Lower back pain is a chronic ailment that affects a lot of people around the world and it can be debilitatingly painful. Sometimes the only option is taking pain-killing drugs and muscle relaxants. Maybe a chiropractor can alleviate the pain but it is usually temporary and you need to go for frequent and continuous adjustments.
There may be another option thanks to an early study that suggests that lower back pain could be managed with a simple injection.
Injectable hydrogel may be a promising treatment for chronic low back pain caused by degenerative disc disease (DDD).
A recent study showed that when injected directly into the affected discs, the experimental formulation of hydrogel (Hydrafil™) was safe and effective after six months. The gel-filled in cracks and tears in the discs and adhered to the disc’s center and outer layer.
“We really have no good treatments for degenerative disc disease, aside from conservative care, surgery is statistically no more effective than conservative care and can potentially make things worse; nerve ablation is appropriate for only a few patients; and existing hydrogels are inserted through an incision as a soft solid, which can pop out of place if you’re not highly skilled in placing it. Because this gel is injectable, it requires no incision, and it augments the whole disc, restoring its structural integrity, which nothing we have currently can do,” said Dr. Beall.Lead author Douglas P. Beall, MD, FSIR, chief of radiology services at Clinical Radiology of Oklahoma
All participants in the study reported significantly less low back pain and improved physical function. Surgery is not considered as effective as conservative care for treating DDD and nerve ablation is appropriate for only a few patients.
This injectable hydrogel may provide more effective relief than current options.