Prolotherapy is, without question, one of the greatest procedures I have ever seen or experienced. Before I moved to Tulsa, I started looking for prolotherapy physicians in the Tulsa area. Now, I know a lot of drug reps and physicians in Tulsa. I found 1 pretty quick but it took months to find the second. To date, that is all I've been able to find. I am the 3rd prolotherapy physician in Tulsa.
I am one of the only physicians in Tulsa who has been taught Hackett-Hemwall prolotherapy through the Hackett-Hemwall Foundation.
This is important because you want the best for your health. The Hackett-Hemwall Foundation is the standard for training for prolotherapy. Many physicians have been trained by another physician who was trained by another physician, etc. This is certainly how I got started.
However, you want to make sure that your prolotherapy physician was trained by a knowledgeable and skilled physician. When we are dealing with a handing down of knowledge without oversight then the result is variable and may not be appropriate or adequate. On the other hand, it may be completely appropriate. The problem is, how do you know? It is important for you to know that your physician is the most skilled available.
I can't speak for the other Tulsa (or Oklahoma) prolotherapy providers but I can tell you that I have had extensive 1 on 1 training with multiple experienced prolotherapy physicians through the Hackett-Hemwall Foundation. Their standards are set very high and they seek to maintain the highest of quality.
I had an interesting patient in my clinic today. He has started working out at the Health Zone (a superb fitness facility in Tulsa) but was having hip pain. One of the trainers at the Health Zone noticed that he was limping around and asked him what was wrong. He told her about his hip pain and she referred him to me. She was able to speak with confidence about prolotherapy because she had prolotherapy performed by me. So, he came in.
We were able to completely resolve his pain with about 4 injections in about 10 minutes.
Again, prolotherapy really works!
He had told his personal primary physician about this pain on 3 separate occasions and he was told that he had a tight ligament that needed to be stretched and he was sent on his way. But here is the interesting part... this patient's physician is one of the other doc's doing prolotherapy in Tulsa!
I am not one to waste time. Life is short and every minute is to be cherished. If you've seen my other posts and pages then you know that I believe in optimizing health. Part of that includes eliminating pain so that people can function normally. I want the best treatment with the lowest risks, highest success rates, and quickest recovery possible. Prolotherapy is that treatment.
I perform a fair amount of prolotherapy. I see dramatic differences in the lives of my patients every day. I see patients that have had 10 years of knee pain that come back a month later over 80% improved. I have seen patients be completely pain free after the first injection series. I have patients that are now pain free after prolotherapy but had pain for over 12 years. This is truly magical stuff.
One of the things that really drew me into prolotherapy was that it provided an answer to multiple painful conditions for which I previously had no answer.
The prolotherapy doctrine states that ligament & tendon relaxation (laxity) is the cause of pain. This made a lot of sense to me because the only way to identify ligamentous laxity is by physical exam. Specifically, a physical exam by a physician trained in prolotherapy. There are some subtleties and patterns frequently associated with ligamentous laxity that require some training. It isn't difficult, per se, but you do have to know what to look for.
The fact that I had an answer for so many painful conditions that I was previously unable to explain also meant that I now had a solution.
Prolotherapy is 'the' solution for many musculoskeletal pains!
Prolotherapy has been demonstrated to stimulate the formation of new collagen. Ligaments & tendons are composed of collagen. Prolotherapy can increase the diameter of these structures by up to 40% and the strength of them by up to 50%. Nowhere else in medicine have I seen anything that can do that.
As this new collagen 'matures' it shrinks. That means we can shorten ligaments. The implications of this alone are huge!
You see, multiple musculoskeletal problems are directly attributable to ligamentous laxity. For example, the knee joint becomes loose due to loss of meniscus height and laxity of the collateral (and other) knee ligaments. The body does not like laxity and attempts to stabilize the knee. In a last ditch effort to decrease laxity the body over-grows bone.
This is osteoarthritis.
However, when we tighten up the ligaments the body can restore its normal function. The excess bone growth gets reabsorbed over time. Additionally, the pain gets dramatically better in very short time with prolotherapy injections.
I know this because my patients tell me. Repeatedly! Prolotherapy is very good for osteoarthritis.
I could go on and on about the benefits of prolotherapy and its effects on multiple musculoskeletal pains. I frequently ask myself if it is really as good as it seems to be.
I get some pretty complicated painful conditions. I get patients that have had pain for over 12 years. Nearly all of them get better with prolotherapy.
I want to be very cautious about portraying prolotherapy as a 'cure all'. It certainly is not. I do have a small percentage (less than 10% over the past 2 years) of patients that have not had significant benefit with prolotherapy.
It would seem logical that prolotherapy would benefit conditions that are due to ligament & tendon relaxation. However, the benefits seem to extend beyond these conditions.
Rheumatoid arthritis is clearly not going to be cured by prolotherapy but the pain sure does get better in some cases. We don't have an explanation for the mechanism behind the improvement. But then again, who cares? If the patient gets better? That is what its all about.
What about surgery?
I have also seen numerous patients with pain ranging from shoulder problems to low back problems that have been told they needed surgery. Many patients don't want surgery. Many probably don't NEED surgery but aren't aware that there may be other options. Still others may not be convinced that prolotherapy can help their specific condition.
Well, one of the many cool things about prolotherapy is that there is no recovery time. There is no 'down time' and it is extremely cost effective. Also, if it doesn't work then it won't hurt anything and you can still have surgery. So you have nothing to lose!
So, we can say with certainty that prolotherapy is beneficial for a number of painful conditions but how do you know if you would benefit?
The biggest answer to this is to be examined by a properly trained prolotherapy physician. We are trained to evaluate tender areas, ligamentous & tendinous laxity, and referral patterns. Sometimes, the pain is expressed in areas that have nothing to do with the location of laxity requiring treatment.
There are very few physicians in the state of Oklahoma and not very many in Tulsa. I know of 1 in Oklahoma City and 3, including myself, in Tulsa. Certainly, there may be others but if I'm having trouble finding them then I suspect you are too!
My final statement: if you live in Tulsa, or anywhere near Oklahoma, and you have pain then you should consider prolotherapy as an option. Simply call my Tulsa, OK clinic to schedule an evaluation and we can determine if prolotherapy is right for you.