Lower back pain is a global health challenge, being the primary source of disability and one of the costliest medical conditions worldwide. Yet, current treatment options focus mostly on symptom management, including pain medication and surgery, which come with their own drawbacks.
However, there’s a breakthrough on the horizon. Biomedical engineers from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), have recently introduced a tool they refer to as an intervertebral disc-on-a-chip. In this blog, we’ll explore this latest cutting-edge advancement in back pain research.
Disc-on-a-Chip: The latest in lower back pain research
For the first time ever, a team of researchers have successfully created an innovative, physiologically relevant model called a disc-on-a-chip for researching lower back pain. This sophisticated device is specifically designed for studying lower back pain
The human intervertebral disc, the key component they’re mimicking, is extremely intricate. It’s a flexible, load-bearing structure with a gel-like core enveloped by layers of collagen fibres. The developed model is a 3D-printed microfluidic device that faithfully replicates these complexities, marking a breakthrough in overcoming the obstacles to simulating the disc’s structure and function in lab settings.
The disc-on-a-chip offers a controlled environment to mimic the degradation process of a healthy disc. Alternatively, it can be configured to represent a degenerated disc for testing new treatment approaches like pharmaceuticals or cell therapy. This innovation presents a faster and more cost-effective method for lab experiments, promising to enhance the relevance of experimental data and potentially improve clinical outcomes.
What causes lower back pain?
Lower back pain is a common condition that can be triggered by various factors. One of the most common causes is mechanical issues and soft tissue injuries, which can result from improper lifting, sudden awkward movements, or structural problems like disc degeneration or ruptures. Conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and certain infections, can also contribute to lower back pain.
Sometimes, the source of pain could be the muscles and ligaments around the spine, strained by heavy physical work, incorrect posture, or lack of exercise. Stress can also play a role, as tension leads to muscle stiffness and pain. In rare cases, lower back pain may be a symptom of a more serious condition, such as a spinal infection or cancer.
Despite the many potential triggers, it’s crucial to note that in many cases, lower back pain doesn’t have an obvious cause. However, it can still be effectively managed with the right treatment and lifestyle changes.
MBST for lower back pain relief
MBST is a non-invasive treatment option that has shown promising results in relieving lower back pain. It uses magnetic resonance, like what you find in MRI technology, to stimulate the body’s cells and encourage natural healing processes.
In the context of lower back pain, MBST targets the cells in the degenerating intervertebral discs or strained muscles, prompting them to regenerate and recover. The therapy is painless and has no reported side effects, making it a viable option for those who want to avoid surgery or regular use of pain medications.
It’s important to note that while MBST can significantly improve symptoms and quality of life, it’s often most effective when combined with other interventions such as physical therapy and lifestyle changes. As with any treatment, it’s best to discuss this option with a healthcare professional to determine if it’s suitable for your specific circumstances.
Book an appointment with MBST London today to determine if MBST could be the answer to your lower back pain.