By: Dr. Nicole Ortiz
Do you find yourself driving the golf cart more than the ball these days? Or maybe you’re on the 6th hole and about to make a drive, but…..just as you swing, you feel a lightning bolt of pain down your arm and the ball is now in a sand trap. This is all too familiar for many of us, not the poor golf shot, but the chronic pain. Chronic pain in one or more joints has probably prevented you from leading the active lifestyle you so desire.
Injuries in and around joints are inevitable. Joints are like door hinges, eventually with use and abuse they wear out. Many of us use and re-use those injured joints until pain levels prevent us from doing so anymore. We nag, complain, and reluctantly call the doctor for options to relieve the pain. Most are familiar with the recommendation to rest, ice and take anti-inflammatory drugs traditionally prescribed after injury. When the pain continues, it is painkillers or cortisone shots that are used to take the pain away. Do these treatments really do you any permanent good? I would like to shake the waters a bit and suggest that the mentioned treatments often hinder the bodies healing response and never actually “fix” the injury. For this reason, you find yourself back in the doctor’s office some months later in even worse pain.
The latest in pain management medicine has been focused on promoting the very repair process medicine has been inhibiting for decades; inflammation! Prolotherapy works by stimulating your body’s natural healing response, inflammation, at a much stronger and more focused effort than when the injury first occurred. Prolotherapy allows the doctor to re-open the healing window of injuries that are even over a decade old, essentially allowing for the injured joint to heal in a more complete way. The technique involves 3-6 rounds of injections to the area of chronic pain or a damaged joint. The injections consist of a 100% natural substance that facilitates growth and repair of ligaments, tendons, and connective tissue. The treatment works to strengthen the damaged tissue immediately, allowing you to continue your daily activities without any downtime. The side effects are minimal. You will most likely experience soreness in the joint for 24-48 hours post treatment.
An ambitious group of doctors across the country, including the former surgeon general C. Everett Koop, are using this innovative treatment as an alternative to pain meds and surgery. I have personally found this treatment to be life altering and the motivation for practicing this alternative pain treatment. Several years ago I sustained a significant injury to my knee while playing basketball. I partially tore my ACL and found myself going from running daily to not being able to walk down stairs. I chose prolotherapy over surgery for three reasons: it was more cost-effective, had less down time, and would leave me with a rebuilt knee without the scars. Within one week I was back to running pain free. Now 6 years later I continue to run daily on a completely healed knee.
Conditions helped by prolotherapy:
• Torn ligaments
• Chronic joint pain
• Degenerative Disks
• Cartilage injuries
• Over-use injuries
• Whip lash
• Sports injuries
Prolotherapy has been proven effective for most joint injuries. The Mayo Clinic and other major institutions have recently recognized their benefit. If you would like to read more studies on this innovative alternative treatment for joint pain and injury, go to www.getprolo.com. Locally, the doctors at Live Well Clinic offer prolotherapy in their practice. You really have NO REASON TO LIVE WITH PAIN.
If you would like more info about prolotherapy call 760-771-5970 or visit www.livewellclinic.org. Dr. Ortiz and Dr. Fung have their private practice at 78-900 Avenue 47, Ste 102 in La Quinta, CA.