What’s Best for Your Back: Platelet Lysate vs. Epidural Steroid Injections

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How Do You Treat Back Pain?

The most abundant type of musculoskeletal pain, impacting the quality of life of millions each year, is back pain. Various conventional therapies are often employed to treat this affliction, such as lifestyle modifications, NSAIDs, and physical therapy. Oftentimes, though, patients do not obtain the relief they are looking for and must pursue advanced treatments. Fortunately, interventional and regenerative therapies are minimally invasive treatment options that have been proven effective at improving tougher cases of chronic back pain. Epidural steroid injections and Regenexx’s platelet lysate therapy are two such treatments targeting pain in the lumbar, thoracic, and cervical regions; however, many find platelet lysate therapy to be a more favorable option. Regenexx treatments harness the body’s natural healing abilities to offer a more physiologic solution that promotes longer-term pain relief, improved musculoskeletal function, and avoids the need for steroid use. For many, it has also helped to delay or prevent the need for invasive back surgery.

Understanding Epidural Steroid Injections

Epidural steroid injections, a common treatment for back pain, involve administering corticosteroids into the epidural space that surrounds the spinal cord and nerves. Located beneath the vertebral bones and discs, this space is crucial for targeting inflammation that compresses nerves. Corticosteroids are potent anti-inflammatories, providing rapid relief by diminishing nerve irritation. They work fast, and depending on the specific type of corticosteroid used, relief is either delivered immediately or takes three to five days to set in. These injections are not without risks, though. Contraindications include bleeding disorders, ongoing anticoagulant therapy, or existing infections. Additionally, corticosteroids can suppress the immune system, raising the risk of new infections. Side effects might include increased usual pain, elevated blood sugar, and insomnia. Repeated use can lead to tissue deterioration, hormonal imbalances, infection risks, and blood pressure increases. Individuals who are candidates for back surgery should consult with their doctor about the long-term impact of steroid treatment and how it may hasten the need for surgery.  

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and Platelet Lysate Treatments by Regenexx

Innovations in biologic therapies for musculoskeletal pain include traditional platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections and platelet lysate treatment. Platelets, central to both treatments, are vital for repairing damaged vessels and contain growth factors crucial for wound healing, cell signaling, angiogenesis, and cell proliferation. Traditional PRP therapy uses a patient-derived blood sample to produce a platelet concentrate that is injected into target tissues to alleviate pain and facilitate healing. Traditional PRP therapy uses a patient-derived blood sample to produce a platelet concentrate that is injected into target tissues to alleviate pain and facilitate healing. Regenexx PRP represents a premier form of this therapy, offering higher concentrations of platelets and personalized treatment plans to maximize healing outcomes.

Moving beyond traditional PRP, Regenexx also offers Platelet Lysate therapy, a unique and innovative approach that shares similarities with PRP but stands out in its method and efficacy. Platelet lysate therapy involves extra laboratory processing steps to lyse platelets and release growth factors and bioactive proteins for quicker tissue uptake. Regenexx’s Platelet Lysate therapy, a non-surgical option, effectively addresses back pain from herniated or bulging discs by harnessing the body’s healing capabilities. It employs advanced imaging for precise delivery to the affected region, making it a preferred choice due to its safety, non-inflammatory nature, and minimal side effects compared to steroid injections. While it can take an average of four weeks to begin seeing improvements, many candidates find the relief to be long-term. Regenexx’s approach has become a cornerstone in effectively treating back pain and is different from the market’s standard PRP because it is safe for the epidural space.

A Holistic Approach to Back Pain Management

Exploring all viable treatment options is key in managing chronic back pain effectively. While interventions like epidural steroid injections offer immediate relief, they carry potential side effects and long-term risks. On the other hand, biologic therapies like PRP Platelet Lysate treatments by Regenexx offer a more natural approach that targets the source instead of the symptoms. Patients need to engage in informed discussions with their healthcare providers to understand the benefits and limitations of each treatment option. 

Embracing Advanced Solutions

For those struggling with persistent back pain, advanced treatments like Regenexx’s Platelet Lysate by regnenexx therapy represent a beacon of hope. By offering a treatment that aligns with the body’s natural healing processes, patients can experience significant relief without the drawbacks associated with more traditional methods. If you’re considering next steps in your journey to overcome back pain, a consultation with Dr. Matthew Kohler at Ospina Medical can provide valuable insights and tailored treatment options. As a Regenexx provider, Dr. Kohler can help you embark on your journey towards recovery and improved quality of life by offering expert guidance and advanced therapeutic options.

Written By: Anwar Alhariri

Edited By: Camden Rowe

Medically Reviewed By: Matthew Kohler, MD

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.