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Employees' back pain could be relieved by stem cell injections

After a long day at work, many people from Greeley may find themselves with a sore back, but the back ache will typically go away after a night's sleep. For some people, however, their back pain will never go away. Whether it was from a workplace accident or the result of repetitive motions, chronic lower back pain is a serious problem in Colorado and can lead to an employee filing for workers' compensation.

There may be a new option, however, on how to treat chronic low back pain. A new study has shown that an injection of bone marrow and, more specifically, the stem cells contained within the bone marrow, may help relieve back pain. The procedure is still experimental, however, and physicians should warn patients who are looking to participate that there may be no improvement of their back pain.

Adult stem cells have been shown to adapt and change into other types of tissue and cells, meaning that when it is injected into a damaged spinal disc, it can turn into spinal disc tissue. The cells may also heal the damaged tissue.

The stem cells are harvested from the back of the hip bone. After the marrow is extracted, the stem cells are concentrated by separating them from the rest of the marrow in a centrifuge. Finally, the cells are injected into damaged discs. The treatment is currently not covered by insurance and can cost quite a bit, which is why it may be important to apply for workers' compensation benefits if considering the procedure.

Source: HealthDay News, "Stem cells to relieve low back pain?" Brenda Goodman, April 12, 2013

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