The prescription drug epidemic in the United States, driven by chronic back pain, could potentially be reined in with a breakthrough new stem cell treatment.
With about 28 million people in the US suffering from back pain, it is a common health issue and accounts for approximately half of all painkiller prescriptions.
This new stem cell treatment would offer an alternative to prescription painkillers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone or methdaone, the commonly prescribed opioids, which lead to dangerous addictions.
- The US is experiencing an opioid epidemic with over 15,000 deadly overdoses in 2015.
- There is a study happening in Australia where researchers injecting stem cells into the spine to reverse degenerative disc disease (one of the primary reasons for chronic back pain).
- The treatment of using stem cells to reverse degenerative disc disease, doctors would not have to prescribe as many painkillers therefore reducing those dependent on opioids for pain relief.
"In the study, an injection of the cells helped around half of those treated to experience no back pain for two years."