We’ve told you about all the injuries Prolotherapy can heal, but why does it work? Developed in the 1940′s by Dr. George Hackett, Hackett-Hemwall Prolotherapy stimulates the body to repair painful areas. Dr. Gustav Hemwall took Prolotherapy to the next level and applied its effectiveness to painful areas all over the body so now we see its effects are wide-ranging and include successful treatment of pain associated with the back, the neck, all joints throughout the body, arthritis, migraines fibromyalgia, sciatica, herniated discs, and TMJ. Most neck, back and other musculoskeletal pain is due to weakness of ligaments and tendons. Since ligaments and tendons are the connective tissues that hold our muscles to bone, and bone to bone, both must be taut and strong. Dr. Hauser took over the practice of Dr. Hemwall after having worked alongside of him for a number of years. He has taken this training and invaluable experience and has been using the now Hackett-Hemwall method of Prolotherapy to treat all areas of the body suffering with pain or sports injury due to soft tissue injury and/or joint instability.
Take the low back for example – one of the most common areas we treat. Back pain results when weak ligaments and tendons cause the spine to become “unstable.” Vertebrae begin to slip, move and rotate from their proper position, causing pressure on the nerves. Limited results in pain alleviation may be achieved with cortisone and other anti-inflammatory agents but these do not address the cause of the pain. Temporary pain suppression is not a cure for the underlying problem: ligament and tendon weakness. Advocates of the technique say Prolotherapy is the long-term solution to chronic pain because it strengthens the ligaments and tendons so they can move the vertebrae back into their proper places.
Prolotherapy involves the injection of an “irritant” solution (something as simple as a sugar or salt solution, cod liver oil or corn extract) into the area where the ligaments have either been weakened or damaged through injury. We give the injections at the points where the ligaments connect to the bone. With these injections, Dr. Hauser’s Prolotherapy injections cause the body to heal itself through the process of inflammation.
When an irritant is introduced, at the site of injury, the immune system is summoned to the area. The body begins a healing process exactly where the painful area is located. New fibrous tissue is laid, repairing and strengthening the ligaments so that they can pull the vertebrae back where they belong and alleviate pain.
We give Prolotherapy treatment sessions generally every four to six weeks to allow time for the growth of the new connective tissue. Patients in our practice usually require three to six treatment sessions for complete recovery, and many people experience more immediate results.
Harold Wilkinson, M.D. professor and former chairman of the Division of Neurosurgery at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, performed a 16-year Prolotherapy study culminating in 1995. In his report, Dr. Wilkinson states that it was noteworthy that “a sizeable portion of people with unresolved chronic pain had more than a years pain relief with only one Prolotherapy injection.” While these results were obtained with a single injection, our Prolotherapy sessions involve multiple injections given in each session so as to treat all of the injured areas – hence the Hackett-Hemwall method of Prolotherapy.
Standard medical and surgical procedures cannot match our Prolotherapy’s 80-90% effectiveness in eliminating chronic pain, nor can standard medicine match the relative low cost of treatment. Prolotherapy treatments typically average about $500-600 per session in our office, where a typical surgical procedure may cost up to twenty times that amount! You may think that your insurance will pick up the price of the surgery, but be careful. Many times the co-pay is more than what you’d pay for Prolotherapy!
As you can see, we utilize Prolotherapy at Caring Medical because it is a successful and cost-effective treatment that leads to permanent healing and pain relief.