A single injection of stem cells could relieve agonising back pain for up to three years and curb the opioid endemic that is spreading in the UK and killing thousands annually in the US, new research suggests.
Stem cell injections into the spine ease the discomfort of around half of chronic lower back pain sufferers for two years, with some even being symptom-free three years later, a study found.
Researchers believe injected stem cells reinflate vertebrate that have dried and cracked by causing water to trap between discs.
Such treatments could resolve the opioid endemic that killed 33,000 people in the US in 2015 alone, with half of such painkiller prescriptions being due to chronic lower back pain.
President Donald Trump announced plans to declare an opioid endemic emergency in August, with experts fearing a similar crisis could be approaching the UK as prescriptions for the strong painkiller are too readily handed out.