Thursday, May 1, 2008

LifeFacts - Stem cells identified in spinal cord -- offers hope for relieving back pain

Researchers have identified stem cells in the inter vertebral discs in the human spine. This could be the first step towards using a patient's own stem cells to repair their degenerating discs, relieving neck and back pain. When spinal discs degenerate, their natural ability to produce water-binding molecules (or proteoglycans) decreases. The cushioning effect is lost so pain and disc damage results. The next step is to unlock the key to re-activating the disc stem cells, and repopulate the disc with 'shock-absorbing', water-binding proteoglycans. Although further research is necessary, this discovery offers hope for so many afflicted with chronic neck and back pain.

For more information, click here.