Around 40% of people who are over 40 suffers from degenerative disk diseases, and those who suffer from the suffering from this chronic disease recognize how long-lasting and difficult to deal with. The possibility of a cure is at hand, however promising results from a three-year study that indicate the possibility of a long-lasting, new method to treat this condition which is only addressed with physiotherapy corticosteroid injections, anti-inflammatory drugs or, when it is the most severe surgery.

“Existing treatments for persistent low back discomfort due to degenerative disk disease is typically ineffective , or the effects are not long-lasting,” said Dr Douglas Beall who is the director for radiology in Clinical Radiology of Oklahoma.

With degenerative disk diseases (DDD) the interverbal disks which provide cushioning to the spine and help to improve mobility and flexibility begin to degrade, deteriorating over time and leading to varying levels of mobility and pain. This innovative treatment developed by Dr. Beall along with his staff involves special cells being injected into the damaged interverbal disk to stimulate existing cells to develop healthy tissue.

In the three-year study of the three-year trial, 45 patients suffering from chronic back pain patients received feasible disk allograft treatment and were monitored for levels of pain throughout the time. When pain levels were evaluated by using the scale of visual analog, and function was measured using measurements using the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) 60 percent of patients experienced greater 50 percent improvement their situation, and 70% of patients reported more than a 20-point improvement within the ODI scores, thereby moving them from the category of moderate or severe disability to moderate or even better.

The treatment group represented the types of patients needing medical attention for DDD and differed in terms of age (19-73) as well as sex race, BMI, and smoking history.

“The substantial improvement in function and pain is encouraging for those suffering from chronic lower back pain , which can dramatically affect a person’s well-being,” said Dr Beall.

Although specific injections are developed for some time and this 36-month study suggests that allogenic therapy provides long-term improvements in mobility and pain relief, all from the same minimally invasive day-to-day process.

“This treatment could aid patients in returning to their normal levels of activity for a longer duration,” said Dr Beall. “We require better treatments for this condition as traditional treatments aren’t delivering the long-term results that patients require. The injectable allograft procedure could be the solution for many patients.”

The study also examines the effects that flow from chronic lower back pain, ranging from the economic costs associated with work absence to its role in accounting for 50% of all prescriptions for opioids.

The findings will be discussed during the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology in Phoenix this week.

Source: Society of Interventional Radiology