If you suffer from chronic pain, you may have already searched for ways to find relief. Though some medicines or therapies may help with immediate discomfort, they may not provide the promise of a long-term solution for the new year.
While finding the most appropriate and effective way to alleviate pain for an even fuller life may require close consultation with your doctor and pain specialist to determine the cause and eliminate any risks, there are several options available to you.
Lower body chronic pain can be difficult to treat. Dorsal root ganglion stimulation uses neurostimulation along the spinal nerve root to target specific areas of chronic pain, such as the hip, groin, knee, or foot.
The dorsal root ganglia (DRG) are composed of densely compacted sensory nerve cell bodies, which send sensations to the brain. Each DRG is associated with a different part of the body, and DRG stimulation targets these specific clusters to address the unique area of your individual discomfort.
“[DRG] could provide long-term relief for chronic back pain that has not responded to other treatments, including spinal cord stimulation,” a study from Rush University Medical Center asserts. “It could also help certain people who need a non-drug form of pain therapy.”
Regenerative medicine is an umbrella term used for a multitude of new procedures that amplify your own body’s healing powers. Because these treatments do not introduce new materials into your system or require surgery, recovery time may be reduced.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy utilizes the growth factors that are in the platelet layer of centrifuged blood. These factors help your body naturally harness to treat inflammation, reduce pain, heal injuries, and promote tissue regeneration.
The process involves taking a sample of your own blood, and then separating out the platelet layer with a centrifuge. Your platelet-rich plasma is then reinjected where needed into injured tissue to release growth factors that stimulate and increase reparative cells.
According to the American Academy/Association of Orthopedic Medicine, “Research studies and clinical practice have shown PRP injections to be very effective at relieving pain and returning patients to their normal lives,” but we recommend consultation with your pain specialist to determine whether PRP injections are appropriate for you.
Like platelet-rich plasma, bone marrow aspirated concentrate (BMAC) also employs your body’s own natural healing power. But rather than using blood, BMAC retrieves bone marrow from your pelvic bone where stem cells are made. The cells are then concentrated from the marrow, and injected into a ligament, joint or vertebral disc that is causing pain.
Though further research is being conducted, clinical studies have shown that BMAC has “promising results” for those with osteoarthritis, and that the procedure involves minimal side effects.
There are several other methods that can be used to alleviate your chronic pain, including diagnostic facet nerve blocks, lumbar endoscopic discectomy, individual physical therapy sessions, and more.
We know that finding the most effective treatment for your chronic pain can be exhausting. So the care team at Alliance Spine & Pain Centers is dedicated to providing an accurate diagnosis and effective therapy to alleviate your discomfort with long-lasting results. To learn more about our treatments, and to book an appointment for consultation, visit us online, or call 770-929-9033.