Back pain affects people of all ages some time in their life. Damaged discs in the spine are main the reason for the pain and there are various modalities to help resolve the condition. Now, researchers are testing if injecting belly fat into the discs in the spine can help fix back pain.
Spinal discs have a hard casing and a moist, gel-like interior and are firmly attached to the vertebrae above and below them. They act as shock absorbers for the spine. However, the spine is subject to many stresses and changes due to aging and other factors. The outer layer becomes susceptible to cracks and the gel-like inner section starts to dry up. When the discs degenerate they cease to cushion the spine, making it prone to injury, which in turn, leads to back pain.
According to a report in The New Zealand Herald, researchers are experimenting to see if fat taken from the stomach via liposuction and injected into the discs can repair any damage and protect against future degeneration. Fat in the belly has a high percentage of stem cells and that is the reason why belly fat was chosen. The new treatment proposes that about 100 milliliters of fat was removed from the belly using liposuction techniques that involve local anesthesia. A 20-minute liposuction session can harvest up to 40 million cells from the abdomen, which can then be injected to the injured discs. The stem cells in the fat have the ability to develop into diverse types of tissue which can repair the discs.
Tested on animals, the injection of stem cells caused disc height to improve by 26 per cent compared to those injected with a placebo. The proposed treatment is being tested at three centers in the U.S.
Liposuction is also widely popular as a cosmetic procedure which removes excess diet-resistant fat to help men and women achieve their body contouring goals. Superior, minimally invasive laser-enabled technology such as Smartlipo Triplex has made the procedure safe, hassle-free and effective.