Lower back pain is a common complaint among both young and old adults. Back pain can be a result of intervertebral disc herniation, osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, or other autoimmune conditions. Treatment is mainly done using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen but due to their adverse effects such as gastric ulcer and perforation with prolonged use, they cannot be used as a permanent solution for back pain.
Researchers have extensively studied different treatment options such as glucocorticoids, monoclonal antibodies, and DMARDs for treatment of lower back pain but all of these modalities are associated with either significant side effects or are only temporarily beneficial. Recently, the use of growth hormone for the treatment of lower back pain and other joint pains has been garnering interest.
Research on Combined Therapy with HGH and Testosterone
A medium-scale study on the benefits of using growth hormone in combination with testosterone for therapy of lower back pain has reported significant benefits with this treatment modality. The major objective of the research was to evaluate the safety and viability of using recombinant human growth hormone combined with testosterone to patients with lower back pain. Apart from the combination therapy, the participants were also asked to perform physical therapy that focused on strength, control of skeletal muscles, endurance, mobility, and pain reduction. During the course of the therapy, the pain was rated by assessing functionality and the patient’s self-ratings.
Methodology: In a community hospital, a total of 60 participants were recruited with complaints of lower back pain for the experiment. The outcomes of the study were assessed over a duration of 12 months starting from the day of the first injection. All participants were required to provide informed consent and were confirmed to not have radiculopathies that resulted in their back pain. Patients were then injected with testosterone and HGH injections at intervals of 2-4 weeks with an average of 4-5 injections in total over the entire treatment course.
In addition to the injections, patients were given physical therapy via individualized rehabilitation that included manipulation of their joints and exercises taught by a chiropractor. All participants were regularly examined at intervals of one month, three months, six months, and twelve months after initiation of therapy.
Results: Out of the 60 participants, the patients that received the full course of the therapy reported significant improvement in their back pain using pain scales that compared the pain score prior to and after initiation of therapy. As per the Oswestry Disability Index scores, 50% or greater improvement in disability was seen in 41% of the participants.
Overall, therapy using recombinant human growth hormone with testosterone was found to be both safe and efficacious in the treatment of chronic lower back pain. The positive findings of the study implicate the need for further larger-scale studies for extended periods to examine the long-term effects of growth hormone in combination with testosterone for back or other joint pains.