that, “Our meta-analysis concluded that PRP injection resulted in significantly improved pain relief (as evidenced by the meta-analysis of pain scores within 8 weeks and > 50% pain relief at 3 months) and patient satisfaction for patients with low back pain. In addition, one included RCT revealed that PRP injection was able to result in sustained and more reduction in pain visual analog scores and lumbar functional improvements at the end of 6 months than local anesthetic using a corticosteroid. These results indicated autologous PRP served as the superior treatment option for longer duration efficacy for low back pain compared with corticosteroids”. Not only do patients have the added benefit of longer duration away from pain, but they will also avoided unwanted complications from corticosteroid injections. In conclusion, Dr. Xuan found that, “PRP injection showed an important ability to provide pain relief and patient satisfaction for those with low back pain”.
Regardless of a patient’s history with low back pain, whether it is a result of an acute injury, or whether they have tried every treatment in the book, Orthagenex High Dose PRP, platelet rich plasma, proves to be the standard for treatment. When patients are treated with high dose PRP, they will experience a higher quantity and quality of these growth factors that promote cellular regeneration and tissue regrowth. When high dose PRP is administered to patients, there is a high likelihood that they will see results immediately because Orthagenex High Dose PRP facilitates the body’s ability to treat itself in a concentrated form. With this treatment, patients don’t need to worry about where the relief will be or whether they will return to a higher quality of life and activity. The treatment is here with Orthagenex High Dose PRP, the most advanced platelet rich plasma treatment available today.