Conditions that affect the spine are very frequent in most countries. Low back pain is a pathology suffered by a great percentage of the adult population and is one of the most common causes of disability in under 45 years of age group but affects all ages.
Although back pain could be caused by several reasons, there is also a common association with deterioration of the intervertebral disc. This could lead to abnormal movement and performance of the spinal segment and may lead to facet joint disorders, radiculopathy and muscle weakness.t Pressure of discs on the spinal cord may induce myelopathies.
In a healthy disk, we have a balance between anabolic and catabolic processes regulated by a series of substances. The weakening of the disk is triggered by a reduction of nucleus pulposus cells number.
Present-day therapies, both surgical (it consists of excision of the disc and arthrodesis) and non- surgery (for example physical therapy, nerve root blocks) are geared towards the relief of the symptoms, but they are not able to repair destruction nor stop the pathological process.
Fortunately, and as a result of recent research, new strategies for the regeneration of the intervertebral discs have been discovered. Apparently, replacing nucleus pulposus cellular material might be an answer to slow down the deterioration process. It has been proved that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a good choice because of their excessive self-renewal capacity and multilineage differentiation potential.
Stem cells may potentially become similar to disc chondrocytes and produce the hydration of the disc and prevent further degeneration. By preventing disc degeneration, researchers believe that back pain can be prevented.
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