Stem Cell Therapy for Back Pain

Conveniently located to serve the areas of Los Angeles

Men and women suffering from debilitating back injuries are turning to more natural approaches instead of invasive surgery. Stem cell therapy for back pain and injury as performed by the experts of the Stem Cell Institute of Los Angeles uses adult adipose derived stem cells to repair and heal back pain and injury. If you are interested in how this treatment can provide lasting pain-free results for you, please do not hesitate to contact our Encino location.

Stem Cells 101

Irritated and inflamed spinal discs or facet joints are the main causes of severe and debilitating back pain. In the past, surgical intervention or simply living with the pain were the only two options available for those suffering from back pain. Until now. Non-surgical regenerative and rehabilitative therapies such as stem cell therapy have been studied, tested, and proven to provide alleviated pain with lasting results. In order to understand how stem cells can help repair and rehabilitate the spine and back, it is important to understand how stem cells work and what their functions are.

A stem cell is a type of cell in the body that is undifferentiated, meaning it is not yet defined as a specific type of cell or tissue. It has the power to secrete various soluble factors which can alter the tissue microenvironment of which it is introduced to. These soluble factors include cytokines which control joint inflammation and growth factors which stimulate cartilage repair.

There are two main types of stem cells: embryonic and adult. At the Stem Cell Institute of Los Angeles, Dr. Younai and Dr. Fishman ethically harvest adult adipose derived stem cells via a special cell assisted liposuction technique. It is generally performed on the love handles which have a high level of stem cells in the stromal vascular fraction.

Studies and work done with adult stem cells are not a new concept; experts like the doctors of the Stem Cell Institute are simply harnessing their incredible potential to repair and rehabilitate injuries and diseases such as back pain and disc disease. If you are interested in this natural approach to treating back pain, please contact our Los Angeles location today.

Back Injuries and Conditions Treated with Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy for back pain can be performed to treat chronic pain and degenerated tissue and joints in the spine. Below are some of the back conditions treatable at the Stem Cell Institute of Los Angeles.

Disc Injury


When it comes to neck or lower back pain, a disc injury is one of, if not the most common cause. Spinal discs are the circular pads between each vertebra of the spinal column. This padding helps to protect against vertebrae rubbing against each other. The flat one inch discs consist of the annulus fibrosus (outer membrane) and the nucleus pulposus (core.) An injury to a disc can cause the core to protrude from the outer membrane, commonly referred to as a herniated or slipped disc.

Symptoms can present as numbness or pain, especially if the disc crushes a spinal nerve.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease technically isn’t a disease like the clinical definition of disease, but rather the phrase used to explain normal spinal disc changes with age. Spinal discs play the role of shock absorbers and provide bending and twisting mobility to a certain degree. If left untreated, it can eventually turn into osteoarthritis or herniated discs.

Symptoms can present as weakness, numbness, or general pain.

Facet Joint Syndrome


The spine is comprised of multiple flexible levels, one of which is facet joints. These are small joints between each adjacent vertebrae that assist in spine flexibility. Facet joints that are healthy and properly working have ample cartilage and synovial fluid lubrication to help protect against grinding of vertebrae. When facet joints become inflamed and in turn painful, this is referred to as facet joint syndrome or osteoarthritis. This can be caused by degeneration of spinal discs which affects the way the facet joints align and damages cartilage.

Symptoms include tingling, numbness, and/or pain.

Sacroiliac Joint Pain


The sacroiliac (SI) joint lies just above the coccyx, or tailbone, on both sides of the spine. It is what connects the pelvis and the sacrum, and helps to absorb shock and carry upper body weight. It doesn’t have much range of motion, so excessive or too little movement can cause sacroiliac joint pain.

Symptoms present as dull or sharp pain on one or both sides of the lower back, potentially trailing down the legs.

Good Candidates for Spine Stem Cell Therapy

Potential candidates for spine stem cell therapy to treat back pain are healthy men and women who have back pain but do not want to undergo invasive spinal surgery. It will have to be determined after the initial consultation whether the condition of the back qualifies for stem cell therapy. Generally, most injections are performed on the lower back or lumbar curve, but in some cases, injections can be performed on the thoracic curve or neck. This is because the area above the lower back is supported by the abdomen, so injuries don’t occur on the thoracic curve as often as the lower back, which does not have intrinsic stabilization. This will have to be determined after all tests and exams are closely reviewed.

Before the Treatment

The point of this initial testing is to determine which level or levels are causing pain and is it in front or back of the spine.

Before a patient can undergo stem cell therapy, they must first come in for an initial consultation for an exam and workup. Patients need to get X-rays as well in order for the doctor to closely look at the spinal discs and facet joints to locate the precise source of the pain. A special MRI is sometimes used to look at the nucleus and annulus in detail. It can detect herniation, narrowed disc, if a disc has lost height, and such.

How to Treat the Spine with Stem Cells

Before treatment, the back is scrubbed well and sterilized with a Hibitane cleanser. A special liposuction technique will be performed on the flanks, or love handles, which is rich with adipose derived adult stem cells. The fat graft is placed in a centrifugation system which separates the particulates.

IV antibiotics are administered before surgery to prevent infection. It is also injected directly into the problem disc. Xylocaine local anesthetic is used at the injection point; general anesthesia is not required. The local anesthetic will numb the skin and muscles above the injection location. The stem cells are then injected under fluoroscopic guidance into either the middle of the disc or the facet responsible for causing the pain. The patient is kept very comfortable during this process. For some cases, stem cells are mixed with PRP, platelet rich plasma also derived from the patient, to stimulate and repopulate in the nucleus pulposus. Once inside, the stem cells have the ability to repair the cartilage and begin healing.

How Many Injections are Necessary?

One injection session is usually sufficient to alleviate back pain, consisting of one or two injections per problematic disc or facet. That’s it; one session can result in lasting alleviation and increased quality of life.

Recovery & Results

Recovery after treatment is quick, usually requiring just a couple days of rest. After that, patients can return to their normal routine. The internal healing itself takes several months as the stem cells integrate within their new location to rehabilitate the injury. The stem cells will secrete growth factors and eventually turn into nucleus cells.

Studies on healthy adults who qualified as surgical candidates, but underwent spinal stem cell therapy recorded 71% reduction in pain, 64% improvement in mobility, and over 81% avoided surgery. These published proven long term results are continuously being recorded.

Patients of the Stem Cell Institute of Los Angeles are entered into new studies for additional research and studies to prove the powerful effect of stem cell therapy. After treatment, the doctor calls the patient every couple of months for a friendly check in to see how they are improving and feeling overall. The answers are spectacular.

Cost of Stem Cell Therapy for Back Pain

Stem cell therapy for back pain varies in cost based on multiple factors, including but not limited to the amount of injections, amount of sessions, etc. In order to receive a personalized quote, contact us to schedule a private consultation with one of our Los Angeles stem cell experts.

Schedule Your Consultation

The Stem Cell Institute of Los Angeles is home to the most advanced stem cell therapy treatments for orthopedic and cosmetic procedures. Dr. Bruce Fishman and Dr. Sean Younai have years of experience with stem cell treatments and studies and specialize in stem cell therapy for back pain. To see if you qualify for treatment, click here to request your initial consultation and a member of our staff will get in contact with you shortly. We look forward to hearing from you.