For the 30 million or so Americans living with chronic back pain, Beverly Hills spine surgeons know that anything which may provide lasting relief is welcome news. Despite a reputation for giving competitive athletes an unfair edge, steroids and human growth hormones may benefit chronic low back pain sufferers when coupled with physical therapy, according to a new study.
The study involved 60 subjects with lingering low back pain. Patients received injections of testosterone and HGH prior to participating in exercises specific to their discomfort. Patients who completed the year-long study reported a three point reduction in their pain based on the Mankoski Pain Scale, a 1-10 ranking of discomfort based on specific descriptions for each pain level. Nearly half reported significant improvement.
It’s believed testosterone and HGH injections may be effective for some patients since both substances encourage collagen production. A substantial protein in the human body, collagen is noted for its ability to strengthen tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues that provide support to bones and joints.
Researchers noted that the use of steroids and HGH injections appeared to be safe for participants. They did, however, stress the need for continued research to determine if the results translate on a larger scale. Future testing would likely include patients who would receive placebos and some who would receive injections without accompanying physical therapy.
Human growth hormones are already used by athletes and, in some cases, dieters to provide biological support to protect muscles and increase oxidation. HGH replacement therapy is also being used to offer relief to patients living with various forms of arthritis, which can affect quality of life just as much as chronic back pain.
The bone strengthening benefits of HGH are especially significant since chronic pain sufferers tend to experience increased muscle weakness due to a limited activity level. Injections alone may not provide lasting results for everyone, which can be said for any treatment option for ongoing pain. For this reason, patients are often encouraged to consider multiple methods of relief.
Learn more about non-surgical methods for back pain relief by reaching out to The Spine Institute Center in Beverly Hills. In addition to conservative treatments, our spine specialists can discuss minimally invasive spinal surgeries that can preserve your range of motion while providing adequate relief. Call our office today at (310) 828-7757 and schedule your in-person consultation.