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Column The Cellgel method: good news for patients suffering from back pain.


What is the Cellgel method?

The origin of the name is the name of our original treatment method named after the characteristics of the treatment (registered trademark). The name has been chosen in order to be understood intuitively and is derived from the fact that the intervertebral disc tissues (or cells) are repaired using an implantable “gel”.


The Cellgel method is an advanced medical treatment backed by solid evidence and has been introduced in more than 54 countries around the world so far.

For your reference, here is a world map of the countries where the method has been introduced:


The Cellgel method uses an advanced medical device called DiscoGel, so if you wish to find more information about the overseas results and research, please conduct an online search with keywords such as “DiscoGel Disc” or “Gelified Ethanol Disc” and you will find a lot of data available.

Discogel has sold more than 30,000 kits worldwide, and since one kit can treat up to two discs, even taking into account patients who had more than three discs treated at the same time, it shows that it is a proven treatment method that has treated at least 20,000 patients.

  • The Discogel used in the Cellgel method is an unapproved medical device that has not yet obtained approval under the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Act, but has been legally authorized for importation through “private importation by a physician or other person”. In Japan, unapproved medical devices may be used under the responsibility of doctors.

For the root causes of each of the conditions, please refer to their respective page on our clinic site:

List of Spinal Conditions We Treat

More about the Cellgel Method

Video introducing the Cellgel method (Discogel) (in French):

What is so great and groundbreaking about the Cellgel method:

  • One of the very few treatments that can repair intervertebral discs.
  • 10 years of patient follow-up in France have shown a zero-recurrence rate for the treated discs!
  • Minimally invasive, low risk, and can be performed as an ambulatory treatment (the procedure itself only takes about 30 minutes).

The Importance of Intervertebral Disc Repair

The typical diseases of back pain, such as “herniated disc,” “spinal canal stenosis,” “Spondylosis,” and various other diseases such as “sacroiliac joint disorder,” “intervertebral joint arthropathy,” and “myofascial back pain,” which are said to account for a large percentage of back pain nowadays.

The root cause of these ailments can actually be traced to the intervertebral disc.

Were you aware of all of the above?

For more information on the root causes of each of the above conditions, please refer to their respective page on our clinic site:

So, why do the discs need to be repaired?

Some doctors call the intervertebral discs “cartilage” that connect the spine, and like the joints of the hip and knee, they are made of a substance that wears out after years of continuous use.

That is why the most prevalent cause of disc damage is aging. And this is also why back pain occurs more frequently among the elderlies.

Other factors that are said to promote disc damage are:

Smoking, strenuous labor, sports, genetics, stress, chemical food additives, and extracellular matrix, but overall, it is safe to say that disc damage is mainly caused by the aging process.

Image of degenerated and herniated intervertebral discs:

Flow of the Cellgel Method treatment:

  1. MRI to determine the disc to be treated (damaged disc)
  2. The patient gets changed, enters the operating room, and lies on the operating table.
  3. A local anesthesia is administered.
  4. A 0.8mm needle is inserted into the center of the disc while the correct positioning of the needle is assessed through the viewing of the fluoroscopic images in real-time.
  5. The Discogel is slowly injected into the disc using the Cellgel method.
  6. It is then confirmed on the X-ray images that the gel has fully penetrated the damaged area of the disc.
  7. The needle is then slowly removed, ending the procedure.

The entire procedure takes about 30 to 40 minutes.

Since this is performed under local anesthesia only, the patient can view the treatment being performed in real time on the X-ray images.

Original image by: Specijalna bolnica Sv. Katarina

For more information on the cost of the Cellgel procedure, please visit:

Written by Tadaaki Minowa, Clinic Director