Back Pain Care

Back pain

Non-Surgical Back Pain Options

Back Pain

In our over 25 years of helping people with back pain, we have been able to help patients with a diagnosis of:

Degenerative disc disease

Spinal stenosis

Failed back surgery syndrome

Post-Laminectomy Syndrome

Lumbar radiculopathy

Slipped disc

Herniated disc

Spondylosis / spondylolisthesis

Sciatica and other disorders.

For people who had spinal surgery and continue to have back pain we may be able to help those diagnosed with:

Adjacent segment disease

Post-surgical soft-tissue damage

Failed back surgery syndrome.

Conservative care options:
For some people, conservative care non-surgical options can be very successful. For others, these treatment’s effectiveness may have worn off if they were effective at all.

We see many people who have had one, many or all of these treatments below:

Physical therapy

Epidural injection

Cortisone injection

Painkiller prescriptions

Daily anti-inflammatory usage



Treatments for Back Pain

Is your back pain a back sprain or degenerative disc disease? The answer may send you to a surgery that you do not need.

The chronic back pain patient typically experiences some type of trauma to the lower back that causes injury to the iliolumbar, sacroiliac, interspinous and supraspinous ligaments and some patients never know the cause of their pain. Over a long period of time this may cause some forward slippage of the fifth lumbar vertebra from the sacrum, which in turn causes excessive pressure on the vertebral disc. Fissures may occur in the disc (at the annulus fibrosis), and this exacerbates the degenerative disc problem.

Ligaments are designed to handle a normal amount of stress (activity or injury) that will stretch them to their natural limit. Once the stress is removed, the ligaments return to their normal length. If additional (traumatic) stress is applied—stretching the ligament beyond its natural range of extension—the ligament will not return to its normal length, but will instead remain permanently over stretched, diminishing its ability to hold the vertebrae in their proper place. Such a condition is called “ligament laxity.”

Ligament laxity in the lower back, as elsewhere in the body, maybe caused by a major traumatic injury, repeated minor injuries to the same area, normal aging, or the wearing out the collagen. Because of poor blood supply, ligaments do not heal well on their own, so once laxity exists, pain is only one wrong turn, twist or exertion away. Many people with this problem have intermittent periods of low back pain that increases with frequency and in severity with aging. 

In our own peer-reviewed published research which appeared in the medical journal Biomedical Journal of Scientific & Technical Researchwe wrote: “Lower back pain can be a debilitating condition that is often caused by ligament and fascial sprains, and muscle strains. Even though the diagnosis may be a herniated disc, facet arthropathy, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, spondylosis, spondylolisthesis, or other pathology, we have found for the past twenty years, with thousands of successfully treated patients, that the actual pain generator may not even be noted in the diagnosis.” Simply, you may only have a back sprain. This is typically not a problem that is treated surgically. How do we treat it?

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy

PRP treatments are injection treatments. The treatments are derived from your own healing and growth factors found in your blood. The treatment involves collecting a small amount of your blood and concentrating it in a centrifuge to separate the blood platelets from the red blood cells. The collected platelets are then injected back into the injured area of the back to stimulate healing and regeneration to the soft tissue structures that stabilize the spine.

Our published research on PRP injections for back pain

In 2019 we published our study on the effectiveness of PRP treatments for the patient who suffers from chronic low back pain. The study appears in the journal Cogent Medicine. The study can be found here in its entirety: Treatment of Unresolved Lower Back Pain with Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections.

This research gives an insight into what level of treatment success we can have with certain back pain conditions and how many PRP treatments the patient should expect towards achieving their treatment goals. In this study, we demonstrated PRP outcomes in 67 of our patients.

Our results demonstrated that PRP injections may be a viable conservative approach to treat lower back pain in regards to getting patients back to their everyday activities and improving pain and function.

Patients quickly returning to everyday activities:

Our study demonstrated that one, two or three PRP treatments were effective in significantly reducing active pain in the lower back. Additionally, functionality scores were significantly increased showing that patients were able to quickly return to everyday activities.

Patients experienced an improvement in resting pain and and active pain and functionality score after the one treatment, however, statistical significance was demonstrated only after the second and third treatments. 

Our results demonstrated that PRP injections may be a viable conservative approach to treat lower back pain in regards to getting patients back to their everyday activities and improving pain and function.

Bone marrow concentrate

Bone Marrow Concentrate is an injection therapy that has the potential to improve lower back patients’ quality of life.

Bone Marrow Concentrate is a solution that contains many cytokines and growth factors but most notably contains platelets and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). MSCs are adult multipotent stem cells that have the ability to differentiate into different cell types such, cartilage, bone, and muscle to help repair and stabilize the spine. This can be a promising solution for many patients.

Our published research on Bone marrow concentrate injections for back pain

Treatment of Lower Back Pain with Bone Marrow Concentrate

We have published research on the treatment of Low Back Pain with Bone Marrow Concentrate Injections. The research appears in the peer-reviewed Biomedical Journal of Scientific & Technical Research (BJSTR). The study can be found here in its entirety: Treatment of Lower Back Pain with Bone Marrow Concentrate.

The four patients included in this study underwent at least one BMC injection to the entheses of muscles, fascia, and ligaments surrounding the lumbar spine. At one-year follow-up all four patients experienced a decrease in resting and active pain. Patients also reported a mean 80% total overall improvement and were able to perform daily activities with less difficulty. These encouraging results warrant further investigation of the full potential of BMC injections for lower back pain.

How to Relieve Back Pain

Dr. Marc Darrow, MD, JD., treats back pain with non-surgical care methods. These methods described above can help many people alleviate pain and restore function. These methods however, do not help everyone. 

It’s not my herniated disc?
Many people come in with what they are calling a herniated disc problem because they have pain in their back and pain in their leg and they think the disc is responsible.

MRIs and Back Pain
We typically have patients come into our office with stacks of MRIs, CT Scans and x-rays to confirm the label of Degenerative Disc Disease placed on them by other medical professionals. For example, a woman once came into our office. She had in essence become the living, breathing “embodiment,” of the problem that showed up on her film. When she came in, all she could do was talk about her degenerative disc disease.

Sacroiliac Joint
One of the most common causes of low back pain that we see in our office is the pain caused by the sacroiliac joint (SI).

Degenerative Disc Disease
The aging process brings about degenerative changes to our ligaments, tendons, and cartilage through the desiccation (the drying out) of collagen. Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) refers to this process occurring in the vertebral discs. It just so happens that the vertebral discs suffers through the most dramatic of age-related changes of all connective tissue related to this process.

Failed Back Surgery
Perhaps the most distressing is “failed back syndrome” — an official-sounding term to describe the pain of those poor patients whose surgical attempts have failed to correct their problem.

Radicular pain is described as deep and usually constant. It follows the nerve down the leg and is often accompanied by numbness or tingling and muscle weakness. Often I find that the radiating pain is not because of radiculopathy or pinched nerve but because of a ligament that is loose or injured because ligaments refer pain the same way.

Types of Back Pain
There are many structures in the lower back that can cause severe pain. These include muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, joints and discs. The outer rim of the disc can be a source of significant back pain due to its rich nerve supply and tendency towards injury.

Psychological Factors in Back Pain
There is much to be said for reducing the stress load in one’s life when trying to deal with chronic back pain.

Please feel free to contact us so we can start an assessment of your situation and your candidacy for treatment

Call for a free phone consultation with our staff:
Call 800-300-9300 or 310-231-7000

low back sacroiliac joint dysfunction

With over 25 years experience in regenerative medicine techniques and the treatment of thousands of patients, Dr. Darrow is considered a leading pioneer in the non-surgical treatment of degenerative Musculoskeletal Disorders and sports related injuries. He is one of the busiest Regenerative Medicine doctors in the world. Dr. Darrow has co-authored and continues to co-author leading edge medical research including research on bone marrow derived stem cells. He also comments and writes on research surrounding the treatment of chronic tendon injury, ankle and foot pain, elbow, hand and finger pain.

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