Prolotherapy for Pain Relief
By Sheila Mohammed, MD, PhD
In response to widespread interest in an article printed a few weeks ago about prolotherapy on Molokai, I will share more information on various facets of this therapy. Prolotherapy is a permanent cure for painful conditions, and I will be offering appointments on Molokai Dec. 22 through Jan. 4.
There are different kinds of prolotherapy and the procedure is customized to the individual patient and the presenting musculoskeletal conditions.
One type, called simple prolotherapy, uses dextrose to stimulate the healing process combined with dilute lidocaine used as a numbing agent for patient comfort. Dextrose stimulates the body to bring in fibroblasts and cytokines to injured cartilage, tendons and ligaments to give a spurt of healing. Many times other homeopathic solutions and vitamins are mixed in small quantities with the dextrose to give a more vigorous healing response.
A second type of prolotherapy uses platelets to stimulate repair and growth of tissues. This is also known as Platlet Rich Plasma (PRP) and it is what many prominent athletes are having done so that they can stay in the game. Platelets are rich in growth factors which give a faster healing response than the dextrose solution, however, it is a little more expensive to do the procedure.
Prolotherapy can also use stem cells from the blood, bone-marrow, and fat tissue. This gives a faster and better healing response and is used in areas of the body that is severely injured.
Called neural prolotherapy, a fourth variation uses a five percent dextrose solution when pain and discomfort are caused by superficial nerves. The solution is injected just beneath the skin and the injured nerves heal and any discomfort goes away.
The end result is more or less the same in all variations of prolotherapy. The time the body takes to heal depends on the injury severity and the method used. One should keep in mind that the simple treatments are less expensive, but it takes more treatments to heal, so at the end of the day, the cost might add up to be the same as if you took only one or two of the more costly treatments.
After I review the patient’s medical records, listen to the patient’s report on his/her illness, and do a physical examination, I formulate a treatment plan. I take into account patient preferences, the severity of the injury, and the patient’s time line to recovery. Utilizing this method, I am pleased to say that every patient who came to my clinic has been helped.
Most of the time (85 percent) patients are completely cured of the medical condition. The rest of patients get significant relief and are able to function better in the world.
Please call Lisa Davis at 808-658-0787 to schedule a treatment consultation on Molokai later this month.