Lactic acid injection fixes prolapsed spinal disc (back pain) by rebuilding collagen: could this help CCI by stimulating collagen in lax ligaments?

Hip

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This article details a study at the Stockholm Spine Centre in Sweden involving a single lactic acid injection, which is able to stimulate bulging (prolapsed, herniated) discs in the spine to repair themselves within a few months.

The lactic acid (which presumably is injected into the disc itself) induces collagen changes that strengthen the disc.


This makes me think that lactic acid injections might potentially help strengthen the lax ligaments found in craniocervical instability. I wonder if there have been any studies on lactic acid injections into lax ligaments?

Some ME/CFS patients on the CCI ME/CFS Facebook group have experimented with prolotherapy for their lax neck ligaments, where an irritant solution like dextrose, or platelet-rich plasma (PRP), is injected into the craniocervical ligaments to stimulate strengthening and repair.

I am not sure what the long-term results of this prolotherapy have been, but I have seen a few FB posts of some short-term benefits.

So if dextrose injections can strengthen these ligaments, I wonder if lactic acid might get better results?
 

sb4

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Pretty interesting idea.

I wonder how much lactic acid from using muscles in the neck gets to these ligaments. I get near instant lactic acid build up in my muscles upon exertion. Maybe exercising necks muscles could spill over to the discs. Though I suspect the concentration would not be that high.
 

Hip

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I wonder how much lactic acid from using muscles in the neck gets to these ligaments. I get near instant lactic acid build up in my muscles upon exertion. Maybe exercising necks muscles could spill over to the discs. Though I suspect the concentration would not be that high.
When I first read the article, I thought it might be a lactic acid injection into the bloodstream, which would then have systemic effects. But then I realized they are more likely injecting lactic acid into the disc itself (the article does not actually say).

I am not sure if the normal lactic acid produced from exercise (or if you are an ME/CFS patient, often just from minor activity) would have any significant strengthening effect in the connective tissues.



I am also not sure whether the lactic acid injected into the disc stimulates repair just by being an irritant like dextrose, which then triggers tissue healing processes. Or whether lactic acid has some special properties which allow it to strengthen collagen.

This article says:
A unique advantage of Lactic Acid is that it is the critical molecule necessary for new collagen formation by fibroblast cells, and it is necessary to strengthen collagen to its final structural form by creating crosslinks between collagen amino acid chains.

Without Lactic Acid, there can be no wound healing or repair at the cellular level!
 

lenora

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@Hip, please keep us as informed as possible regarding this study. Sooner or later we're all going to have disc problems and this sounds like a very plausible cure. Thanks! Yours, Lenora.
 

Cipher

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From their patent:
The structure in the back that seems mainly responsible for low back pain production is the intervertebral disc. An intervertebral disc is arranged between two adjacent vertebrae. The intervertebral disc is typically flexible and allows for motion between the adjacent vertebrae. It is formed by a ring of connective tissue that mainly comprises collagen, and a semi-liquid center comprising e.g. collagen and proteoglycans. The ring is called annulus fibrosus and the center is called nucleus pulposus.

Already at the age of 20-30 years, the intervertebral disc of a human starts to undergo ageing, a process often called disc degeneration. During the ageing process the intervertebral disc may leak or herniate and produce symptoms like low back pain and sciatica. The ageing of the intervertebral disc usually ends at the age of 60-80 years. At this stage, the intervertebral disc has been transformed to solid and dense connective tissue. When this occurs, the intervertebral disc will typically not produce symptoms anymore since it is less likely to leak or herniate. The ageing of the intervertebral disc further implies a reduction in disc height and a reduction of mobility of the spine.

......

The composition for use in the treatment of intervertebral disc-related pain may be formulated such that it may be administered in a therapeutically effective amount by a local injection to an intervertebral disc.

The concept of the present invention is to reduce the intervertebral disc-related pain by accelerating the ageing of an intervertebral disc thereby rendering the intervertebral disc stiffer, e.g. by transformation of the intervertebral disc into solid and dense connective tissue. The transformation of an intervertebral disc into solid and dense connective tissue makes it more stable, and consequently, the intervertebral disc obtains a reduced range of motion. An intervertebral disc transformed into solid and dense connective tissue will neither allow any fluid component to leak out from the disc space, e.g. onto the outer surface of the annulus fibrosus, nor allow nerves to grow into the intervertebral disc.

.......


The lactic acid may interfere negatively with the function of the cells of the intervertebral disc, in particular the cells that produce the proteoglycans necessary for preventing the disc from ageing.

Ageing of an intervertebral disc is initiated by a reduced supply of nutrients and oxygen via diffusion from the blood vessels in the adjacent vertebrae and from surrounding structures. This will gradually induce an accumulation of metabolic waste products in the intervertebral disc, such as in the nucleus pulposus. One kind of metabolic waste product that may be present is lactic acid.

Lactic acid may contribute to several mechanisms that will render cellular death in the intervertebral discs, such as intracellular fat accumulation, mitochondrial swelling, chromatin clumping, and liberation of excitotoxic glutamate.

Lactic acid may liberate PGE2 causing inflammation and production of connective tissue. Further, lactic acid may stimulate liberation of TGF-beta, which in turn stimulates fibroblasts to produce collagen.

Lactic acid may also contribute to disseminated intravascular coagulation and consumption coagulopathy, which increases the tendency of red blood cells to aggregate, forming “blood sludge” and makes red blood cells more rigid, in turn, increasing the viscosity of the blood and impairing circulation in the small vessels.

Thus, an increase in the concentration of lactic acid in an intervertebral disc by administration of a composition comprising lactic acid into the disc space of the intervertebral disc would therefore accelerate the ageing of the disc and induce transformation of the nucleus pulposus into connective tissue.

Ageing of the intervertebral disc, including transformation of the nucleus pulposus into connective tissue, renders the intervertebral disc stiffer, and by administering a composition comprising lactic acid the ageing may be accelerated in a controllable way. Typically, the concentration of lactic acid may be increased in an intervertebral disc, more specifically in the disc space, in order to accelerate the ageing.

The inventor has found that a composition comprising lactic acid and having a pH below 4 induces a marked transformation of the intervertebral disc, thus making it stiffer. The marked transformation has been interpreted as an accelerated ageing of the intervertebral disc by transformation of the nucleus pulposus to connective tissue. Consequently, the inventor expects improvements for a patient with regard to intervertebral disc-related pain if a composition comprising lactic acid and having a pH below 4, is administered into the nucleus pulposus of the intervertebral disc resulting in an increased concentration of lactic acid inside the disc space.
Summary:
Spinal discs are filled with a "gel" in youth, and during ageing the gel slowly gets converted into stiff connective tissue. After it gets fully converted people usually don't experience problems. However, during the conversion phase, when it's part gel and part connective tissue, pain and problems can arise. The lactic acid injection into the disc accelerates the ageing process that normally takes many years to complete, converting the gel rapidly & completely to stiff connective tissue. I don't know if injecting lactic acid into existing connective tissue is positive or negative though. If it had the potential to regenerate connective tissue in the context of osteoarthritis for example I think they would have patented that as well.
 

Hip

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The lactic acid injection into the disc accelerates the ageing process that normally takes many years to complete, converting the gel rapidly & completely to stiff connective tissue. I don't know if injecting lactic acid into existing connective tissue is positive or negative though.
I am not sure if stiffening ligaments in this way would be safe or beneficial, in the case of lax ligaments. Ligaments and tendons need to be taut, but also have some elastic give.
 

lenora

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I found an investing document written in Swedish discussing the company that produces the lactic acid based treatment used in the study. Page 5-6 contains details regarding the treatment called STA363. Here's a Google translated version. I can translate individual sentences if needed.

Hello @Cipher, I couldn't get a translation using Google, but even getting the name of the treatment is a help. I wonder how many have had it, and for one period of time it works? I know that I have discs problems...will need surgery at some point, but I'm like the ostrich with his head buried in the sand at the moment.

This sounds quite appealing and I hope it proves to be worthwhile. Thanks. Yours, Lenora
 

Cipher

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Hello @Cipher, I couldn't get a translation using Google, but even getting the name of the treatment is a help. I wonder how many have had it, and for one period of time it works? I know that I have discs problems...will need surgery at some point, but I'm like the ostrich with his head buried in the sand at the moment.

This sounds quite appealing and I hope it proves to be worthwhile. Thanks. Yours, Lenora
You should get a translated version by clicking on the blue text "Google translated version" in my previous post. It's not on the market yet, but according to the document it might be around 2026. Also, if you are between 60-80 years old, the treatment probably won't have much effect as your spinal discs have most likely already converted into dense connective tissue, which usually means that the symptoms stop.
 

lenora

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You should get a translated version by clicking on the blue text "Google translated version" in my previous post. It's not on the market yet, but according to the document it might be around 2026. Also, if you are between 60-80 years old, the treatment probably won't have much effect as your spinal discs have most likely already converted into dense connective tissue, which usually means that the symptoms stop.

So Cipher, you're telling me that I'm too old, is that it? (74) and no offense taken.:) It should help plenty of the younger crowd though. Symptoms haven't stopped just FYI. I don't know what causes what any longer...but you should keep looking for an answer. Take good care of yourself. Yours, Lenora.