Highlights From the Marc Darrow Radio Show
A Complicated Disc Problem
Marc Darrow, MD
Caller: I am in my 30′s, and for at least the last three to 4 years I have had significant back pain and recently it has gotten worse and to make that more complicated recently I have had a couple of car accidents that have inflamed my lower back pain. I have been told that I have a Disc Herniation, I guess a bulge in my lower back and my concern is I don’t want to have surgery, what I do want to do is have some semblance of a normal life and I love to play golf which is hard to do with lower back pain. When you go and play you wind up with an aching back that practically knocks you off your feet for a couple of days. How can Prolotherapy help? I have not until recently heard of it and I don’t want to have the surgery because I am not happy with the results I hear.
Dr. Darrow: Do you have any pain that radiates down your back to your legs?
Caller: Sometimes I do, at the moment I don’t. If I am more active sometimes I get the pain that radiates down like the thigh of one leg.
Dr. Darrow: And is the back pain greater than the leg pain?
Caller: Yes, it is the main thing.
Dr. Darrow: This is a good indication for us that surgery may not the answer. The only time I think about anyone having back surgery is when there is a progressive neurological deficit. And that means that you can not go to the bathroom, your leg is shrinking, or your leg doesn’t move. That is when you have to think about surgery. My bet is, because of the twisting of the golf, you have loosened up some ligaments in your low back. We need to get them rejuvenated. Studies have shown by biopsy in these areas that after a series of Prolotherapy injections, the ligaments down there get about 50% thicker and 200-400% stronger and I have taken care of hundreds of golfers, who have no more back pain.
The Caller is a great example, he mentioned that he may have a herniated disc but that is not a good reason to have surgery because all you are doing is cleaning up that disc but you still may have the pain. If anybody is thinking about having surgery, they should watch a film of it being done because there is so much damage done during these things. When you are poking things into a body you are doing damage.
There are times for surgery, when something become un-anatomical like a bone is bent or a big floating body in their knee and their knee locks up and they can’t walk, of course, get those things out. It is the elective surgeries I am talking about.
When you give the body a chance to heal itself, it does. The problems with people like the caller is that they don’t heal so well because the ligaments do not have a good blood supply so by doing the Prolotherapy we are instilling a new blood supply to the area which brings fibroblasts that are cells that produce collagen and the area is rejuvenated and the pain goes away.
I have had pain go away in one minute and we have had pain go away in a couple of months, it depends on the patient situation. We had one gentlemen come in who had Prolotherapy on his back after 45 years of back pain and he had no more pain. I would say that the average is three or four treatment over a period of months.