A Word About Prolotherapy

Prolotherapy Miami Dr. Charles Mahl GenLife Coral Gables

What is Prolotherapy?

Prolotherapy is a nonsurgical treatment which stimulates healing of the underlying cause of joint pain and instability.

If you go to Wikipedia, the write-up is not flattering regarding prolotherapy. While we, as Prolotherapy physicians, have made an effort to change the content of Wikipedia to reflect the current thinking and success of prolotherapy, the controlling editor refuses to allow this, despite an abundance of level I evidence and all the successful studies now well known to all physicians. While I hesitate to use the word “biased”, his attitude reflects that of the conventional and conservative medical establishment who continually refuse to give Prolotherapy the credence it deserves. Yet, they themselves continue to do procedures or give medicines that we now know don’t work well, simply because they learned how to do that in their residency. They did not learn Prolotherapy in their residency and it is not taught in any orthopedic program, except, at the University of Wisconsin and Harvard Medical School. Most doctors don’t recommend Prolotherapy because they simply don’t know about it, having not read about it and/or are not trained in its techniques. They utilize steroid injections, now proven to be of no value in healing injury, whereas Prolotherapy starts the healing process and gets to the root cause of the injury. They also rely on surgery to fix things or cut it out and this makes them a lot of money – and after surgery, when you still have the same pain you started with or are worse, are then shuffled off to physical therapy, never to be seen again by the surgeon, as you continue to limp and are still in pain. Not good medicine, if you ask me.

Prolotherapy is alternative medicine, since it is not in the mainstream, which is nothing new for things that really work in the field of medicine, as it just takes a long time before the rest of the physicians figure out something is good-and before they do that, they will do everything possible to stop that novel or new approach from coming into being; they don’t like change. Dr Barry Marshall, who in the 1980’s discovered that a simple bacteria was causing GI cancer and peptic ulcers and that it could be cured by a simple course of antibiotics was highly ridiculed and ostracized by his colleagues for twenty years—until he was recognized by winning the Nobel Prize. That says it all.

Prolotherapy is not paid for by insurance, because as long the insurance companies have physicians fighting over what therapies and techniques to do, they get to save money by denying these Claims. Insurance companies don’t care about you at all-in fact, the less care you get, the less expense for them and the better they do financially. They will pay for steroid injections and surgeries and that’s why almost everyone out there who has an injury or problem of non-healing and pain, ends up with one of these 2 therapies or procedures. Think about that.

These are the patients that seek prolotherapy, as they have learned the hard way what is best for their bodies. With the Internet, we now have a readily abundant amount of information, both positive and negative, on prolotherapy and patients are now able to draw their own conclusions regarding the success rates of prolotherapy. Look at the Journal of Prolotherapy website, or GetProlo website, or American Association of Orthopedic Medicine website or the American Association of Prolotherapy and Regenerative Medicine website. Dr Ross Hauser’s personal website has an incredible amount of information for patients. If you check any of these websites, and I thank you for reading the information contained in my website, you will find that there are many very highly specialized and competent physicians with extraordinary qualifications that practice prolotherapy and do it well. We are true believers, because most of us have suffered firsthand, as have our patients.

The success rates of surgery and steroid injections are dismal and many people after surgery still have pain. These patients now want an alternative with quicker healing and have educated themselves with regards to the benefits of prolotherapy.

In Orthopedics, most of what is done today for patients with musculoskeletal problems is not supported by level one evidence. This includes joint arthroscopy, arthroscopic knee debridement, microfracture surgery, labral repairs, all spinal surgeries including fusion, laminectomy and discectomy, tenotomy, realignment surgeries such as high tibial osteotomy and lateral releases, rotator cuff repair ligament repairs, arthroscopic and surgical debridement, chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, massage and most physical therapy too. These surgical and nonsurgical techniques lack rigorous scientific support or relevant evidence to show they are effective; yet, prolotherapy has this level one evidence.

As Dr. Christopher Centeno has stated, “the shift is moving from replacement to repair”. We want to heal the injury by improving the blood supply and strengthening the tissues by injecting platelets and stem cells and growth factors directly into the site of injury and then let the body do the rest to heal itself. How about stabilizing the ligaments and tendons in this fashion and having your pain and instability go away, rather than cutting something out and seriously thinking you won’t miss it ever again. Isn’t regenerative injections like prolotherapy/PRP and stem cells better than a joint replacement, which carries the risk of heart attack, stroke, more surgery, infection, and even death from general anesthesia? Read more about Miami PRP and Miami Stem Cell Therapy.

Elite athletes and even weekend warrior’s, those who are active in sports on the weekends already know about prolotherapy. Europeans have known about prolotherapy for some time and Latin American physicians have also used it in their armamentarium, especially considering that the barrier to entry is minimal, equipment wise and medication wise, as compared to giving steroid injections and surgery. The real skill is in the knowledge and experience of the prolotherapist. Where did he train and for how long? Patients are now becoming more knowledgeable and seeking out prolotherapy regularly for their care, especially for musculoskeletal joint pain, neck and back pain. I myself have been plagued all my life by pain and was only helped, with my life changing for the better, by having prolotherapy performed on me.Every doctor I knew, and I knew a lot, told me it wouldn’t work. None of them had ever studied prolotherapy nor performed it. So, take my advice and help your body heal itself. We all have that capacity. Do not let misguided but well-intentioned doctors and physicians operate on you or give you steroid injections. Read more about Prolotherapy in Miami.