In our many years of practice we have seen many people with problems of chronic back pain. By the time some of these people visit us they have had a long history of treatments including cortisone injections, pain medications, anti-inflammatory medications, back braces, yoga, physical therapy, Pilates and anything else that they thought would help them. As their back pain worsens, these people now have to consider surgery or “live with it.”
Chronic low back pain comes with many diagnosis. Degenerative Disc Disease, Lumbar stenosis, Spondylolisthesis, SI Joint dysfunction, and sciatica to name a few of the diagnostic tags that most back pain sufferers are familiar with and are among the most common MRI based diagnoses we see in our patients seeking non-surgical options.
At the Magaziner Center we’re proud of our success rate in using non-surgical treatments that don’t involve the use of dangerous drugs to relieve chronic back pain, be it from an accident, sports injury or simply aging.
Understanding PRP treatments
PRP is derived from a patient’s own blood. To create platelet-rich plasma therapy, a small sample of your blood is drawn, similar to a lab-test sample. The blood is placed in a centrifuge which separates the platelets from the other components. The concentrated platelet-rich plasma is then injected into and around the point of injury, jump-starting and significantly strengthening the body’s natural healing signal. Because the patient’s own blood is used, there is no risk of a transmissible infection and a very low risk of allergic reaction.
Research on PRP for low back pain
A recent study provides a framework for understanding the PRP procedure and how it may help people with low back pain: (1)
“Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) may be beneficial for patients with low back pain. However, the results remain controversial. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to explore the efficacy of PRP for low back pain.”
A May 2021 study (2) comparted the use of PRP vs steroid injection.
“Transforaminal steroid injection is extensively used as a treatment in cases of herniated disc, but it is associated with complications. In comparison, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection has been used in musculoskeletal disorders and could be another option. This study is aimed at comparing the efficacy and safety aspects between ultrasound-guided transforaminal injections of PRP and steroid in patients who suffer from radicular pain due to lumbar disc herniation. In a randomized controlled trial, ultrasound-guided transforaminal injections of either PRP (in 61 patients) or steroid (in 63 patients) were administered to a total of 124 patients who suffer from radicular pain due to lumbar disc herniation.No complications were reported. The results showed similar outcome for both transforaminal injections using PRP and steroid in the treatment of lumbar disc herniation, suggesting the possible application of PRP injection as a safer alternative.”
1 Xuan Z, Yu W, Dou Y, Wang T. Efficacy of Platelet-rich Plasma for Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis [published online ahead of print, 2020 May 21]. J Neurol Surg A Cent Eur Neurosurg. 2020;10.1055/s-0040-1709170. doi:10.1055/s-0040-1709170
2 Xu Z, Wu S, Li X, Liu C, Fan S, Ma C. Ultrasound-Guided Transforaminal Injections of Platelet-Rich Plasma Compared with Steroid in Lumbar Disc Herniation: A Prospective, Randomized, Controlled Study. Neural Plasticity. 2021 May 27;2021.